to Bishop David's blog. Here you can find news, information, articles and pictures about the Church of England Diocese in Europe. We have over 300 congregations or worship centres serving Anglican and (mostly) English-speaking people in Europe, Morocco, Turkey, Russia and some central Asian countries.

For official diocesan information please click the diocesan logo on the right.

Monday, 21 July 2014

Members of Good Shepherd, Poitou-Charentes, celebrate 10th anniversary of the parish

The Parish of Good Shepherd Poitou-Charentes celebrated 10 years as a recognized chaplaincy of the Diocese in Europe, on the weekend of 5 and 6 July. The Revd Hazel Door is the Chaplain and she heads a team of 8 clergy and 11 Readers who serve 17 worship centres scattered across 4 French départements.

The anniversary celebrations included the confirmation of 3 members, who, after the laying-on-of-hands led the congregation in the intercessions, and at the end of the service, bearing lit candles, led the faithful out of the Church to signify that the job of a Christian disciple is to bear witness in their lives to Christ our Light, in the world.

Being France, the celebrations included good food and wine! 

The main anniversary eucharist was celebrated in the ancient Abbey Church of St Maur in Marcillac-Lanville. People travelled from across the vast pastoral area covered by the Chaplaincy to join in the festive eucharist. Many of the clergy and Readers who assist the Revd Hazel Door took part in the service.

Thursday, 17 July 2014

A call for prayer following the crash of MH 17

The Revd Canon Mark Collinson, the Chaplain of Christ Church, Amsterdam, has forwarded the message below as he seeks the prayers of the people of this diocese, following the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17.

As people all over the Netherlands hear of those they know who were on the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, ministers of the Schiphol Airport Chaplaincy organise support for bereaved family members. I hear of one whole family, whose daughter went to my son’s school, were amongst the 154 Dutch people on the aircraft. King Willem-Alexander is ‘deeply affected’ by the news, and expresses concern for those who are bereaved, and those who don’t yet know whether their loved ones were on the flight.
Protestant, Anglican, Old Catholic and Roman Catholic ministers are meeting with grief stricken family members at Schiphol together with other professional support services. Revd Nico Sarot, the Old Catholic Anglican priest who is one of the full-time ministers at the airport, is also there. Volunteers who normally provide support in the chapel/meditation centre are being drafted in to provide extra resources, so that there are at least two people available per family.
Please pray for those who are bereaved, together with all those who provide support for them, and for our mission partner the Anglican Old Catholic Airport Ministry, as people in this nation come to terms with this tragedy.
Gracious God, look in mercy on all to whom great sorrow has come. Console and protect those who have lost loved ones. Strengthen those who minister to the grieving. Give your light in darkness to all who are near to despair, and assure them that you hold all souls in life. 

We Will Remember: A WWI resource

Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, CTBI, has published a useful resource, We Will Remember, compiled by Keith Clements, to help Christians reflect on the events of World War I. It is available as an e-book from CTBI, and can be downloaded FREE from their website here:

Much will be said about the First World War during this time of commemoration. For Christians particularly it will be a time for reflection on how the churches 100 years ago responded to the crisis of war and the immensity of suffering that it unleashed, and on what this may still have to teach us as faith struggles with the issues of a violent world today.

We Will Remember is a collection of voices from the First World War and its aftermath, showing how faith faced up to the shock of international conflict, the moral issues of patriotism and obedience to God, of suffering and grief, of enmity and forgiveness, of the choices between bearing arms and pacifism, and of how far the churches were able to remain faithful to their calling as members of the one, worldwide body of Christ when their nations were at war with each other.

Some of the voices are from already familiar figures, whether preachers, poets, soldiers, writers, theologians or peace campaigners. But many others are heard for the first time, and there are some surprises, contradicting easy generalisations about how churches and their leaders behaved. German and Indian voices are heard too. At the end of each chapter suggestions are made for biblical meditation, and questions and themes offered for study either individually or in  groups.

Keith Clements is well known in our Diocese in Europe. He has been a speaker at our Diocesan Synod and some Archdeaconry Synods. He is a former General Secretary of the Conference of European Churches.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

General Synod approves the consecration of women as bishops

Europe General Synod Reps: Mrs Madeleine Holmes, Canon Debbie Flach, Canon Ann Turner, Revd Brian Llewellyn


The decision of the General Synod yesterday to permit the consecration of women as bishops marks an historic moment in the life of the Church of England. In the Diocese in Europe, as in the rest of the Church, there is a spectrum of opinion on this development. The majority of clergy and laity are in favour, as we learned from discussions in diocesan synod and Bishop's Council. A minority are unable conscientiously to accept women bishops. However, we are a diocese gifted in the ways of living together with diversity. We are blessed with a real sense of family, despite the vast territory we cover. And we are well experienced in matters related to the unity of the Church, given our ecumenical vocation. I believe that we can rejoice in the decision of the Synod. We can also rejoice in our unity in diversity, which will call upon us to honour and respect different views and seek to build each other up, as together we serve Christ's Holy Catholic Church and participate in her mission in the world.

The following is the text of a letter I sent to our clergy today:

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

New priest presides at the Eucharist for the first time

Last Sunday 6 July, a large congregation gathered around the Revd Doreen Cage, the assistant curate in the parish of St George's Málaga, as she presided for the first time at the Holy Eucharist. As Doreen's ordination to the priesthood was in Cologne, with very few of her own parishioners able to be present, this was an opportunity for the support of the parish to be made known.

