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 are 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.
Inspiring Christmas Carol services
It's been another wonderful season of Christmas Carol services, with 15 services of Lessons and Carols held throughout Aquitaine from December 8th - 20th. With so many different services taking place throughout the Chaplaincy, we are reminded of how blessed we are with the gifts of such talented musicians and singers in our communities. These candlelit services are a much appreciated time of reflection and celebration, and an invitation to welcome the Christ child into our hearts and lives.
4th Annual Carol singing outreach in retirement homes
Such a pleasure to report that once again, our carol singing choir has been well received (6 events!) this year at local retirement homes and Le Bercail, a centre for developmentally disabled adults. Accompanied by piano, flute, guitar, and tambourine, the repertoire includes traditional English, French, and bilingual carols (alternating verses in English and French) such as “Joy to the World” and “O Come all Ye Faithful”, the French favourite, “Il est né le divin enfant”, and a new bilingual carol this year, "Once in Royal David City".
Residents and staff receive booklets with the words to sing along, which makes for a shared musical experience. It has been wonderful to Reach out Together to bring the Christmas message to the residents and staff, sharing Christ’s love with others outside of our church.
This project has really been a team effort, and huge thanks go to all the musicians and carollers who have been involved, whose enthusiasm and suggestions are always so welcome!
Remembrance Services throughout Aquitaine
Chaplaincy Facebook page!
Chaplaincy Facebook page!
Our new Chaplaincy Facebook Page is entitled English Anglican Church Chaplaincy of Aquitaine and is up and running! We invite all of you to look for, like, and share this page with your own friends and family on Facebook. We hope to feature articles which are interesting and relevant to our Chaplaincy on the FB page, so come take a look!
Welcome Rev'd David and Margaret Kirby
Welcome Rev'd David and Margaret Kirby
Rev'd Dr. David Kirby and his wife, Margaret (+ Damson their labrador!) arrived safely at the Presbytery in Floirac, and will be ministering to the Bordeaux congregation until February - and what a busy time it will be!
David was born and brought up in Yorkshire and went up to Durham University to study Geography. It was while he was at Durham that he and Margaret met – in an ambulance, and they were married four years later in 1966.
David was ordained in 1987 and served for thirteen years as non-stipendiary priest at St Barnabas church, at the other side of Huddersfield in Crosland Moor. On retirement from the University Margaret and David moved to Praia da Luz in the Algarve, where David was Assistant Chaplain for almost five years. On leaving the Algarve they returned to Yorkshire, living in Bramhope, on the edge of Wharfedale – which is nice for Damson the Dog - and where David is Honorary Assistant at the local parish church of St. Giles.David and Margaret have one son, Hugh, born in 1969 and two grandsons. Margaret and David love music of many genres and love travelling, and in their Golden Wedding year had a memorable holiday in Ethiopia. Romania and Armenia are on the agenda for 2017. Welcome to Aquitaine!
Harvest and Thanksgiving celebrations
Joining with people around the world, Harvest Festivals were celebrated again this year in many churches throughout the Chaplaincy in September and October. Many churches collected (and will continue to collect) non perishable food and goods to donate to various foodbanks, including Resto du Coeur.
Services this year were full of music, praise, prayers, hymns, anthems sung by choirs, and churches decorated with Harvest arrangements featuring baskets of fruit, vegetables, flowers, and food offerings, to give thanks to God for his faithfulness and abundance.
5th Annual WorshipFest: Saturday Sept 24th, Bergerac
"'It was good to worship with like-minded brothers and sisters. It was a great encouragement.' 'Thank you for a great day. We were very encouraged by all the talks and a wonderful sense of coming together.' 'Lovely to be a part of such a great day of worship and fellowship.' 'A great day, thank you to everyone. If you couldn't make it, you missed a blessed day.'"
