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Remembrance Sunday ceremonies throughout the Chaplaincy


September weekend Women's Retreat at the Echourgnac abbey

Last weekend about 15 women met together to listen to God, led by the Rev'd Canon Elaine Labourel, Amanda Allchorn and our own Rev'd Charlotte Sullivan.

The abbey stands on a hill above the village of Echourgnac and is a beautiful very well maintained abbey and the rooms were modern and comfortable so we were able to settle in and relax straightaway.

The leaders had prepared a full programme of studies for us so that there was no time to worry about what we were going to do! We had seven sessions in all and they all had the common theme of how we listen to God.  These included ideas to help us connect with God which is something we all find difficult at some time in our life.  

It was wonderful to take this opportunity to spend time in God’s presence which is so precious in our busy lives. The leaders all showed us different ways to help us focus and allow God’s presence to make itself real to us. One session led by Charlotte was called ‘imaginary prayer’ where we prayerfully placed ourselves in a Gospel scene from the Bible. Charlotte led us through an example and it was amazing to let your imagination take you into an unknown place where Jesus was actually present with you.  

We also learnt how to recognise God’s words to us as he speaks to us through the passages that we read. This was really helpful as so often a Bible passage doesn’t seem relevant to us. Elaine showed us how to use the Lectio Divina which describes a way of reading the scriptures whereby we let go of our own agenda and open ourselves to what God wants to say to us.

The retreat was well received by all the women present and we gave the leaders some small gifts of thanks (bought from the Abbey shop of course!) to show our gratitude for all their hard work. We would like to encourage more women to take up this opportunity of learning about God in a safe place with some wonderful support and teaching. We all came back refreshed and ready to serve!


Uplifting Harvest Celebrations throughout the Chaplaincy


Uplifting and joyful Pet Service at Limeuil

On August 5th, we gathered to give thanks for the gift of creation, and ask for blessings on our pets. The music was very uplifting: 'All creatures of our God and King', 'Who put the colours in the rainbow?', 'All things bright and beautiful', and a very lively 'All God's creatures got a place in the choir'. Many thanks to David Albrecht for leading us in our worship.

And God said, "Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind." (Genesis 1:24)


chap aid for charity

July 29th Harp concert for Charity

Elizabeth and Colin Faulkner organised this Musical Evening at their home near Chalais, Charente, in aid of the Bishop's Lent Appeal (aiding unaccompanied child migrants in the Calais area) and the Catholic Church. The total raised was 350€, a splendid effort.

The event was really lovely. About 30 people attended, majority French, and we all sat in the garden, under the canopy of an enormous walnut tree. We enjoyed beautiful harp music, solo and duet by Sophie Clavel and her talented pupil Lucille Gallet-Delgrange, singing, by well known soprano Wendy Pollock, and some piano pieces by Elizabeth. Refreshment were offered at the end of the concert.


Terrific July 28th Church Fair at Bertric Burée

Our Church Fair this year was a resounding success! The weather was perfect. Not too hot and just a couple of very short, light showers.

Over 2000€ were raised, thanks to so many clever and inventive people. We are so blessed with a membership who have and use their many and varied talents to such good effect for God’s work. This reminds us of the parable of the Talents! They are a wonderful example to the rest of us.

To name some of the main players… Marie for her advertising posters and leaflets, Kathy and Mark for the organising and especially the imaginative children's/adult’s games, Dave and Ann for the wonderful Hog Roast, so mouthwateringly cooked in Mark’s converted oil-drum barbecue! Thank you to all the volunteers who put up the rescued marquees( that’s a separate story!), and those manned the stalls and games. Finally thanks to all of those who came, enjoyed the fun and food, and spent their money! If I have missed out anyone, forgive me, others know who you are, and thank you.


Wonderful July Flower Festival in Monteton!

What a lovely service held at Monteton church on Sunday 8th July, shared with the Roman Catholic community, celebrating the Flower Festival weekend at Monteton. We give thanks for these artistic creations which made the church so welcoming and colourful. Many thanks to all who contributed to making this such a special occasion.


10th anniversary celebration of Tony's ordination

tony's giftOn Thursday 28th June, we were privileged at Condom to celebrate the 10th annivesrary of our Chaplain Tony’s ordination, together with his wife, Ingrid. At the beginning of our Eucharist Service, Tony was presented with a green liturgical stole as a gift by our lay reader, Mike Torne. The ‘before’ and “after” photos show Tony undressed and dressed!

Tony then led us in our service which was appreciated by the whole congregation. No celebration would be complete without a cake, superbly made by Sue Torne, and a cup of coffee which we all enjoyed after the service. The candles on the cake should have been ”10”  but there weren’t enough! Tony did manage to blow out all the candles and made a wish! Many thanks to Tony and Ingrid for sharing with us their important day.


Blessed June baptism service in Doudrac with choir

baptismThe church at Doudrac was packed for the service on June 3rd. We were blessed to have the choir from The University of Central Lancashire at the Service of Holy Communion which included the baptism of baby Spencer Jones.







The choir sang before and during the service and the Rev’d Bramwell Bearcroft baptized baby Spencer using a bilingual French and English liturgy.


EU Data Protection

Please click here to read our Information (Privacy) notice.

The Chaplain writes: "I would guess that everyone, by now, is aware that there are people out there trying to get as much information about us as possible. In most cases, this is for entirely legal and perhaps even desirable reasons, but our personal data also has value to those with less acceptable intentions. Some very high profile cases recently – for example at Facebook – have highlighted that ‘data mining’ is becoming big business. Read more here.


