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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

peter and barbaraRev'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

chap aid

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

councilThe 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

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.

 

baptism

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.

 

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.

Click here to listen to an audio recording of the service at Ste Catherine's church in Limeuil.


 

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!

We continue to hope that this project will lead to more long term volunteer projects at the retirement homes. There are English-speaking residents who would benefit from pastoral care visits from time to time. This could include game playing, a monthly chat over a cup of tea, singing together informally... If you would be interested in helping with the evolution of this project, or have any suggestions to share, please do let us know (Amy Owensmith, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

 

Remembrance Services throughout Aquitaine

 

Chaplaincy Facebook page!

facebookOur 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

rev'd david kirbyRev'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

harvest altarJoining 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

worshipfest"'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.

 

diocese in europe

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.

To read more and view photos, click here.

 

Delighted to welcome Rev'd Tony and Ingrid to Aquitaine!

welcome tony!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.

Click here to read the recent article on Tony's arrival, published in the September edition of the Connexion France newspaper.


 

 

 

Chaplaincy Council

Chaplaincy Council News

council

Action Points

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 Council Feb 2017 Action Points

 

 

 

 

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 March - April 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..