This year, 55 worshippers gathered from around the Chaplaincy at the Eglise Evangelique Libre in Bergerac. The day was well planned and featured worship songs, interspersed with open prayer. 3 sessions on the theme of "Intimacy" were given by Angela Marshall, David Marshall, and Charlotte Sullivan. Yes, there was an abundance of food as we have come to expect in the Chaplaincy! Prayer ministry was available for those who wanted prayer over their situations.
We were ably led though 24 worship songs by the musicians, Dave and Jan Wilton, Rebecca Easdale, Henri Peyrusse, David Marshall. Thank you for all your hard work and time commitment for several rehearsals over long distances, we applaud your commitment to making the day a resounding success. It was great example of what can be delivered with a heart for God, a willingness to serve and exalt our Father, Saviour and Councillor. To read more and view photos, click here.
Blessed Licensing service and joyful fellowship
What a lovely day we all had at Bordeaux for the Licensing of our New Chaplain Rev'd Tony Lomas and his wife Ingrid on Saturday 10th September 2016. The interior of the Bordeaux Chapel was simply magnificent, with the sun streaming in behind the beautiful stained glassed windows overlooking the ministers, congregation and the choir.
The procession during the opening hymn saw Bishop Robert Innes and other ministers enter the church to take their places around the altar. It was lovely to see our own Rev'd Charlotte Sullivan deaconing for Bishop Innes and it was sheer joy to hear the Bordeaux Choir singing a setting of Psalm 150.
The Licensing of Rev'd Tony Lomas also included the presentation of symbols related to Tony's ministry in Aquitaine, presented by new friends around the Chaplaincy. Many thanks to the Bordeaux church for hosting this splendid occasion.
Delighted to welcome Rev'd Tony and Ingrid to Aquitaine!
Abundant Harvest blessings, indeed! Welcoming Rev'd Tony and Ingrid to Aquitaine has been a real pleasure, worshipping together for the first time as Tony begins to lead services at different churches around the Chaplaincy.
Many of the services have been followed by a bring and share lunch, which has given us a chance to get to know Tony and Ingrid better and enjoy a time of fellowship.
We give thanks for Tony's ministry here, and give thanks for a blessed time of worship and joyful fellowship at his recent Licensing service.
Youth Ministry with Pokemon Go Gamers!
Mid-July saw the launch of Pokemon Go in France. Its easy to spot those who are playing - they walk along glued to the screen of their phones and then suddenly stop as a virtual Pokemon appears and then they try to catch it inside a small ball. Many local landmarks are designated "Pokestops" or "Pokegyms" where players can pick up essential items to help them play the game or battle their favourite Pokemon against others.
We were made aware that Ste Catherine's church in Upper Limeuil was both a "Pokestops" and a "Pokegyms" when Deacon Charlotte Sullivan came across 5 young people on the steps of the church playing the game. We thought it would be wonderful to enter into the spirit of Pokemon fever. From 15th -18th August we were at the church all afternoon offering hospitality to all youngsters playing the game, as well as refreshments and competitions to win Pokemon goodies.
We welcomed nearly 50 young people, many of them with their parents who came along to visit the beautiful village and church. Our new Chaplain Tony Lomas entered into the spirit of occasion and managed to catch a good number of Pokemon's throughout the afternoon.
Two baptisms in Eymet
We are delighted to share the news of 2 baptisms in Eymet on Sunday, 7th August, in the Eymet Temple. The congregation at Eymet welcomed Leyla and Serena Orme into the Christian family; both girls received the gift of an ERV Authentic Youth Bible.
The service was followed by a celebratory picnic. We give thanks for Charlotte's ministry, as this was her first baptism service as an ordinated deacon.
Holy Spirit Day held at the Echourgnac Abbey - Alpha Course
We received a very warm welcome from the nuns at 9:30, who provided us with excellent meals and on-going refreshments throughout the day.After attending Vespers, the day finished with supper at 18:30. A long, sunny and spiritually refreshing day!
We at Bertric Burée are blessed with people who think of, and help organise, such events. We owe a special thanks to our own Suzanne Reason and Steve Long, who organised our ALPHA course, and a big thank you to Rev'd Deacon Charlotte Sullivan for giving us such a wonderful insight into the meaning of The Holy Spirit. She is such a wonderful communicator.