Reflection and Decision at the April 14th AGM in Doudrac

agmMembers from throughout the Chaplaincy arrived in time for tea and coffee at the “Salle de Fêtes” of Doudrac, in the heart of the lush countryside of the Lot et Garonne, for the Annual General Meeting of the Chaplaincy of Aquitaine. The meeting began with prayer led by our Chaplain, Rev’d. Tony Lomas, and participation was good and progress was easily made. Stephen Tipton, our Treasurer, gave a very clear and precise account of the finance of the Chaplaincy and what will be expected from all of us in the coming year.

All received an agenda and copies of the various reports from the different centres looking back on 2017, which was a lively year for all of us! After a break for refreshment, the meeting pressed on. Elections took place and reports were approved.

The ChapAid General Assembly required a shuffling of seats and our Chaplain, as Chairman, and John Ralph, as Treasurer, presented the various reports and explained the financial situation. Existing charities were confirmed, new ones where discussed and, after due diligence by John Ralph, were presented for approval.

meetingThe meeting retired to a wonderful spread and a convivial, hearty meal was shared by one and all. Everybody helped the excellent local team to clear up in readiness for the Holy Communion celebrated in the nearby church, at which David Albrecht and Janis Adams were sworn in for another year of service as Chaplaincy Wardens.

A warm word of thanks to Rev’d. Liz Morris and her entire team, who worked so hard to make us so welcome and make this day possible. The meeting provided reflection and discussion, and such a wonderful opportunity for fellowship! We are thankful for all who have come forth to serve; we congratulate them and know that they will both fulfil the duties and responsibilities of their roles in humbleness, dedication, energy and vision.


Confirmation at Bertric Burée - Sun 18th March

Bishop Robert had a busy weekend: having ordained Charlotte so joyously on Saturday 17th in Bordeaux we were pleased to welcome at Bertric Burée to confirm nine candidates on Sunday 18th where the church had been beautifully decorated.

Our Chaplain, Rev'd Tony Lomas and Ingrid, had hosted Bishop Robert and his wife Helen, as well as masterminding the two celebrations. The candidates’ ages ranged from 13 to 80, eight from Bertric Burée and one, the youngest, from the Vendée was prepared and presented by Rev'd Hazel Door. The local candidates were prepared and presented by the Rev'd Brian Davies.

At the main door of the church Bishop Robert prayed with them over water to remind us all of our baptism and entry into the church then sprinkled the candidates with water from the font. The group returned to the front for the confirmation and anointing with holy oil. The candidates were then presented to the 98 members of the congregation who welcomed them with a long and loud round of applause before we all shared in communion.

There was a photo call after with the new communicants, Bishop Robert, the clergy and Licensed Lay Ministers/Readers enjoying the sunshine on a rather chilly day before the majority retired to the Foyer where we enjoyed a sumptuous ‘Bring and Share’ lunch.


Full House at Charlotte's Ordination in Bordeaux - Sat 17th March


Bishop Robert Innes, Archdeacon Meurig Williams, Chaplaincy Priests and Licensed Lay Ministers, and ecumenical partners had assembled for the ordination of Rev'd Charlotte Sullivan and for the appointment of Chaplain Rev'd Tony Lomas as Area Dean of South-West France and the Vendée.

The moving and joyful occasion was celebrated with the participation of the Bordeaux choir, augmented by participants from other parts of the Chaplaincy, and who ended the ceremony with a rousing Hallelujah Chorus, before the assembly repaired to the junior school for a welcome reception, organised by Pamela Prior with the help of many willing hands.

Such a memorable occasion; the most memorable moment being perhaps Charlotte's happy expression when she turned to face the congregation after her ordination – unforgettable !

Our thanks are due to the many helpers whose commitment and efforts contributed to the success of this important occasion.

Click here to see photos.


Informative and interesting Safeguarding Training Day

safeguarding training35 people from throughout Aquitaine and neighbouring Chaplaincies attended the Safeguarding Day recently given by Janis Adams and Malcolm Rigley. Many thanks to Rev'd Liz and Richard Morris and the Team in Doudrac for hosting the event and providing a delicious lunch of soup, bread, cheese, and fruit.

Dave Wybrow from Lot et Garonne writes:

"I seriously encourage everyone that is offered the chance to go to this training day or to take the Safeguading on-line courses to take up the offer - it is time that all of us faced up to the worries and responsibilities that surround us and that includes the sad awareness of the abuse that is reported too often and too widely. We may all like to think 'it will never be something that I encounrter in MY Church' but who knows where and when and sadly who? Take the time to become acquainted with what is available to increase YOUR awareness of the signs of such activities that we may spot while just welcoming someone into OUR Church.

I have to say a big thank you to all those invovled and encourage everyone else to find out how YOU can get invoilved - it is part of our pathway in Christ to support others and to help them as they make their journey towards Christ - this may just be a small step that YOU can take to help someone else take the next steps forward.

Please do NOT Just think "It's not for me!" - you never know when you might be able to help someone. I did and I recommend you to do the same if you get the chance - every part of the Diocese needs to develop this awareness from the simplest meet and greet person through every level of the Church. We are all in this together so let us work together."


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.




Chaplaincy Council

Action Points from the last Council meeting

chaplaincy councilThe last meeting of the Chaplaincy Council was held on 25th September 2018. Key information and action points from this meeting are available for you as a pdf document here:

Chaplaincy Council September 2018 Action Points



The next meeting of the Chaplaincy Council will be held in Bergerac on Tuesday 27th November, 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 December 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..