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Christian Unity services throughout Aquitaine

Your right hand O Lord, glorious in power’ - ‘Ta main droite Seigneur, éclatante de puissance’ inspired by Exodus 15:6, with liturgy prepared by the different churches of the Caribbean. This was the theme of the annual ecumenical services for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, held throughout Aquitaine.

The symbolic chains of slavery brought home the message of a plight still suffered by countless thousands across the globe today, and the message was mirrored in music, songs, readings and prayers. We are sincerely thankful for the many services which were held throughout the week, and the blessing of friendship with our brothers and sisters in Christ.


Blessed and joyful Christmas Carol services around the Chaplaincy

Memorial service for Paddy Atkinson

A Service to Celebrate the Life of Paddy Atkinson: 11th February 1920 – 13th September 2017

On the 24th November in her beloved church at Monteton, led by Rev'd Liz Morris and our Chaplain, Rev'd Tony Lomas, we gave thanks for and celebrated the life of Paddy, surrounded by her family and friends in a church filled with her favourite flowers and with her silver candelabra placed on the altar. We began with the choir singing “Paddy’s Song” which had been written especially for the Monteton 40th Anniversary Concert in July; Marjorie then led the choir in Paddy’s chosen anthems of Faure’s “La Cantique de Jean Racine” and Rutter’s “The Lord Bless You and Keep You”, with Richard Errington on the organ, accompanying us in Paddy’s favourite hymns. There were moving contributions read by Paddy’s grandchildren, Emily, Harriet and Hugo and her daughter Carolynn, in her Tribute to her mother, told us of Paddy’s amazing career in the WRAF, (including a spell at Bletchley Park, about which Paddy was typically dismissive!), her marriage to Barry, an officer in the RAF, and their life in the countries in which they served, their time in Aden being particularly dramatic. Grand-daughter Harriet spoke warmly of all the family gatherings at the house in Montaillac, of many golden summers in the beautiful garden with its astonishing view over the Lot et Garonne countryside, and of days constantly in and out of the swimming pool! Following the service, we gathered at Paddy’s home in Montaillac to join with the family for refreshments and, as Carolynn put it, “to say goodbye as and where she would have wished”. In the order of service booklet, with the photograph of an eager young WRAF officer on the front cover, a quotation from Dag Hammarskjold sums up the Paddy we all knew and loved: “For all that has been, thanks. To all that shall be, yes”.


Celebration in Bordeaux of 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation

reform celebrationsA terrific celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation took place in Bordeaux the weekend of October 13th-15th, entitled "Vivre la Fraternité à Bordeaux". Key representatives from various Christian churches in the south west attended, with a welcome given by Pasteur Valérie Mali from the Bordeaux United Protestant church. The weekend featured processions, exhibitions, prayers, talks about the importance of protecting the Christians all over the world, blessings, a cocktail party, debates...

The culmination of this celebration took place as a combined service of worship of all the Bordeaux Protestants, including the Anglican Church, represented by Nellie Salvi, in the historic theatre Anthénée, the first time this city-owned building was used for a religious service. The celebration featured old Reformation hymns, Scripture readings, hymns of praise and thanksgiving, and prayers of intercession. Pasteur Mali led the service, while Pasteur Clavaroily, who is from Bergerac, delivered the spirit filled sermon based on the Prodigal Son.

The weekend celebrations were rounded off with further debate and an open air shared picnic in the beautiful gardens of the Mairie. The Lord provided glorious weather throughout!

Pasteur Valérie Mali did express her wish for a much closer collaboration between the Eglise Protestante Unie in Bordeaux and the Anglican Church in Bordeaux, and of course with the Chaplaincy as a whole . Christine Rychlewski, as our Ecumenical Contact, will lead this drive in Bordeaux. I assured her that we shared her vision of and desire for closer contact to the glory of our Lord, Jesus Christ, Redeemer of the World.

Reformation Celebration in the Joy of Reconciliation, while denouncing the continuing Persecution of Christians the World Over.

To read Nellie Salvi's full report, click here.    To read the piece from the SudOuest, click here.


Allan Petchey completes "Mission Training Course"

fresh expressionsCongratulations to Allan Petchey, who has recently completed a year-long "Mission Shaped Ministry Training Course" to equip the trainees with planting and sustaining a fresh expression of Church, which has been very useful in developing the Fresh Expressions minstry in and around the area of the Eymet Temple.

'Fresh Expressions' are new forms of church that emerge within contemporary culture and engage primarily with those who don’t go to church.

Allan writes, "What the training hinged on was how to reach your community. How to be seen as part of the community and along the way to do some “myth busting” about Christians and Christianity. Creating a safe environment to ask life questions, to get people engaged with Jesus and to be seen as part of a worshiping community as they develop as disciples."

Read the full piece here.


Blessed and joyful Harvest Celebrations around the Chaplaincy


thy kingdom come

6th annual WorshipFest 2017: September 30th

Theme: Thy Kingdom Come

click here to view photos of this wonderful day of worship!


8 Summer baptisms in Aquitaine!

8 baptisms in the space of one month, what a blessing!

A wonderful baptism service was held in Bordeaux on 20th August, at which Bishop Martin Seeley led the service and Chaplain Rev'd Tony Lomas baptised the two boys assisted by their Uncle Mitchell - visiting from Scotland. The following Sunday, 27th August, Rev'd Deacon Charlotte Sullivan baptised a baby boy at the service in Limeuil, at which the choir sang 'Look at the World'.

Then at the 3rd September 'The Gathering' Fresh Expressions meeting in Condom, 40 people were privileged to witness the baptism of two siblings, which was followed by a delicious open-air lunch. A week later, three more children were baptised after their parents were married in Envals, officiated by Rev'd Bramwell Bearcroft on 10th September.

