24 ladies from across the Chaplaincy, the UK and other parts of France met together for the Women’s Retreat, at the Notre Dame de l'Espérance abbey in Echourgnac.
We were showered with many blessings whilst we were there, including amazing hospitality from the Sisters, challenging and thought provoking teaching on the theme “Made to Measure - Made in His Image” and the incredible fellowship which comes from living in community together for a weekend. The Abbaye is a welcoming venue with modern en-suite bedrooms, large meeting rooms and dining areas. It also has extensive grounds in which to sit or to walk.
The retreat was led by Rev’d Elaine Labourel, Amanda Allchorn, Madeleine Holmes and Rev’d Deacon Charlotte Sullivan. The sessions were varied and included different forms of teaching, in which each leader gave a unique and personal insight into the theme; a reflective creative time was also thoroughly enjoyed by everyone. We shared worship together throughout the day and ended the retreat with a “gathering in of all the different threads” of our weekend by celebrating Holy Communion together before departing fully refreshed and fully blessed!
Glorious Easter celebrations!!
He is Risen indeed, Allelulia! We were blessed with many Easter celebrations around the Chaplaincy: several sunrise celebrations, ecumenical gatherings, worship services, cooked breakfasts served, lunches enjoyed... May God's glory continue to shine and bear fruit here in Aquitaine!!
Music, meditations, and prayers during Holy Week
A meditative and reflective Holy Week began with joyful Palm Sunday processions, leading into daily Compline prayers, Maundy Thursday Tenebrae and Holy Communion services, Good Friday prayers, ecumenical services, and the moving concert 'O Sacred Head' at Limeuil.
A Warm Welcome in Monteton for Annual General Meeting
51 of us made our way to Monteton for the Chaplaincy AGM on Saturday 8th April where we appreciated a warm welcome with a cup of coffee and biscuits. The first meeting our Chaplain Tony chaired as we all considered the life of our Chaplaincy over the last year.
The Chaplain commented on the reports, which reflected both the challenges faced during the past year as well as the highlights. The need for more people to actively support their churches was highlighted. It was great to see a slideshow of services and events from around the Chaplaincy which Amy and Charlotte had compiled.
Looking forward, the Chaplain stated that it is his ambition to grow the Chaplaincy in depth rather than breadth – we are quite big enough already. There is a lot of work that we can, should and will do to grow together as Christ’s body in this area. The financial situation is being well monitored by Stephen Tipton, our Treasurer, but there are concerns for this year as we could easily be in a deficit situation.
After the ChapAid EGM and AGM we enjoyed a wonderful lunch before the service in Monteton church where David and Janis were sworn in. It’s always a great opportunity to meet friends and make friends from around the Chaplaincy. Many thanks to Monteton for organising an excellent day.
Joyous occasion as Michael is licensed as Licensed Lay Minister: March 11th
The sun shone brightly on Saturday 11th March, when many from throughout the Chaplaincy came together in Condom to witness the licensing of Michael Torne as a Licensed Lay Minister. This was an extra special day, joyful in so many ways, as so many friends, colleagues, clergy came together to uphold and support Michael.
The service was led by The Venerable Meurig Williams, the newly appointed Archdeacon of France, with hymns chosen to match the tone of the day, and Michael admits to having been particularly moved by the chorus of ‘I, the Lord of sea and sky’ – “Here I am Lord.” During his sermon the Archdeacon reminded not only Michael and all the other many clergy present, but the congregation as a whole that we are not alone having the support of one another. The service ended with "Guide me, O though Great Redeemer" and we pray that Michael will be guided through his spiritual journey.
After the service Michael offered his thanks to everyone as they left the chapel. From those unable to be in Condom on the day there had been many messages of support and goodwill. Sue and Michael’s children particularly had commitments elsewhere which could not be changed but they were able to speak to Michael before the service. The pleasures of the day were completed by a delicious buffet lunch which gave everyone a chance to meet, chat and mingle with friends before heading back home. Many thanks to all those who were involved in the organisational details (that often go unnoticed) to make this such a special day.
Many thanks to Hazel Markham, Paul Mazzotti, Pauline Prosser, and Richard Horsman for their contributions to this news article.
Michael writes, "The words of Dan Schutte’s hymn ‘I the Lord of sea and sky. ‘ sung by a full chapel at my Licensing as Reader or Licensed Lay Minister filled my emotions on Saturday 11th of March, the chorus ‘here I am Lord’ fuelling those emotions. The knowing that it was not just the offering of myself into lay ministry but that all those singing were also offering themselves to the service of God in the many ways that enliven our Church as the body of Christ. I offer my heartfelt thanks to all that came and to all the messages of support from those unable to be there. It was both a surprise and a pleasure to see so many from the Chaplaincy that had travelled so far to be with Sue and I and our community in Condom.
The Archdeacon talked of not being on our own but that we share the task of ministry, supporting each other. Yesterday was one of those occasions when we saw that in practice. I am sure our community will build and grow on this day."
A warm welcome back to Rev'd Peter and Barbara Jordan
Rev'd Peter and Barbara Jordan have returned for a second time to lead our ministry in Bordeaux and their first Service with us was on Sunday 26th February.