Wonderful welcome in Bordeaux
Rev'd Peter and Barbara Jordan are currently serving in Bordeaux for two months, until early August. They write:
"Being British, we should begin with a weather report – but we won't! Rather we'll emphasize the wonderful welcome, worship that threatens to raise the roof, wonder at the diversity of nationalities and ages in the congregation and thanksgiving for the many volunteer 'helpers' each Sunday, all ensuring that worship at Bordeaux runs smoothly. Well done!
Peter has enjoyed singing in the choir under maestro Richard, especially at the Chaplaincy Day at St Avit Sénieur and in the Cathédrale St André. We have both enjoyed the Bible study evenings, with the dining beforehand, just as sumptuous as the study, and we've enjoyed Bordeaux, even including a football game in the 'fan zone' – England 2 – Wales 1! Thank you!!"
Chaplaincy Day at St Avit Sénieur - Oh, what a glorious day!!
150 people gathered on May 29th from all across the Chaplaincy for a worship service, picnic, and Festival of Praise at the St Avit Sénieur abbey in central Dordogne. Huge thanks to Rev'd Bramwell and Jennifer for putting forth this initiative, and to all who were involved.
The University of Lancashire choir gave a moving performance at the Festival. They opened at the back of the abbey with 'Come Holy Ghost', then continued with a repertoire of a cappella songs chosen specifically for the acoustics of the abbey, such as 'Lux Aurumque' by composer Eric Whitacre.
The United Chaplaincy Choir was a brilliant success, their performance of Rutter's 'Gaelic Blessing' and Bach's 'Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring' was very moving. It was inspiring to see people from all over the Chaplaincy singing together in a spirit of unity. Many thanks to Richard Hunt for directing the choir, and to all who participated. Also, the Bordeaux Children's Choir sang a heart-warming rendition of 'Glorify Your Name', and received huge applause for their delightful singing.
Licensing of Patrick Sturges as Reader
We have just returned from a wonderful 3 days at the Archdeaconry of France Synod held in the beautiful Abbaye in St. Jacut de la Mer in Northern France.
Apart from the wonderful lectures on Migration, Safeguarding and Bible Studies that explored the Books of Daniel and Jonah, it was an experience to witness the Licensing as Reader of Patrick Sturges from the Chancelade/Négrondes sector.
The Service on May 20th was led by Bishop David, who gave the most wonderful sermon, and was attended by the Synod Congregation and Patrick’s wife Penny. We give thanks for such a joyous occasion. Click here to read Bishop David's sermon.
Pentecost retreat at Belloc - sacred, silence, fellowship, worship
This year, our annual Chaplaincy retreat at Belloc took place during the weekend of Pentecost. This year, there were several participants attending the retreat for the first time, and they were delighted to discover the beauty of this special place.
The format this year was simple, with plenty of time for individual prayer. Marian Evans led a creative workshop involving centering prayer and collage-making. Participants attended most of the daily offices with the monks, or spent time enjoying the silence of the abbey. Many thanks to the brothers for such a warm welcome, and for joyful fellowship in Christ.
Reaching out to Refugee families: many thanks for donations
Over the past few months, people from all over the Chaplaincy have donated groceries, toiletries, good quality clothing, shoes, children's books, lovely cuddly toys, and games, for Refugee families in the Bordeaux area. We were told by some mothers that the children themselves lovingly donated the toys personally. We would like to confirm that these items have been given to the 'Foyer Fraternel' organisation in Bordeaux, which will now distribute these items to Refugee families already in France and channel help to those still far away and struggling so desperately.
Chaplaincy Council News
The next meeting of the Chaplaincy Council will be held in Bergerac on Tuesday February 21st, 2017 at 10:30am. Further dates for meetings in 2017 will be announced next spring.
The previous meeting was held on Tuesday November 29th, 2016. 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 December - January Magazine