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Gironde

Christian Unity

January Christian Unity service (2018)

It's a joy to share these photos from Tuesday's event at Castelmoron for the Villeneuve and Lot Valley Ecumenical Group. The service was very well attended, with 5 ministers including our Chaplain, Rev'd Tony Lomas. The address was given by Pasteur Bonhomme of the Eglise Unie Protestante on the theme of the unity of prayer from below and above, working in both directions: Jesus, Jesus in God, Jesus praying to God, and God reflecting that prayer back.

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Christian Unity celebration of our shared faith (2016)

The week of prayer for Christian unity in the Lot Valley was celebrated in the chapel of the old Benedictine monastery attached to the Eglise Ste Catherine d'Alexandrie. Representing the Anglican church, Rev'd Liz Morris took part alongside, for the Catholics Monsigneur Herbreteau, Bishop of Agen, Abbé Richard Bouchet,  Père André Konstanty and Pastor Marie-Francoise Vialard of the Lutheran church. 

As part of the celebration, members of the ecumenical group lit candles at the altar and offered salt to the congregation following the tradition of the Lithuanian churches who set the formula this year. After the service everyone enjoyed time to talk together over a cup of hot chocolate and a slice of cake, exchanging similarities, asking questions and enjoying our shared faith together.

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Remembrance

Franco British Remembrance service in Moulinet, Lot et Garonne (2016)

remembrance serviceOn 5th June in the church of Moulinet, the English and French local "parishes" held a remembrance service in tribute to the British, Commonwealth, and French casualties of the Battle of the Somme. Led by Père Patrick Cassaigne and Rev'd Liz Morris, the ceremony was attended by the Mayor of Moulinet, many French and British, and one Australian couple. As well as flag bearers there were 15 cadet pompiers (firefighters) who formed a "guard of honour" into the church and around the war memorial. There was also wonderful singing and piano accompaniment by Eve and David Warner-Howard and the congregation. Martin Earle played the bugle for the Last Post and Réveille and the cornet for the two national anthems, and flower wreaths were laid at the War Memorial. Many thanks to Graham Davison (Doudrac) for organising and conducting the event.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allez

Harvest Thanksgiving gifts

A big thank you to everyone who gave so generously to the collection of foodstuffs at our Harvest Festival in September. These gifts have now been passed on to Restos du Coeur.

We held our Harvest Festival Holy Communion on the 4th September with the Chaplain, Paul Vrolijk, officiating. Including the choir, we were 35 in the congregation, strongly supported by Marilyn Morrow and Chant- Allez.

After the service, 15 of us went for lunch at the local routiers cafe, a relaxed time to catch up with people and talk things over together.

We collected two boxfuls of non-perishable foods, and these have been passed on to the Restos du Coeur in Marmande, who were very grateful for the donation; Jean-Pierre, the Manager, showed us around, told us what they do and how they are organised. They feed over 350 families in Marmande on a regular basis and we both felt we wanted to try to help them where we could in the future, particularly the children.

 

Busy Easter weekend! 

For Allez, it was a busy Easter weekend. Our worship started with a suitably quiet and contemplative service of meditation, prayers and readings on Good Friday.

Then on the Tuesday after Easter, we celebrated with a service of Readings and Music created by Colin Pratt, first used last year and this year led by Sue Blomley, standing in for Roger Verrall.

‘Chant-Allez’, led by Marilyn Morrow, played a key role in this service, singing their own pieces or leading the large congregation in a broad selection of hymns. Interspersed with the music we were treated to a wide range of readings. The church had been beautifully decorated by Gail May and Annette Howard whose flower arrangements made a wonderful backdrop. To round off the evening, everyone had a chance to share a drink and biscuit. Our thanks are due to everyone who played a part in making this service so successful.

Allez remains quiet now until 5th June when we look forward to welcoming everyone to Holy Communion. We are planning a slightly earlier start of 11.00 am, which will provide time to associate after the service with a warm drink before we go to lunch in a local restaurant.

 

Dondas

2016 Palm Sunday Procession

palm sundayOur service of Morning Worship on Sunday, 20 March fell on Palm Sunday and was led by Revd Liz Morris. After the blessing of the Palm Crosses we started with a reading of the Palm Gospel. We then processed round the centre of the village holding our Crosses and singing All glory, laud and honour before returning to the church for our service which was interspersed with a dramatised reading of the Passion Gospel.