Such wonderful and moving times of love, worship and celebration, praise God!


Tour de France outreach in Eymet: 'Water of Life'

water of lifeOn Wed 12th July, the village of Eymet hosted 15,000 visitors for stage 11 of the Tour de France, many passing directly in front of the entrance to the Eymet Temple, where weekly Fresh Expressions services are held. The Eymet Temple was established as one of the 'meeting points' of the event, and with the support of Allan and Julia Petchey, the congregation took advantage of the opportunity to be a beacon of light and living water during this event.

In a united effort of faith in action, many from the Chaplaincy gathered at the Temple to offer water to the crowds, prayer support for those in need, worship music inside the Temple, and a listening ear to those trying to reconnect or discover God for the very first time. Most of the congregation came on the day and beforehand to help prepare the Temple, and were supported by our Chaplain Rev'd Tony Lomas and Rev'd Deacon Charlotte Sullivan.

The Temple also featured a new summer exhibition on the water of life, with verses from John's Gospel in French and English adorning the walls on big colourful posters, along with beautiful paintings of water scenes painted by a member of the congregation.

View photos and read more here.


American tour group visits Bertric Burée church

If we could have bottled the wonderful noise of chat, exchanges of experiences and of friendship that was palpable during our coffee time following the service, it would have warmed your heart!

Retired minister, Rev'd Don Cornell, explains how his group of American travellers to Turkey came to attend the service at Bertic Burée and writes:

"While serving as Protestant pastor of a congregation in the Middle East, my wife JoAnn and I began organizing a series of tours to Turkey in 1986, titled the 'Christian Church in Asia Minor.' Over the years, we have organised 21 tours, with our Turkish guide, Halit Uçan. Halit’s wife Brigitte was born and raised in Saint Privat des Près (Dordogne) where, in addition to a flat in Istanbul, they have a home that originally belonged to Brigitte’s grandparents. Through the years Halit and Brigitte have become close family friends. This year they put together the 17 day tour to France for our group of 22 Americans.
Sunday afternoon, Halit and Brigitte planned a wonderful luncheon in the garden of their home in Saint Privat, served by family members and friends. On the tours to Turkey, Halit and I always made sure our schedule called for us to be in Izmir on a Sunday so we could worship at St. John the Evangelist Church, another Chaplaincy of the Diocese in Europe. The experience in Izmir is what caused me to “go looking” on the internet for Anglicans in France. And … there in God’s providence I found Dronne Valley Church, just a half hour away from our early afternoon goal on Sunday. That is the story behind how we arrived, though a bit late, for church.
We were overjoyed with the warmth of the welcome by your congregation. Your hospitality was a wonderful expression of the love of Christ we all share. Continued blessings in your ministry."
- Don Cornell, pastor-retired, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Ann and Michael Hall share their Belloc retreat experience

Having missed last year at the Retreat, the first time in some 12 years, we were delighted to be able to make it this time. We drove down to St Etienne de Baigorry, in the foothills of the mountains on the Monday and had three wonderful relaxing days exploring the mountains, walking a little and watching the Griffon Vultures soaring the skies overhead. It was a good preparation for the next three days in the peaceful quiet of Belloc.

We of course had the pleasure of getting to know Tony and Ingrid, meeting old friends and making new ones as well as renewing our acqaintance with our kind and attentive hosts. Although we had been regular visitors to the area we had not previously properly explored La Bastide Clairence, the little town nearby. It was a real delight, pleasant and friendly cafés, charming old houses and an exciting church; also at David Albrecht's suggestion, we found the little graveyard adjacent to the church of a small Jewish community that had been given sanctuary by the town when they were threatened by the Spanish religious authorities in the 17th Century.

I'm not sure whether the highlight of the Retreat was the excellent group sessions run by Tony, the peaceful and reflective time spent with the monks at their services or the informal social time talking and eating with other Chaplaincy members.  All are important in making Belloc a happy and memorable occasion. We did miss old friends who had for a variety of reasons been unable to come, but we thought and prayed for them.

An important feature of the Belloc Retreat is that it is absolutely informal, you can attend sessions or services or meals entirely at your own choice.  Perhaps just sit in the pleasant gardens, listen to the birds and enjoy the views; you decide what you want to do. So if you didn't make it this year, plan to attend in 2018.  - Michael & Ann Hall

Belloc 2018 dates: Thurs May 31st/Fri June 1st - Sunday June 3rd, 2018 - mark your diaries!




Chaplaincy Council

Action Points from the last Council meeting

june council meeting

The last meeting of the Chaplaincy Council was held on November 29th, 2017. Key information and action points from the meeting are available for you as a pdf document here:

Chaplaincy Council November 2017 Action Points



The next meeting of the Chaplaincy Council will be held in Bergerac on Thursday 1st March, 2018, at 10:30am.

If you would like to suggest any items for discussion, please contact a Chaplaincy Warden:

David Albrecht (05 53 36 55 97 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


Janis Adams (05 53 91 32 89 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)








Chaplaincy Magazine

spreading the word

Chaplaincy Magazine: "Spreading the Word"

Our monthly Magazine is just brilliant, providing interesting articles on various topics, as well as monthly updates and photos from all the different sectors, as well as Chaplaincy-wide events and news.

Contributions are always very welcome and should be received no later than the 20th of the month. Please send to the Editor, Gill Sweetman: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you wish to subscribe to receive "Spreading the Word" by post , please contact Gill for more details. Download the most recent Magazine edition by clicking on the link.Chaplaincy February Magazine

If you would like to receive "Spreading the Word" by email each month please send your name and email address to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..