Revd Mohammad Eghtedarian was ordained along with ten other new deacons for the Diocese of Liverpool at the end of June and is the cathedral’s second curate. We asked him about his calling and what his plans are for his time at Liverpool Cathedral.
I was born into an Iranian Muslim family. My father and mother were religious people and I tried to satisfy God all the time and get closer to him. I found that whenever I prayed I could see a huge gap between myself and God, whenever I asked him for anything the first thing I remembered were my sins. It was like a heavy weight on my shoulders or a great wall between us.
Like many other young people in Iran, I wanted more personal freedom and so decided to immigrate to Europe. During my journey, many things happened and I had to face many difficulties. In one of the countries I was travelling, I ended up living in a priest’s house for six days where I heard the Gospel message from him. In those days, I always asked God to help me to not stray from the truth, which for me was Islam. But the priest asked me a question, which started an inner battler in my mind: ‘do you have peace and freedom in Islam?’
I eventually moved to the UK seeking asylum. Refugee life was tough and immersing into a new environment and society was huge challenge for me. I began living in a flat close to a church. One day the priest came to my door to invite me to church. When he found out I was a Muslim but was interested in Christianity, he sent a missionary and we soon became close friends. I was introduced to many Iranian Christians and especially to a pastor who had been Christian for a long time, but was also from a Muslim background. This meant we could understand each other very well and this motivated me to study more about Christianity. This brought me face to face with the truth and I decided to repent.
Around this time, I received a letter from the Home Office refusing my application for asylum. I was sent to a detention centre and God used this opportunity to show himself to me in different ways. He provided me a person who taught me faith and also the Lord sent me my spiritual father, who was my pastor, to teach me how to love people practically.
After I was released from the detention centre I went to Brighton where I studied two years of theology at Elam Bible College and became an assistant poster for a few years. Then I studied media for three years and received my degree in Design for Multimedia. I have since worked in a variety of different sectors within last 17 years residency in UK from customer service, radio producer to multimedia developer.
As is the case for any other minister, I believe God’s calling is the main motivation of my ministry.
I want to share my experience of the loving and caring relationship with our Lord to others, especially those who come from a Muslim background. I also would like to share my experience as ex-asylum seeker to other asylum seekers and being a bridge between the native people and the refugees in UK.
I would like to help detainees in the detention centres within this area and help them to have a hope for their future life. I believe these centres should be used for educational purposes more intentionally and for spiritual teaching.
With my background in media study, I would love to use New Media tools for spreading the Good News of Christ, for example making a website for Persian Anglican Church resources.
I am going to work in Liverpool Cathedral working with an Iranian congregation as well as being a curate within the Cathedral. Running the congregation and different aspects of its life are something I am looking forward to learn.
As a curate within the Cathedral I would love to learn more about Anglican worship, culture and system within the Cathedral as well as learning practical ministry such as weddings, funerals and baptisms. I am hoping to eventually become a link between Persian Christians and Anglican churches as well as the wider society.
The Persian churches (Iranian, Afghanis and Kurdish) are growing in the UK. I believe Anglican churches have a major role in this process and as they have already been of great supports for these churches, they should continue to help these churches in this country and beyond.
Revd Mohammad Eghtedarian will take a key role in offering leadership to Sepas. Sepas, an Iranian congregation was started in 2014, the worship and teaching is all either in Farsi or translated. Sepas meets on Monday evenings in the Concert Room with refreshments at 7pm and worship beginning at 7.30.
You can find more details on Facebook: 'Iranian of Liverpool Cathedral' or contact Revd Mohammad Edghtedarian: firstname.lastname@example.org