 

 

 

2013 Carol Service well attended

dondas carolsOur Carol Service on Wednesday, 11th December was led by the Chaplain. About 80 people, British and French - including our Maire, his wife and one of his Adjoints, whom we are always glad to welcome - joined us to sing carols and listen to readings in both English and French. The church was looking particularly good because, as last year, a splendid Crèche and Christmas tree had been put up on either side of the high altar by members of the local community.

The service always ends with everyone processing through the village to the Salle des Fêtes singing Adeste Fideles (a tradition started by Colin Pratt) for the customary mulled wine and mince pies. This year everyone, and particularly the choir, was grateful that the weather was fine, unlike last year when it poured with rain! As ever, we are most grateful to Chant’Allez and Marilyn Morrow for so ably leading our singing.

 

Pastoral visit by the Bishop of Agen: November 2012

Bishop of AgenDuring the week beginning 19th November the Bishop of Agen, Mgr Hubert Herbreteau, made a Pastoral Visit to the parish of St Benoît en Pays de Serres, of which Dondas forms part.

He had specifically asked to meet the local Anglicans in Dondas, so on the afternoon of 21st November a small group of us, including the Chaplain, were among those in church when he arrived accompanied by our Parish Priest, Abbé Antoine Tran, and our relais local or parish representative, M Roger Austruy.

After the Bishop and the Maire of Dondas, M Mario Dalcin, had spoken, Sara James was invited to outline the background to how the Chaplaincy had come to hold services at Dondas and to answer any questions the Bishop might have. The Chaplain, who had previously met the Bishop when he came to Monteton, also said a few words to put Dondas into the wider Lot-et-Garonne and Chaplaincy context.

Mgr Herbreteau is obviously extremely well-disposed to our presence here, referred to us as “nos amis Anglicans” and insisted on having his photo taken with us before he left. It was a very friendly occasion and it is good to know that we are so welcome in the Diocese of Agen.

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Doudrac

Terrific 2017 Christmas Carol service and lunch at Doudrac

On Sunday morning, 10th December, a congregation of nearly sixty gathered at Doudrac to enjoy the service of Lessons and Carols, led by Rev Liz Morris. Candles were lit, and greenery heavily laden with red berries and gold ribbon decorated the altar steps. There was also a Christmas tree and a crib, and of course, a beautiful Advent Wreath. The first verse of ‘Once in Royal David’s City’ was sung by a member of the congregation and thereafter, all carols were sung most heartily. More Christmas gifts for children were donated, as they had been the week before, to be distributed by Resto du Coeur. We also had a retiring collection for the Bishop’s Advent Appeal.

After the service we gathered in the Salles des Fetes for our Christmas lunch. It was a joyous time of eating, drinking and catching up with friends. Thanks to all those who gave their time to cook such a delicious meal. A good number of church members and visitors attended our Holy Communion service on Christmas morning, which was led by Rev Liz Morris. For the last time in 2017, we enjoyed singing carols in the candle-lit church of St John’s in Doudrac before hurrying off to be with our own families and friends on this special day.

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April 2nd 2017: Service of blessing for our pets

Sunday 2nd April brought some special visitors to our Morning Worship. Rev Liz Morris led ‘The Blessing of the Animals’ service.  The congregation and their pets gathered in the car park opposite the church and the service was opened with prayer. Everyone then made their way to the church where Rev Liz blessed each dog as it entered – yes, our visitors were all dogs.

Many pets were unable to join us, so Terry Davison had the job of pinning photos of them on to cork boards which were then placed below the altar. It was good to have the opportunity to thank God together for pets, past and present, that give us such friendship and comfort.

Hymns took on a different harmony that morning, but nevertheless enjoyed by all.  All creatures, great and small, were most well behaved, no anti-social behaviour whatsoever!!

 

2016 AGM hosted by Doudrac

agm doudracDoudrac hosted this year’s AGM on Saturday, 9 th April. The Salles des fêtes was packed with people who had travelled near and far. During the meeting, Charlotte showed videos of various activities through the year and Madelaine Holmes spoke about General Synod. Some time was spent discussing fundraising  which was then followed by lunch – needless to say the tables were well laden.

