Former Methodist Vice President off to West Bank

Jan Sutch Pickard, a former Vice President of the MethodistConference, has arrived in Palestine to begin three months of workthere. Jan is part of the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme inPalestine and Israel (EAPPI), and will return to the UK just acouple of days before Christmas.

As an Ecumenical Accompanier (EA), Jan will be 'a non-violentwitness and an active presence for peace.' She will be based in thesmall town of Jayyous in the West Bank, working with local peopleas a supporter, advocate and friend.

Jan was Vice President of the Methodist Conference in 1996-7,and has been a long-time supporter of the Iona Community, firstworking there as a volunteer cook in 1967. From 1999- 2004 she wason the staff of the Iona Community, latterly as Warden of theAbbey. She has also written several books (including Gatherings,Dandelions and Thistles and Advent Readings from Iona) and has beena teacher, local preacher and mission partner.

'This is a huge privilege and a scary prospect too,' she says.'The work will take different forms, and situations can change veryquickly in that part of the world. But it will be exciting to beactively working for peace and living in God's way alongside peoplewho have suffered at the hands of others to 'accompany' them. And Iwill be there for Ramadan, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, AllSaints and All Souls, Eid-ul-Fitr and Advent: what an amazingprivilege!'

During 2006 Jan will spend several weeks visiting churchesaround Britain to share her experiences and information about theprogramme with others. During her time in Palestine she will fileregular updates on her activities to the EAPPI website.