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Gironde

Condom

Forthcoming Services and Events in Condom

- Thursday 30 March - Condom - Piétat Chapel, 11:00 Morning Worship, Michael Torne

- Sunday 16 April - Condom - Piétat Chapel, 11:00 Easter Sunday service

- Thursday 27 April - Condom - Piétat Chapel, 11:00 Morning Worship

- Thursday 25 May - Condom - Piétat Chapel, 11:00 Ascension Day Holy Communion, Rev'd Liz Morris

- Sunday 04 June - Condom - Piétat Chapel, 11:00 Pentecost Day Holy Communion, Ven. Chris Sims

- Thursday 29 June - Condom - Piétat Chapel, 11:00 Holy Communion, Rev'd Tony Lomas

 

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."


 

How to find us

The chapel is located in the Gers (32): Chapel Notre Dame de Piétat, 54 Av. Aquitaine, Condom (leaving Condom follow signs for Nérac, the Chapel is opposite EDF). For detailed directions from your location, click on the Find a Church page.

 

Service Pattern

Church of England forms of worship are used for all services. Services are held at Condom on the last Thursday of the month (Holy Communion or Morning Worship), generally starting at 11:00am. Additional services may be held at other venues at various times throughout the year. For further details, please see the Contacts tab above.

 

Our Members

Our members are drawn from the northern and central Gers and southern Lot and Garonne.

 

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News

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."

 

March 1st: A Preparation for Easter through the songs of Paul Simon

ash wednesdayA group met at the home of Sue and Michael Torne for an Act of Worship on Ash Wednesday, March 1st. The short act of devotion followed the Iona Community style of worship and used Paul Simon’s songs Homeward Bound, Sound of Silence and Bridge over Troubled Water. All these songs express aspects of our own journey through life, as pilgrims. The group also sang together the hymn ‘He who would valiant be’.

A member of the group read the Bible reading of the temptation of Christ (Matthew 3.13-4.11) and the group read as a round the Michel Quoist poem’ Lord can You Hear Me?’. Continuing the pilgrim theme one member of the group read a poem entitled ‘Set Out’. We don’t who or when this poem was written, it was found as a faded piece of paper pinned to a notice board in an isolated monastery in Majorca, but its message was relevant to all of us today.

The devotion concluded with a short reflection and some prayers specific to Ash Wednesday.

We then enjoyed some time of fellowship with a simple Lent lunch of soup (leek and potato-it was St David’s day!!) and the inevitable plum crumble.

 

Peaceful Reflection for Advent and Tea: Dec 4th

On Sunday the 4th of December, the second Sunday of Advent, a Reflection for Advent was led by Michael Torne. A Reflection expressed in poetry, music and prayer.

Thomas Merton told us that in silence God ceases to be an object and becomes an experience. As we sat in quiet reflection we prepared ourselves for Christmas when once again we celebrate God’s gift to us of Jesus Christ. We mentally prepared ourselves by confronting our ways, preparing for judgement, looking with hope on the promises God has made to us, comforted by His love and faithfulness.

The theme of the Reflection was waiting and watching. Sometimes just waiting for a cup of tea and watching longingly on the great spread of ‘goodies’ to be eaten. After the time of quiet there was much noise of talking and laughter. A happy time together. We thank Lavina Pearce for opening her home to us. Praise be!


Successful November Coffee Morning Fundraiser

On Wednesday November 30th the Condom church held its final fundraising event of the year. It was a Christmas Bring and Buy Coffee Morning at the home of Marrian Lestrange. This was the first time the Condom team had organised such an event and we were anxious that it would be a success but thanks to the support of both parishioners and non church members we raised over 400€ for our charity Educaid.

This was a team effort but I must mention the efforts of Ann Benner and daughter Claire. These two ladies have been working hard for many months, making the cushions for our Adopt a Cushion campaign and in the last few weeks making wonderful Christmas Puddings.

Richard Smith, raffle organiser extraordinare,  must also receive a mention. Richard put together four great raffle prizes and did a great job selling the raffle tickets. The winners were:1st prize-Pam Savage, 2nd prize-Neil Wright, 3rd prize-Ron Benner, 4th prize-Albert Yorke.We hope to do another coffee morning next year.

 

Remembrance Service

Our annual Remembrance Service was taken by our Reader-in-Training,  Michael Torne. This is always a memorable event, but this year was made more impressive by the fact that it was conducted beautifully and sensitively, and several of the congregation took part.

Our hymns were stimulating and patriotic, including 'Jerusalem ' and 'I vow, to Thee, my Country'. The reading of a poem by Owen Griffiths, 'Lest we forget', by Simon Lowman, an ex-army officer, and the final bidding by Richard Smith, our Deputy Warden, also an ex-army officer, of the 'Kohima Declaration' were all moving and really meaningful. All bringing back the enormity of what we all owe.

