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10 Summer baptisms in Aquitaine!

10 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.

More baptisms to follow soon: Rev'd Deacon Charlotte Sullivan will baptise a baby at the service in Limeuil on 27th August, 2 children will be baptised at a meeting of 'The Gathering' in Condom on 3rd September, and 3 children will be baptised at a wedding service in Envals on 9th September. Watch this space for more photos as they come in...


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!


Rev'd Liz Morris walks for charity and raises 800 €

charity walkRev'd Liz Morris writes:

Doing a 26 mile walk began as a personal challenge, and my sister Sarah also signed up to do the walk and as we had done a 20 mile walk together in 2010, I knew that her company would help keep me going! Then it made sense to raise funds for charity to make it even more worthwhile!

The morning was with perfect conditions as far as we were concerned. We set off just before 8am, walking up the beautiful Suffolk coast from Thorpeness to Walberswick and then headed inland across heathland with gorse in full flower and trees with their new bright green leaves. By 1pm we were entering the village of Westleton where Richard and I used to own and run a restaurant when the children were younger. There, by the duck pond, were Richard, his mother, sister, brother-in-law, niece and her fiancé encouraging us on our way and handing out Minstrels and apples! When we returned to our starting point at 3.40pm, mum and dad were there to greet us and in honour of the fact that our father used to run marathons we decided to jog across the finishing line!

Read more here.


Les Voix de la Bible: inspiring ecumenical event

voix de la bibleSeveral members of the Chaplaincy signed up to read at the annual ecumenical Bible reading event, "Les Voix de la Bible". Many also simply passed by the cathedral to listen to the readings and soak up the atmosphere. Bringing together folks from many Christian churches in the Périgueux area, this annual event was an opportunity to proclaim the Word of the Lord at the cathedral, night and day, from May 9th-12th. This year, a reading station was featured outside of the cathedral twice per day, to bring the event outside the church walls, into the greater public. The event also featured an exhibition entitled "Fraternity in the Bible", as well as a cinema showing of "The Ressurection of Christ", followed by a group discussion.

The closing ceremony concluded the event on a happy note, with prayer and song, during which the Anglican community was thanked specifically for our contribution. Our Chaplain Tony was there, and seemed gratified by the warmth of our reception by the good and great of the ecumenical world.


Women's Retreat: encouraging Christian sisterhood

women's retreat24 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

annual meeting51 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.

Click here to view the gallery of photos.


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.



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

Action Points from the last Council meeting

june council meeting

The last meeting of the Chaplaincy Council was held on Tuesday 6th June, 2017. Key information and action points from the meeting are available for you as a pdf document here:

Chaplaincy Council June 2017 Action Points



The next meeting of the Chaplaincy Council will be held in Bergerac on Thursday 5th October, 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 August/September 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..