Damascus, December 2005. The Delegate for Great Britain and Ireland, Mr Anthony Bailey, together with British and Irish Council Member and former Garter King of Arms of the United Kingdom, Sir Conrad Swan, paid a courtesy call on His Beatitude Patriarch Gregorios III of Antioch & all of the East, of Alexandria, and of Jerusalem at the Patriarchate in central Damascus.
Discussions were held between the parties as to future interfaith and charitable projects which the Delegation wishes to launch in conjunction with His Beatitude and the Melkite Greek Catholic Church whose followers total over one million and whose native tongue is Arabic.
The Patriarch warmly commended the activities of the Constantinian Order in recent years across the Middle East which aims to support the Christian communities in the region and to facilitate greater interfaith understanding and dialogue with all other faiths. His Beatitude also extended his warm thanks to the knights and dames of the British and Irish Delegation following his successful pastoral visit to the United Kingdom which was supported by the Constantinian Order.
During the week long visit, Mr Bailey and Sir Conrad attended a special mass held at the Church of the Patriarchate which was attended by HE The Apostolic Nuncio to Syria and other leading Christian and civil leaders.
Earlier in the day the Delegate, on behalf of the Grand Master, HRH The Duke of Castro, invested the Patriarchal Vicar of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, His Grace Archbishop Isidore Battikha, with the insignia of Ecclesiastical Knight Grand Cross of Grace of the Constantinian Order.