A wreath was laid at the altar, as we have no memorial in the church. As the daughter of a soldier, and the mother of a Naval officer, the service had a special resonance for me and touched all who attended. We finished with the National Anthem,and these words ringing in our ears:  'When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow, they gave their today'. This was a Remembrance Service which will stay with me for a long time to come.   - Irene Birt

 

harvest donation

Harvest donation to Resto du Coeur

The Harvest service was taken by our Chaplain Tony, assisted by Rev'd David and Rev'd Angel Marshall. Over 30 people attended and everyone was very generous with their harvest gifts. Sue had challenged the parish to fill the boot of her car with food they did this and more, filling the boot and back seat with tins and packets etc. These were later taken to the Resto du Coeur depot in Auch for distributing throughout the Gers. After the service fifteen people enjoyed lunch together in the garden of a local restaurant.

 

Thankful for freshly baked bread at Harvest

harvest loafWe are very fortunate in Condom to have in our community Ron Benner, a master baker, who lovingly made this Harvest loaf for our Harvest Service.

The tradition goes back to when the Harvest season started and was called Lammas, meaning ‘loaf mass’. It was a time when farmers made loaves from the first wheat of the new Harvest and gave them in thanks to their church to be used as the Communion bread in a special Eucharist of thanksgiving.

The custom ended when Henry VIII broke away from the Catholic Church, and nowadays we have harvest festivals at the end of the season. The end of the harvest was celebrated with a big meal called a Harvest Supper, eaten on Michaelmas Day. No Harvest loaf is complete without the harvest mouse and we have three all beautifully fashioned from the dough trimmings.

It is good to see this tradition revived by bakers like Ron. Thank you Ron for this masterpiece of baking!

 

Summer Fund Raising for Educaid: lunch and open house

adopt a cushionDuring the summer there have been two fundraising events for our charity Educaid. The first was a lunch given by parishioner Sylvia Hames and her husband Paul for Sylvia's bookgroup. The book group enjoyed a lovely three course lunch whilst they discussed the book choices for 2016-17 and also received the results of the books read in the 2015-16 session. Many members of the bookgroup have nothing to do with the Condom Church but everyone gave generously and over 250 euros was raised for Educaid.

adopt a cushion

 

 

 

In July the two ladies (Ann Benner and her daughter Claire Owen) behind our Adopt a Cushion Campaign held an open house when a good number of the congregation dropped by to enjoy a drink and some nibbles and at the same time select their cushion design and donate. Over 230 euros was raised and the cushions are now in position in the chapel.

 

Summer Services in Condom

We had two Prayer and Praises services this summer. At the August 14th service we were joined by Hazel and Richard Markham's family. Their son in law Bill played guitar, daughter Vicki sang and grandson William played the drums along with their twin grandaughters Millie and Jamie who provided some mime skills. Their contribution certainly helped to the chapel to rock to an Olympics inspired service.

We also had two Thursday Holy Communion services. On July 28th Barrie Green was our celebrant. This was Barrie's first visit to Condom and we hope to welcome him and his wife back to Condom again in the near future.

Our service on Thursday August 25th was another first, this time it was our new Chaplain who took the service. Over 50 people attended and we were blessed with good weather for our Bring and Share lunch after the service. Over 30 people enjoyed lunch at the home of Mary and Ian Roberts, it gave Tony and Ingrid a chance to meet many of the Condom congregation and also an opportunity for the people of Condom to meet their new Chaplain! It was a good day.

 

Dedication of a new altar cloth for Condom

altar clothOur monthly Thursday service on May 26th included the dedication of a new altar cloth by the Rev'd Liz Morris. This beautiful cloth was made by Mrs Ann Benner in memory of her mother-in-law Olive Benner.

lectern fallThe cloth is decorated with grapes, ears of wheat, flowers and a chalice, these are things which reflect parts of her life; flowers from her garden, bread and wheat for the bakery and the sacrament symbols for her deep faith. The embroidered inscription reads in memory of Grandmother Olive Benner (14-09-1915 to 11-10-2013).

At Condom we have been able to appreciate the bakery skills that Olive passed on to her son Ron with the beautiful wheatsheaf Ron has made for our Harvest Festival and his delicious mince pies at our Christmas services.

We were reminded of how blessed we are at Condom to have so many creative people in our congregation and our attention was drawn to the lovely lecturn fall and credence table cloth made by Mrs. Irene Birt as well as a number of handmade cushions that have started to appear on the chairs in the chapel.

