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Wednesday, 25 December 2013
Tuesday, 24 December 2013
At the Midnight Mass around the world tonight the story of the birth of Jesus will be proclaimed in the words from the second chapter of the Gospel according to St Luke. We may stop to pause at verse 2 which refers to the census that Emperor Augustus decreed, that brought the Holy Family to Bethlehem:
"This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria".We in the Diocese in Europe remember that Syria borders with our diocese and lift up a special prayer for all caught up in the conflict there.
We also remember South Sudan which seems to be entering yet another period of civil strife. Many of the faithful of our diocese, members of the White Nile congregations in Finland, come from that country. We join our prayers with the White Nile congregation for all who are affected by the outbreak of violent conflict. Fr Amos Manga their priest is presently in the region and we pray for his own safety.
In the words of the Christmas from Common Worship Daily Prayer
Mighty God, the government is on your shoulders: guide the leaders of the nations and bring in your kingdom of justice and righteousness.
O lover of justice and peace, ruler of all the ages: be born in us today.
Monday, 23 December 2013
|Canon Wilkinson leads sessions on music in worship|
|Some curates and their training incumbents|
Friday, 20 December 2013
Walking in the light of Christ, the Chaplaincy of St Mark’s Florence with St Peter’s Siena, and Holy Cross, Bologna, works constructively and inclusively together, as three places of Christian excellence and witness, in common with other Ministries of the Universal Church, for and with any people who find themselves in Tuscany and Emilia Romagna.
Wednesday, 18 December 2013
from whom all thoughts of truth and peace proceed:
kindle, we pray, in the hearts of all, the true love of peace
and guide with your pure and peaceable wisdom
those who take counsel for the nations of the earth
that in tranquility your kingdom may go forward,
till the earth is filled with the knowledge of your love;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen. (Collect for the Peace of the World)
Tuesday, 10 December 2013
On Sunday 1 December, St George's Anglican Church in Berlin celebrated the 10th anniversary of the restoration of regular services in central Berlin (Mitte).
The first St George’s in the city was built in 1885 under the patronage of the Crown Princess of Germany, Victoria (eldest daughter of Queen Victoria) who was married to the future Kaiser Friedrich III. It was the only Anglican Church in Germany to remain open during World War I, as the Kaiser was the Church’s Patron. It was closed in the Second World War and hit by allied bombing 24 Nov 1943 and the remains were pulled down by the East Berlin authorities. After World War II, new St George's, a garrison Church, was built in the British sector. In 1994 the new St George’s became a civilian congregation of the Diocese.
In 2003 in a reunified Berlin, the Chaplain of St George's, the Revd Canon Christopher Jage-Bowler, with his Assistant Chaplain, the Revd Dr Irene Ahrens, decided to restart a weekly evening service back in Mitte, in addition to the regular morning Eucharist in the new St George's, The Marienkirche, the oldest still functioning Church in Berlin, has been the host venue for the Mitte service since 2007. The Marienkirche is only a couple of hundred metres from where the original St George's once stood.
Monday, 9 December 2013
All Saints Church in St Pargoire, France, one of the newer congregations in the Diocese in Europe, is blessed by having a vintner and his family as active members of the congregation. Simon Coulshaw and his wife Monica run a vineyard, Domaine des Trinités, and using traditional artisanal methods are producing fine vins du terroir.
The parish social events, of course, feature wines from Domaine des Trinités, and there is no shortage of wine for the eucharist! But Simon and Monica also use their skill also to encourage and promote the outreach work of the parish. From time to time they host "Wine into Water" events, which are well attended by parishioners. These events include guided walk through the vines, followed by a talk and tasting in the winery accompanied by Monica’s famous tapas. (Monica is from Catalunya). Funds are raised for the international development charity Water Aid. As a result, several dozen villages in Africa have already benefited from this initiative by the Coulshaws, and now have clean water available to them, for the first time.
Domaine des Trinités has a website here.
Sunday, 8 December 2013
On 13 November the Area Dean of France, the Revd Canon Trevor Whitfield, admitted Linda Brooke to the ministry of Reader and licensed her to exercise that lay ministry in the parish of Christ Church in the Manche, in Normandy. This was among Canon Whitfield's last actions as Area Dean, before his retirement on 30 November
Following her three year theological training for this ministry, Linda now joins her husband Mike Brooke, also a Reader, in working with the priest-in-charge of Christ Church, the Revd Peter Hales.
Although the canons of the Church of England refer to Readers, in the Diocese in Europe we are coming to terms with the fact that a Reader is perhaps better described as a Licensed Lay Minister. This is a term that means much more to our ecumenical partners and avoids the misunderstanding that Readers simply read in Church!
Christ Church in the Manche is a busy parish with services every Sunday in two centres: in Gratot Homeel, near Coutances, and in Virey, towards the south.
|Area Dean Trevor Whitfield and Reader Linda Brooke|
Wednesday, 4 December 2013
All Saints Anglican Church in St Pargoire, in the department of Hérault in France, is one of the newest congregations in the diocese in Europe. It became formally part of the Church of England in January 2013. Since then, their priest-in-charge, the Revd Roger Smith, assisted by the Revd Richard Acworth, has led the congregation forward in their life and mission.
In our French parishes, church lunches tend to be quite splendid affairs, and this was certainly true of the reception and parish lunch following the Confirmation service.
All Saints has an active collaboration with Roman Catholic and Reformed Church partners in several outreach programmes. The Church's website is here.
Monday, 2 December 2013
At the main Eucharist at the November sessions of General Synod, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby was ably assisted by none other than Deacon Frances Hiller, my chaplain.
Deacon Frances is quite used to telling a bishop what to do in the liturgy. After all, that's one of the main jobs of deacons! I wonder if she was as directive with the Archbishop? At any rate it was very good to see one of our clergy assisting His Grace in this way.