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Forthcoming services in Condom

- Thursday 29 March - Condom - Piétat Chapel, 11:00 Morning Worship - A service of shadows, Michael Torne

- Sunday 01 April - Condom - Piétat Chapel, 11:00 Easter Day Holy Communion, Rev'd Bramwell Bearcroft

- Thursday 26 April - Condom - Piétat Chapel, 11:00 Holy Communion, Rev'd Tony Lomas

- Sunday 20 May - Condom - Piétat Chapel, 11:00 Pentecost Day Holy Communion, Rev'd Barrie Green

- Thursday 31st May - Condom - Piétat Chapel, 11:00 Morning Worship, Michael Torne

- Thursday 28 June - Condom - Piétat Chapel, 11:00 Holy Communion, Rev'd Tony Lomas


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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The Anglican Church in Condom

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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.


Pentecost at Condom - a celebration in Spirit and cake

Pentecost is considered to be ‘The Birthday of the Church’ that day when Jesus’ promise to the disciples was fulfilled and the Holy Spirit descended like flames of fire. So it was highly appropriate for us to mark the day with a celebratory cake, again made by baker Ron ( he is pictured cutting the cake).

The Eucharist was presided over by the Venerable Chris Sims. To whom we are grateful for travelling so far to be with us. Our prayer Veni, Sancte Spiritus — Come, Holy Spirit! is I believe renewing and strengthening us to take on the challenges of discipleship and witnessing to our faith in the way we live our lives.

In the coming days we will continue to pray this prayer -

Spirit of Light, let the fire of your wisdom burn brightly within us.

Spirit of Silence, in the still moment may we be open to God’s presence.

Spirit of Courage, dispel the fear that lingers in our hearts.

Spirit of Fire, engulf us with the passion of Christ’s love.

Spirit of Peace, help us to be attentive to God’s word in the world.

Spirit of Joy, enthuse us to proclaim aloud the Good News.

Spirit of Love, compel us to open ourselves to the needs of others.

Spirit of Power, bestow the gifts of your strength upon us.

Spirit of Truth, guide us to walk in the way of Christ.


May Day Fête at St Puy, 28th May - what a scorcher!

It was our second year of attendance at this wonderful French/ English collaborative celebration of May at St Puy near Condom. What a difference a year makes (there is a song in there somewhere) last year the torrents of rain ran down the village streets like a flood. This year the temperatures soared becoming almost too hot.

But the good weather brought out the people to our benefit. Once again we were raising funds for EducAid ( www.educaid.org.uk) the Sierra Leone education project. Our stall was somewhat eclectic jammed in amongst the beautiful local crafts stalls. Plants, bric-a-brac, books and of course home made cakes and jam crowded our area all donated generously by our community and friends. French people seemed cautious about the unfamiliar confections being offered, but that soon disappeared along with the cakes. The French owner of the local B&B snapped up the marmalade for her customers even offering us a contract to provide it regularly.

Of course the other dimension was to make known our Anglican community. So talking to people, the press and the radio was another reason to be there. Making links to the French people and organisations was an important part of being at the show.

It was a wilting day, although we had a sun shade it was for the cakes not those helping. We are grateful to all those who bought, make, gave and supported us. We were all tired but lifted by the knowledge that our efforts had raised just under 500€.

May 'Open Gardens in Lasbadies': a beautiful day!

A beautiful day, a beautiful garden: We have some very talented and creative gardeners in our Condom Church community. Not only talented, but generous with their time, to be part of the Open Gardens programme –www.opengardens.eu. It is a programme that includes many wonderful gardens throughout France, the money raised is used to support the charity 'A Chacun son Everest' a charity supporting children in remission from cancer.

Jennifer and Alan Story on 14th May opened their garden at Lasbadies. Like those who prepare for the Chelsea Flower Show there were many anxious moments. How would the weather be? Would the blossom on the Wisteria still be there. Although some of the Wisteria blossom had passed over there was much to see and admire as well as enjoy very English afternoon tea. Next month will be the turn of Jamie and Ann Jowitt.

It is good to see Christian life being lived out bringing together fellowship and charity and reaching into both French and English communities. Thank you Jennifer and Alan!


easter candle

Easter in Condom

With the chapel dressed with flowers and a bough of birch strung with painted eggs our Easter service was blessed with glorious sunshine lifting all our heart’s in celebration of our Lord’s resurrection.

Our service started with the lighting of a new Paschal candle. The singing of those familiar hymns and the hearing of St Matthew’s wonderful account of that first Easter morning all bringing the 36 people gathered together as one.

Again baker Ron made a special treat of Shrewsbury biscuits to have with coffee, helped visitors and parishioner’s conversation flow, rounding off a wonderful service.


Mothering Sunday: sharing a recipe of love for my mum

Sue Torne writes, "Our Thursday service in March fell in the week of Mothering Sunday and during the service our intercessions focused on all aspects of a mother's role including that of the Mother Church. As a mother and now grandmother I found these prayers very powerful as I am sure the other mother's in the congregation did. After the service one mother shared with me a poem her grandaughter had written for her mother for Mothering Sunday. I thought it was such a beautiful poem that I sought their permission to share it with all the other mother's in the chaplaincy.

The poem was written by  ten year old Tanya at school in the UK. Her teacher had asked her pupils to make lists of all the verbs and nouns that regularly occur in a recipe. Once they had made their lists they were then asked to write a recipe/poem to their own mum, I have read it several times now and believe it says so much about being a mother and like all good recipes should be shared."


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."


 Click here for the "Condom Previous News" page











Poems, Prayers, Reflections


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



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.




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


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

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

Carolyn Humpherson - - 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.