 

Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the 'pouring rain'!

may dayThe St Puy May Day on May 22nd was our first fundraising activity for Educaid, our chosen charity for 2016. I was assured that it had not rained in the last five years at the May Day celebration and not to worry about the weather. So we collected gifts, books, plants and a wonderful selection of homemade cakes for our Jam & Jerusalem stall and looked forward to the day. Unfortunately as we loaded the cakes into our van at 7am it started to rain and never stopped. Not light showers but heavy persistent rain along with strong gusts of wind.

We arrived at our stall and by the time we had erected our umbrella we were both soaking wet but not deterred we started to unload our wares. Unfortunately most of the time these were covered by plastic sheeting to protect them from the driving rain, making it difficult for the few visitors there were to see our great selection of things to buy. However, (there’s always an however) we managed to lay claim to a couple of tables in the Salle de Fetes and so could display our cakes and some of our books in the dry.

may dayIt was then I discovered by husband’s hidden talent, he’s a bit of a salesman. Before you know it he is being interviewed on the radio and for Depeche, no one is allowed to pass the stall without an introduction to the finer points of ‘gateau anglais’ and the importance of afternoon tea. So the cakes begin to sell and although we don’t sell everything we do sell most of them.

Outside the weather has gone from bad to worse, many stall holders give up and start to pack away. It’s very much last man standing but by 2pm we decide to call it a day and reload our van with very soggy boxes and head for home. I cannot remember the last time I have been so wet and cold.

Despite the weather we still managed to raise over 300 euros for Educaid and have enough gifts left over to have another stall later in this year, where hopefully the sun will shine. A big thank you to all those from Condom who helped on the stall and who turned out in appalling weather to support Educaid.  - Sue Torne

 

 

 

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Events

Watch this space for information to be featured soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poem for Lent

To the Pilgrim

 Set out! You were born for the road.

Set out! You have a meeting to keep. Where? With whom?

You don't know. Perhaps with yourself?

Set out! Your steps will be your words, the road will be your song, the weariness your prayer.

And at the end your silence will speak to you.

Set out! Alone, or with others; but get out of yourself.

You have created rivals - you will find companions. You envisaged enemies - you will find brothers and sisters.

 Set out! Your head does not know where your feet are leading your heart.

Set out! You were born for the road, the pilgrims road.

Someone is coming to meet you, is seeking you, so that you can find Him:

In the shrine at the end of the road, in the shrine at the depths of your heart, He is your peace, He is your joy.

Go! God already walks with you.

- Anonymous, apparently written orginally for pilgrims embarking on The St James Way, The Camino. (Sue writes, "We came across it as a very tatty, faded piece of paper on a noticeboard at the Santuari de Santa Honorat, a small hermitage on the Puig de Randa in Majorca. It moved us both as we read it so we photographed it and brought it back to the Gers.")

 

The Chapel

A Brief History of the Chapel of Our Lady of Piétat

painting in chapelIn 1520 a local man, Raymond Berenjon, was caught in a thunder storm. His horse was killed by a lightning strike but Raymond survived and vowed to build a chapel on the spot, a short distance from the town of Condom.

The chapel was built, but suffered serious damage in the French Wars of Religion 1562-98 (nearby Nérac was a protestant stronghold). The chapel was restored after the civil war and gradually during the 17th and 18th centuries additional buildings were added to the chapel and a hospital established. With the Revolution of 1789 the chapel suffered serious looting and damage. In 1820 the government decided to sell the building complex to a Condomoise family who turned the buildings into a school under the authority of the Daughters of Mary and Sisters of St Joseph of Rodez. More buildings were added in the following centuries and in 1977 the sisters left and the school and chapel were entrusted to the laity. The school continues to this day as the Ecole Notre Dame de Piétat and the chapel is used for regular mother and children services.

The Anglican community held their first service in the chapel in 2008 as an outreach project from the Chaplaincy of Pau. On January 1st 2014 the Anglican Church in Condom joined the bigger Chaplaincy of Aquitaine.

 

 

Contacts


Priest with the Responsibility for the Sector of Condom:
Rev'd Tony Lomas - 06 72 31 72 87 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Reader in Training:

Michael Torne - 05.62.08.17.78 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Treasurer:

Carolyn Humpherson - 05.62.08.45.56 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Team members:

Local Warden, Sue Torne - 05.62.08.17.78 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Deputy Local Warden, Richard Smith - 05.62.29.49.21 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Neil Wright - 05 62 29 12 28 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Carolyn Humpherson - 05.62.08.45.56 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sylvia Hames 05 62 29 19 24 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Lavinia Pearce 05 62 29 44 06 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Irene Birt 05 62 28 80 97 - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Please contact any of us with questions or suggestions, we would be happy to hear from you.