They write, "To re- introduce ourselves it’s best to say that we are both Merseysiders – Peter being born on the right side of the river which he claims to be the correct side i.e. Liverpool and Barbara on the left side, on the Wirral. Since beginning our ‘pensionable work for the Lord’ we have come together to Wallasey, on the Wirral where we are now very pleased to have our own little home after many years of living in various vicarages.
Our married life, which began in 1965, when we were very young, has taken us to homes in Jamaica, Ollerton (Notts), Durham, Nottingham, London, Liverpool and Barcelona. During this time we have become Christians (in Ollerton), been called to train for full-time ministry (Durham) and served the Lord in churches in the others. We have also become parents of five children, two of them by adoption, (all five are married), and now also have seven (almost eight!) grandchildren. Last summer we enjoyed a great celebration with all our family of 50 years of marriage. We also rejoiced in the publication of our life story – 'Someday I'm gonna write' – and will bring some copies with us!
To go to Barcelona in 2002 for Peter to be the Chaplain of the English-speaking Anglican church there was a great privilege and joy and we are very happy for our association with ICS and the Diocese in Europe to continue in our 'retirement' and look forward to coming to Bordeaux."
Generous Charitable Giving in 2016
In an end of the year report to the Chaplaincy Council, the President of ChapAid said that in 2016 this charity association, which is twinned with the Chaplaincy, distributed 13 539 € to 17 charities. In addition, outside the scope of ChapAid, many Chaplaincy members made private individual donations both in money and in kind, particularly to Iraqi and Syrian refugees in desperate need.
Donations were made to charities around the world, including Nepal, Uganda, Sierra Leone and Goa. ChapAid prefers to donate to smaller charities, to which our giving makes a very real difference, but a major part of our donations went to Shelter Box and Médecins Sans Frontières in response to urgent appeals for a quick response to aid relief following environmental disasters; this we are able to do through our emergency fund. Donations have also been made to Restos du Coeur, Secours Catholique and Emmaus to help those of our neighbours in France who are in need.
Fruitful Chaplaincy Council meeting
Fruitful Chaplaincy Council meeting
The Chaplaincy Council met for the first time in 2017 last Tuesday February 21st. We are truly blessed with such dedicated members of Chaplaincy Council, and give thanks for their service and the Lord's work here in South West France.
The meeting was chaired by the Chaplain, Rev'd Tony Lomas, with Minutes recorded by Maggie Lee, Council Secretary.
Local Annual Meetings have already been held, or are scheduled to take place in different churches over the next few weeks. We are also now preparing our Annual General Meeting in Monteton on Saturday April 8th, and hope to see many of you there! It's a wonderful opportunity to meet folks from around the Chaplaincy, give thanks for the year which has passed, and look to the Lord for guidance on the year ahead.
Au Revoir and Merci to Rev'd Dr. David and Margaret Kirby
Au Revoir and Merci to Rev'd Dr. David and Margaret Kirby
As the song goes, "We've got that joy, joy, joy, joy, down in our heart"!
We are delighted to share photos of the Family Communion Service in Bordeaux on Feb 12th, which was Rev'd David Kirby's last service in Bordeaux. With thanks to the Kirbys for all they've done, praying for many blessings on the road ahead.
3 Baptisms in Bordeaux!
3 Baptisms in Bordeaux!
It is with great joy that we share the good news of 3 baptisms held in Bordeaux on Sunday January 29th, officiated by Rev'd Dr. David Kirby. We pray, "Heavenly Father, by the power of your Holy Spirit you give to your faithful people new life in the water of baptism. Guide and strengthen us by the same Spirit, that we who are born again may serve you in faith and love, and grow into the full stature of your Son, Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit now and for ever. Amen."
Reconciliation: Prayer for Christian Unity
A fragment of the Berlin wall, in the shape of a cross is used as a symbol of the need for reconciliation during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity underway.
Joining with Christians around the world, members of the Chaplaincy have been moved to participate in the many services taking place throughout south west France, underlining the warmth of friendship and fellowship with our brothers and sisters from the Roman Catholic, United Protestant, Eglise Evangélique, and Orthodox congregations.
This year’s theme ‘Reconciliation – the Love of Christ Compels us’ (2 Cor. 5.14) focused upon the main concerns of the churches marked by Martin Luther’s Reformation and a recognition of the pain of the subsequent deep divisions that afflicted the unity of the Church. As well as looking back 500 years, a more recent symbol of division was used - the Berlin Wall - to reflect on the meaning of reconciliation.
During the services a symbolic wall was constructed, and as each sin was named ‘lack of love’, ‘hate and contempt’, ‘false accusation’, ‘discrimination’, ‘persecution’, ‘broken communion’, ‘intolerance’, ‘religious wars and conflicts’, ‘division’, ‘abuse of power’, ‘isolation’, ‘pride’, a ‘stone’ was brought forward. Following a prayer for reconciliation the wall was dismantled, and the ‘stones’ were laid in the shape of a cross. The Berlin Wall was brought down by ordinary people lighting a candle and saying a prayer. May we be compelled by the love of Christ to live reconciled lives and to break down the walls that divide.
Chaplaincy Council News
The next meeting of the Chaplaincy Council will be held in Bergerac on Tuesday June 6th, at 10:30am.
The last meeting was held on Tuesday February 21st, 2017. Key information and action points from the meeting are available for you as a pdf document here:
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.
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 March - April Magazine