After lunch we celebrated Holy Communion. The Rev’d Brian Davies led our service, during which David Albrecht and Janis Adams were sworn in as our Chaplaincy Wardens. A good number of hymns were sung and the service ended with our pianist playing ‘Intrade in Jazz’ by Johannes Michel – a very jolly piece portraying the general mood. A most successful and satisfying day.

 

November Sunday School and December Nativity Play at Doudrac

sunday schooldoudrac nativitySome 17 children and teenagers presented a beautiful Nativity tableau at Doudrac  on Sunday 13th December. It even featured live animals ! 

The church was packed for a traditional service of lessons and carols. The choir sang an arrangement of The Holly and the Ivy, written especially by David Warner-Howard.
 
Sunday School at Doudrac on All Saints' Day was just lovely!
 
 
 
 
 

Doudracians enjoy a curry supper and games

Members of Doudrac Church were joined by others to enjoy an evening of curry and games on Thursday May 21st. They enjoyed a variety of home made Indian, Sri Lankan and Nepalese curries courtesy of Graham Davison and Dave Rolfe and some delicious desserts, care of Liz Rolfe, Janet Tarr and Lesley Wybrow.

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After supper they flew home made paper planes, raced horses and snails, threw darts and hurled wooden discs on a Dutch shuffleboard in an attempt to win some wonderful (GIFI) prizes. The evening raised 240 €.

 

Successful Victorian Music Hall Evening - September 2013 

victorianA great evening was enjoyed by more than 70 people who filled the Salle des Fetes in Doudrac. Many came dressed in the style of the Victorian era. After aperitifs and canapés and an opportunity to eat our picnic meals, the show began.

Our chairman Stuart was a veritable virtuoso of verbosity and entertainingly introudced each act – and they just kept on coming!

It was a true 'Variety Show' – we had singers from Diva Eve to shy, retiring Popsy (!) and many others. We had a Pearly King and Queen; a strong man and his assistant; dancers; a poem recital and much, much more. The evening closed with a sing-along of a medley of well-known songs from that era.

Many, many thanks go to all who planned, helped, prepared, attended, performed and cleared up. A special thanks go to Gail and Stuart who lent us their lighting and sound equipment as well as being great entertainers.

The evening made €675 for Chaplaincy funds; a great result. Thank you. - Rev'd Liz Morris

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doudrac

April 2013 Songs of Praise was truly a blessing

On 12th April we had our Songs of Praise service which was greatly enjoyed by all who attended.

Again, this service was followed by refreshments – thanks to all who organised and all who brought a plate of something.

 

 

 

baptism natalia

2012 August Baptism at Doudrac

We were pleased to welcome Natalia Woollard to the Christian family...her baptism took place on Sunday August 5th, at a packed church in Doudrac.

Her older sister Katarina was also baptised by Rev'd Bramwell Bearcroft at the church in Doudrac in June of 2009...

Our congratulations to little Natalia and her family!

 

 

 

 

 

Ecumenical Service in Masquières

The service held in the parish church at Masquières was a considerable success and was very well attended especially by our Catholic friends from right across the departement plus many from the Midi Pyrenees Chaplaincy.

We were led by Père Jean Poujade, Père José Tentelier, our Chaplain and Rodney Bridges from Midi Pyrène with Ken Meyer from the Baptist Church playing the organ.

The service was made up of a series of readings and hymns in both languages with addresses by Père Poujade and Paul Vrolijk on the theme of Babel; it was appropriate that we all said the Lord’s Prayer altogether in our own languages!

Afterwards we shared a delicious meal in the Salle des Fetes.

Next year’s service will, we hope, migrate a little further west to make it more accessible to people from across the Lot et Garonne.

 

Spring 2012 Lillies and Lunch in Latour-Marliac

On 24th May, the first sunny day of the month, it seemed, a group of worshippers of Doudrac Church made a visit to Le Latour-Marliac, le Jardin des Nenuphars, in Le Temple sur Lot.  For some, the day started with a car rally, organised by Evan Mackenzie, from Cancon to Le Temple through the glorious countryside of that area.  Having thwarted a flock of sheep by walking around them to find the answer to one of the challenging questions, which some (the runners up) thought to be cheating, John Wilson beat Marion Evans to the finish line by a minute, cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd who had resisted the challenge.

