El Gouna’s Coptic Church visited
Today I tried to reach the El Bustan area from West Golf. It appeared however, that the Bustanline does the route only towards Downtown via West Golf. If no passengers from Downtown to West Golf are aboard, it will not pass by at West Golf into direction El Bustain, but will take the main road. So I had to wait untill the shuttle bus passed by direction Downtown, and had then to take the ride back to El Bustan. Something to remember!
In El Bustain you’ll find the coptic Church of St.Mary and the Archangels.
As it was Sunday, it appeared that mass celebration had already started at around 9.15 am. So I first took some pictures from the outside of the Church, then went silently into the church to participate at the mass celebration. Very sympathic after the sermon was the “shake hands” ceremony between the church goers. Compared with the Catholic services, this mass however was taking up very long. So I decided in the meantime to have a look at the Paul Kahn Hotelschool nearby, and to visit the El Gouna Football field. But that is for another story.
I’ve digged out some additional information about the coptic church from El Gouna Magazine, which will be interesting to be cited here:
“… It is hard to believe that just three years ago all there was on this particular piece of land was a 200-square-meter tent. Now, the tent is a memory, replaced by a masterpiece of artistic architecture from Alfredo Freda. In creating the El Gouna Church of St. Mary and the Archangels, the architect teamed up with Eng. Fakhir Fahmy to bring us one of the most beautiful examples of church architecture on the Red Sea.
The splendid 650-square-meter church has plenty to offer worshippers and visitors in the way of beauty. Refined drawings of Jesus, St. Mary and the apostles were completed by artist Mina El Comos Temesaus while the angels are the work of painter and sculptor Mira Shihadih.
Officially inaugurated on December 26th, 2004 with the Governor of the Red Sea, H.E. Mr. Saad Abu Reda, in attendance, the church now offers Coptic Orthodox services under the spiritual leadership of Father Daniel El Suriany and Bishoy Samuel.
The Native Christian Church of Egypt
The Coptic Orthodox Church is a Christian church native to Egypt. The word Copt comes from the Greek word ‘Aegyptos’ and is the origin of the word Egypt. Founded by the Apostle Mark in the 1st century, the Egyptian church flourished through the 4th century, during which time Alexandria was a center of religious and intellectual life.
Today, roughly 10% of the country’s population are members in the Coptic Egyptian church; adhering to the traditions of Eastern Orthodoxy. Coptic art is a prominent art genre and many beautiful paintings and icons can be observed at churches and monasteries throughout Egypt. …”
At around 11.15am the celebration was over and I could enter the church again, and now I had the opportunity to take some pictures from the inside too.
From time to time at El Bustain also a catholic Mass is being held for tourists and residents who want to participate during their stay in El Gouna: it’s being held mostly Saturday afternoon around 5 pm. I’ll try to get hold on the dates and will publish it in future in a special section of our Content Index here to the right.
Of course, my visit resulted again in a series of pictures, stored in our Photo Album Sightseeing > Coptic Church > Church Visit June 2005