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Condom

Forthcoming services in Condom

- Thursday 26 July - Condom - Piétat Chapel, 11:00 Morning Worship, David Albrecht

- Sunday 12 August - Flarans Abbey - Parish Picnic following Catholic service: Every year the Friends of Flarans Abbey organise a Mass with Gregorian Chants in the abbey. The service starts at 10:30am and it is in French. If you wish to attend you will need to get there early as the service is always very well attended.

After the service we are planning to meet in the grounds for an informal parish picnic (about 12 noon). Everyone is welcome, all you need to bring is your picnic.

- Thursday 30 August - Condom - Piétat Chapel, 11:00 Harvest Festival and Holy Communion, Rev'd Charlotte Sullivan

- Thursday 27 September - Condom - Piétat Chapel, 11:00 Holy Communion, Rev'd Tony Lomas

 

10th anniversary celebration of Tony's ordination

On 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.

 

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

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.

 

Ascension Day 2018: A coming together

Over several years John and Joy Errey have hosted a celebration of Ascension Day in their Garden. John, who is the lay minister in the Chaplaincy of Pau and his wife Joy once again hosted a wonderful day. Wonderful not only because the views from the marquee reminded us of God’s glory but also wonderful in bringing together Christians from the Chaplaincy of Pau, Midi-Pyrénées, and Aquitaine to celebrate this important day in the Churches calendar. Despite weather forecasts the sun shone not only on the landscape but in our hearts giving us an ‘uplifting’ (pardon the pun) experience.

The Venerable Meurig Williams, Archdeacon of France with Canon Robert Dennis, the Chaplain of Pau assisting, led the Eucharist. Our Chaplain and Area Dean for South West France, Rev’d Tony Lomas was also there. A trinity of clergy! The Archdeacon preached referring to our identity in Christ and our mission as redeemed people. He quoted Fredrich Nietzsche, a fierce, and many say devastating, critique of Christianity, as saying “I might believe in the Redeemer if his followers looked more redeemed.” Well looking around we all looked gratefully redeemed!

Our gratitude continued in the wonderful fellowship and abundance of food. Although it was quite a trek for some to be there it was well worth the effort. A wonderful day, thank you John and Joy and all those who made it happen.

 

Thurs 26th April service: 'The Lord's my Shepherd'

'The Lord's my shepherd' was the theme Rev'd Charlotte used for her homily at the service, which reached many who were listening – He does work in mysterious ways! Rev'd Charlotte drove a long way to be with us in Condom at the last minute as Rev'd Tony Lomas had to go to Brussels for a meeting with the Bishop.

Many thanks Charlotte and many thanks to Anton who played the organ so well, to Anne who read the prayers of Intersession (without too much of a pause for our responses which made it easier to pray for the intention as most people agreed) our congregation of around 30 which included some newcomers, enjoyed a happy, uplifting service.

 

Our Charity for 2018: Indian charity TREAD

At the LAM in February the Condom congregation voted to support Friends of Tread as their ChapAid charity for 2018. The charity was set up over twenty years ago by two members of the Condom congregation, Tricia and David Owen, which operates in southern India, helping children and young adults.

Tread has three programmes: 1) running four day care and child development centres, 2) the Grace Tailoring Centre, 3) the Orphaned Assistance Programme.

For full details please visit Friends of TREAD - Indian Charity - website here.

We began our fundraising for Tread on Maundy Thursday with a lunch after the Tenebrae Service. Our aim was to try and raise enough money to support one girl at the Grace Tailoring Centre for the year long course. We enjoyed a hot lunch of shepherd's pie and plum crumble, as well as a time of fellowship and when we came to count the donations we realised we had raised enough money to support not one but two girls on the tailoring course. So well done Condom and we look forward to our next fundraising event, the St Puy May Day when the Great Gers bake Off returns!

 

news in le petit journal

Article on heating fundraising in local news

 

Christmas Eucharist was a joyous occasion

The church was decorated lavishly with candles, and we had our very own crib (knitted lovingly by some of the ladies,) on display. Our Chaplain Tony gave a short thoughtful sermon on the meaning of Christmas, and of preparing our minds to again welcome Christ afresh into our lives. We sang the old carols which we all love, aided by music from a wonderful 'music machine' which Tony kindly brought with him, as our regular organist could not be with us. It was a warm service, with some new visitors which everyone enjoyed and appreciated.

Afterwards, we had fellowship, accompanied by coffee and mince pies very kindly prepared by Ron and Ann Benner. This has become something of a tradition, which we are delighted to carry on. Ron was a professional baker, and his mince pies are always very good indeed. We are very grateful to Tony, as always, for his visits. We are conscious that he comes a long way, and wish him to know his pastoral care of us is appreciated, especially at this very busy time of year. The service was a quietly fitting preparation for Christmas.