Having assembled in the magnificent gardens we were shown around by the proprieter, Mr. Sheldon, an American in France, so to speak. Did you know that Latour-Marliac developed the water lily from a wild white sterile plant to the magnificent array that now exists and that any water lily you might buy nowadays has its roots, so to speak, in Latour-Marliac's garden.

The tour was followed by a gorgeous lunch served in the Bambousserie and as much time as we wanted afterwards to look at, photograph or paint the beautiful flowers and frogs (green ones).  

We would recommend you visit the gardens between late May to mid-September (we were a bit early because of the bad weather this spring).  If you want to see lotus flowers as well, make it July.  There's a pleasant restaurant and cafe as well.

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St Médard

Sept 11th Harvest Festival at St Médard 2016

It was with great pleasure we welcomed Rev'd Tony Lomas and his wife Ingrid, to St Medard. Harvest festival is a joyous occasion, and last Sunday was, in every way, even the weather was perfect. People were most generous in their contributions of items for the association, ‘ Accueil et Partager’ in Port Ste Marie, a food bank for local families in need. This year we have quantities of baby food too, which will certainly will be appreciated.

The service was followed by our traditional bring and share picnic on the farm of Alex and Jean Marie Orliac, surrounded by fields and apple trees. This year we put the tables and chairs in the 'charmille'. Alex explained to us that this was planted in grand houses, to form a shady walk, almost like a cloister. Charme is Hornbeam.

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Harvest service 2014

On September 21st we celebrated our Harvest Holy Communion led by Rev’d Liz Morris with Roger Verrall. Our service was enhanced by the beautiful singing from the Chant Allez choir and great singing from our congregation, too.

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Following our service we all enjoyed our bring and share picnics; we have some very good cooks! It was truly a joyous celebration of harvest. Thanks to Liz and Roger for a splendid service.

 

July 2014 service - thunder and rain! - followed by lunch 

summer st médardAnother lovely service in our pretty church in St Medard. Thank you, Liz Morris. We do hope you and Richard were able to get back to the farm before the rain, to continue with the harvest.

During the service the rain poured down, making very interesting sound effects as it gushed from the roof. We then enjoyed our bring and share lunch, while listening to distant thunder!!

See you all here for Harvest festival on Sunday 21st September, which will be followed by a  bring and share picnic on the farm of Alexandra and Jean Marie Orliac.

 

 

 

st médard harvest

2013 Harvest service followed by lunch 

An enormous thank you to everyone who attended our Harvest Festival Holy Communion on Sunday 15th September, and to our Chaplain Paul Vrolijk for leading the service.

Thank you to Marilyn Morrow and Chant Allez for leading us in those familiar and well loved hymns for Harvest Festival. The Choir singing ‘Gloria sei dir gesungen’ by J S Bach, was so lovely. During the service there was a collection of tinned and dried goods, for Accueil & Partage in Port Ste. Marie, an organization that aids people in need.

Manuel Fernandez, président of Accueil & Partage asked us to pass on his ‘heartfelt thanks for the generous gift of food stuffs collected on Sunday.’

harvestOur thanks also go to Alexandra and Jean Marie Orliac for hosting us on their farm, for a bring and share picnic after the service, everybody enjoyed a very good lunch, and had a very jolly time! Although not as sunny as last year, it was still fine enough to be outside. Thanks also go to Alexandra, Jean Marie and their family, for providing the produce from the farm, for our wonderful decorations in the Church.

It was a pleasure to welcome new friends, and old. We hope to see everyone here again at Christmas, for our Service of Lessons and Carols for Christmas, on December 20th 2013, at 18.30.

 

 

st médard

 July 2013 service followed by lunch 

st médard lunch

Once again a lovely service, thank you Liz. It's so nice to meet with friends, although the extreme heat kept some at home.

Lunch was fun, with lots of good things to eat.

 

 

 

 

September 2012 Harvest Thanksgiving

st médard harvestSunday 16th September was Harvest Thanksgiving for our new community, here in St Médard. We had a lovely service here in our village church, led by Rev'd. David Jones.

Followed by a picnic lunch on the farm of Alex and Jean Marie Orliac.

Our next service will be Friday 7th December at 18.30, a bi-lingual service of Lessons and Carols for Christmas, with local Priest Pr Taillade and our Chaplain Paul Vrolijk and friends and neighbors from the local community. No doubt followed by mince pies!