 

Carol Service at Vic Fezensac: looking forward in joy

The Condom community came together with our French brothers and sisters in Christ on the 16th of December in Vic-Fezensac to sing carols and hear again the Christmas story of God’s love for us and the gift of His Son, Jesus. The service of carols, readings and prayers with times of reflection reminded us that the gift of love shown to us by God at Christmas is not a one off gift locked in time, but is a constant gift of renewal which meets the needs of our time as much now as it did of those 2000 years ago.

Candles and incense brought to mind the mystery of the gift. Our Chaplain confirmed to us that yes - Christmas was about family, about food and presents, but most of all it was about hope. As we prayed for war torn lands and those that have been made refugees we were encouraged to share the joy of hope given to us and to reflect it in kindness offered freely to all. We sang again those well known carols – Once in royal David’s city, O come all ye faithful and a challenging carol from the Béarn, with unfamiliar language, Sounats campanétos.

The warm welcome given to us all extended into sharing mince pies, vin chaud and other goodies in the parish hall after the service. It was pleasing to see all sharing conversation and not as so often happens French talking to French and English to English. Wonderful!

 

Harvest joy!!

It is a year since Tony became our chaplain, and what great year it has been for us.

 harvest lunch

We have had much to thank God for – our numbers have grown, our comfort in the chapel improved with cushions and heating (no excuses now for short sermons!) members of our community – Ian and Suzanne got married- a rare but beautiful thing to celebrate, your love shown at Michael’s licensing service and the fellowship of the Harvest lunch was just wonderful.

The Chapel was full on August the 31st with the resounding sounds of traditional harvest hymns being sung. The theme of ‘freely you have been given, freely give’ was expressed in the generous donation to Rest du Coeur and throughout the year in the support of charity’s and donations towards heating that both benefit the school we share the Chapel with and our community.

42 attended the Harvest Lunch - both old friends and new and those special friends who are with us only at holiday times. Our thanks must go to Pat and Sarah King who offered the venue but also those who cooked, foraged to supply equipment, and the Lord for a dry day! The pictures say it all, admiration of the setting, discussion and togetherness all the ingredients of a wonderful day.

 

A wealth of talent: Danae Penn publishes her 1st novel

false rumoursWe are very fortunate in our Condom community to have such a wealth of talent, painters, musicians and writers. Danae Penn, one of our founding parishioners, has just published her first novel False Rumours: A Belina Lansac Murder Mystery. Danae, born in Leicester, appropriately writes about Richard III and the two young princes in the Tower of London. You may remember that Richard’s remains were found in Leicester only five years ago.

The central character of Danae’s novel is Belina Lansac, the young wife of a detective in south-west France. She sells medallions and statues to pilgrims visiting her local cathedral in Condom, unaware that the fate of the two boys is in her hands. Belina's husband William has just been ordered to investigate the death of a poisoned pilgrim but Belina's normal life vanishes as her husband leaves home on a secret mission. Now Belina must be the detective and work all alone without the protection of her husband.

She diligently investigates poisonous plants, food and drink but she is a reluctant and squeamish sleuth. So she welcomes the help and attention of Philippe Barvaux, her new neighbour, unaware that he is an unscrupulous and ambitious lawyer who had been ordered by Henry Tudor’s mother to kill the Princes in the Tower so that she can accuse Richard III of their murder and thereby spread false rumours – 500 years ago.

In his lifetime Richard III was known for his kindness and justice, but most of the archives relating to his reign were destroyed, probably not accidentally. A satire of his life was published 60 years later, and has been widely quoted ever since, including by Shakespeare.

Many features of the traditional accounts of the character and career of Richard III are neither supported by sufficient evidence nor reasonably tenable. Many features of the Leave campaign last year were not supported by sufficient evidence either.

Danae is not the first published novelist in our community but she is the latest and I am sure this novel will not only entertain but inform. False Rumours is already on Kindle and the paperback version will soon be available on Amazon and in bookshops. Our congratulations go to Danae.

 

June 'Open Gardens in St Puy: Who needs the Chelsea Flower Show!

We have gardens to rival any of those in the famous Chelsea Flower Show here in the Gers.

Yesterday the 11 June the garden Jamie and Ann Jowitt was opened to the public to in support of the charity À Chacun son Everest, which helps children recovering from cancer. It was the second garden on show that our parishioners opened in support of this good cause, the first was Alan and Jennifer Story’s garden.

The garden looked idyllic in the sunshine and set in the beautiful rolling landscape of the Gers. Hot beds, cool beds, statuary and arbour’s all made for a wonderful visit all topped off with afternoon tea. Giving a chance to sit in the shade and enjoy a quintessentially English experience much enjoyed by our French friends.

These two open gardens raised around 2500€ which I am sure will be much appreciated by the charity. A brilliant tribute to these gardeners who with great vision have created gardens to rival any that would be seen at Chelsea.

 

 Click here for the "Condom Previous News" page

 

 

 

 

Events

Watch this space for information to come soon!

 

 

 

 

Poems, Prayers, Reflections

Remember...

Click here to read this poem which was shared at the Remembrance Service on November 12th.

 

Listening...

Michael Torne writes: How we listen to others gives us a good indication of how we meet Jesus. He meets us each day wearing faces that are not His own and speaks in voices not His own. But do we see and hear? How often are our conversations with others not conversations at all but like this poem.

Like some Conversations

Blah blah glah-de-blah.

I don’t think so, nah.

Zip zip zippety-do.

That’s an interesting point of view.

Gobbledy bobbley gobbledy crunch.

Don’t you think it’s time for lunch.

Blather blather blather splat.

Yes, I’ve always thought that.

Grumble, rumble, bumble pow.

Well, not just right now.

Clankety clankety clankety ka-bang.

It’s great being part of this gang.

Blimpety blimpety blimpety-poo.

Yes, well nice talking to you.

- Leo P. Rock SJ

 

Reflection on the Harvest and Creation

harvest thanksMichael Torne writes:

Dear Friends, We are coming to the end of the summer period of visitors, holidays, village fêtes and Rentrée is looming up. Harvests are still in progress but it is a good time for us, as Christians, to offer thanks to God for all that we have, our food, our health, our friends and family. So often we take it all for granted and only occasionally reflect on where we are – hugely blessed!

We will celebrate the festival of Harvest in the Chapel on 31st of August and at the end of September we will celebrate Creation. It is a time for thankfulness and delight. Thankfulness that is truly felt leads us to delight- a step we often stop short of. It seems we sell thankfulness short because we prefer to believe our lives lie in our hands. Only when things are hard do we naturally turn to God. Perhaps we can learn from the words of Paschal- ‘instead of complaining that God had hidden himself, give Him thanks for having revealed so much of Himself.’ that is both in the gifts of Harvest and the beauty of Creation.

Click here to read the full reflection.

 

Reflection on the Holy Trinity

holy trinityMichael Torne writes:

Dear Friends, ‘Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you join the dance? sing’s the Mock Turtle in Lewis Carroll’s book ‘Alice in Wonderland’. This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Trinity drawing us into the story we have been following on our journey with Christ. A journey experiencing God for us, God with us, God in us; and now we are invited to join the divine dance.

Click here to read the full reflection.

 

Reflection on Ascension Day

ascension dayMichael Torne writes:

Dear Friends, When I was a chorister one of the highlights of the year was the Top of the Tower service at 7.30am to celebrate the Feast of the Ascension. The final hymn Hail the day that sees him rise sung with much gusto bringing the service to its end with its wonderful words by Charles Wesley. Still today, it is good to know, this traditional service has carried on in many large churches and Cathedral’s.

Sandwiched between the great festivals of Easter and Pentecost the Feast of the Ascension often seems the poor relation. For all its memorable imagery it still strikes many as a rather curious episode. Edmund Banyard’s poem starts with these words ‘Lost to sight.. ..taking off, jet propelled like a human rocket’, a thought that is hardly an aid to Christian devotion.

The Ascension is crucial to the whole of our Christian faith a lynchpin between the events of Easter and Pentecost. The Resurrection is the beginning of Christ’s heavenly journey and Pentecost the echo on earth of heaven’s jubilation at his coronation. Jesus, as Banyard says, takes into the Godhead all that it means to be human, and in the words of Wesley’s hymn ‘still for us he intercedes…near himself prepares our place’ we are reassured. I hope you will worship with us on this important festival.

Enjoy this poem by Edmund Banyard – from The Turn of the Stone

Lost to sight in the clouds!Taking off,

jet propelled like a human rocket

to return to –where?

Is this how it was,the Ascension?

Caught up into all the glory of God

and so here –and everywhere,

no longer imprisoned by physical limitations:

unseen - but not - unexperienced.

One with the Father,

Jesus takesinto the Godhead

all that it meansto be human.

And so I know,that I am known,

by the Almighty;known,andunderstood.

 

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.

Licensed Lay Minister:

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 - 0044 121 323 2376, mobile: 0044 7837 30 44 57 - 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.

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.

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