A priest's first mass is always a moving and memorable occasion. At this service, there was lots of participation from parishioners in the liturgy, including the large number who are originally from Nigeria, who sang a Peruvian Gloria! 

In the above photo, flanking Doreen are congregational wardens (there are three congregations in the parish) and locum priest, Fr Peter Ford OGS.

St George's Church

Monday, 7 July 2014

170 years of Anglican worship in Stuttgart

One of the youth of the parish led the procession into Church at the start of the celebration of 170 years of Anglican presence in Stuttgart, on 22 June. The service was a special "Homecoming" event in St Catherine's Church. Regular church members and guests were joined by "homecomers" for the joyous eucharistic service. To add to the joy of the occasion, six people were also confirmed.

Some artifacts from the history of the Church were used in the service including a lace altar cloth and two brass collection plates, originally from St Catherine's but gifted many years ago to St Mark's Versailles and loaned back to Stuttgart for this anniversary.  The priest-in-charge, the Revd Ken Dimmick had the chance to tell the story of a lump of silver found in the ruins of the bombed out church in 1944, which was later made into the chalice which was used in the anniversary service on that day.

The Jimmy Thomas Gospel Singers added to the music of the liturgy. A festive lunch followed, including a birthday cake for the parish.

I received a gift of a new appropriate mitre for the celebration.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Three priests ordained in Cologne

In All Saints Church, Cologne, on Saturday 28 June, three persons were ordained to the sacred priesthood: the Revd Richard Gardiner, the Revd Matthias Grebe and the Revd Doreen Cage.

Richard and Matthias are both assistant curates at St Boniface Bonn and All Saints Cologne and Doreen is assistant curate at St George's, Málaga. Along with assisting clergy and Readers, they entered the Church in procession still as deacons, and took their place ready to take their solemn vows as priests.

The preacher for the service was the Revd Canon William Gulliford, the Director of Ordinands, who had worked with each of the candidates for several years, as their vocation was discerned and they were trained and prepared for this day. Canon Gulliford also also led their pre-ordination retreat.

At the heart of the ordination rite, just prior to the ordination prayer and laying on of hands, is the solemn invocation of the Holy Spirit. Richard, Matthias and Doreen chose to lie prostrate for this part of the liturgy, to be reminded that they are completely dependent upon God for their ministry, as the ordinal says “you cannot bear the weight of this calling in your own strength, but only by the grace and power of God”. During the prostration the ancient hymn Veni Creator Spiritus and the litany are sung, in which the community prays for the ordinands to be filled with the grace and strength of the Holy Spirit.

All photos courtesy of Reiner Knudsen

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Faithful of Athens build caves

On Trinity Sunday, 47 members and 5 children of the congregations in Athens brought rocks to a day apart so that they could build caves!

Building caves was a community activity at the start of a parish "away day", and was in fact integrated into the lectio divina undertaken during the course of the day. The biblical passages which were the focused upon were the stories of Elijah and Mary Magdalene standing at a cave. The emphasis for the day's reflection was ‘Listening to the voice – Growing in mission’.

The final session was on what had been learnt and what the two congregations in the parish, St Paul's in central Athens and St Peter's in suburban Kifissia might do next. Leadership for the day was provided by the Revd Canon Leonard Doolan, Vicar of Cirencester, UK and fine hospitality was extended by the sisters of the Uniate Convent of the Pammacaristos in the northern suburbs of Athens. It was a day much appreciated by all who attended.

Monday, 23 June 2014

New priest-in-charge in Gran Canaria

Fr Eduardo, Area Dean Mike Smith, Fr Brian
On St Barnabas Day, 11 June, the Area Dean of the Canaries and Morocco, the Revd Mike Smith, licensed the Revd Canon Brian Stares as the priest-in-charge of the Anglican Church of the Holy Trinity in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. They were joined by a priest of the Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church who is resident on the island, the Revd Eduardo Cuesta, who has been giving support (particularly with the Spanish language) to Fr Brian.

Holy Trinity Church
Las Palmas is probably the 7th largest city in Spain with a population of about 800,000. The historic mother Church of the Holy Trinity there also supports two daughter congregations elsewhere on the island, in two summer resorts in the south, Playa del Inglés and Puerto de Mogán.

One of the more curious facts about this parish is that when Holy Trinity was founded in the 19th century, it was a parish in the Diocese of Sierra Leone! Such were the transportation links in those days.

The chapel in Puerto de Mogán

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Archbishop of Canterbury at All Saints Rome

All Saints Church in Rome welcomed the Archbishop of Canterbury on Sunday to preside and preach at the Sunday Eucharist.

The Archbishop was in Rome that weekend for an official visit to Pope Francis. Among those in his entourage who joined All Saints for the service were Archbishop Sir David Moxon (Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome), Bishop Nigel Stock (Bishop at Lambeth), Bishop Stephen Platten (Chairman of the Governors of the Anglican Centre in Rome), Canon Alyson Barnett Cowan (Director of Ecumenical Affairs for the Anglican Communion) and myself. Members from the daughter congregation of St Mary at the Cross, Macerata, were also present and their choir performed a piece from Nigeria during the offertory. The clergy and members of (American) Episcopal Congregation of St Paul's-within-the-walls joined with All Saints for this special occasion, making for a packed church.

This was Archbishop Welby's first visit to All Saints and the Venerable Jonathan Boardman, the Chaplain, took a moment towards the end of the service to point out to the Archbishop some of the diversity which marks this vibrant congregation which is a home to Anglicans and others, of all ages, from around the world. Fr Jonathan drew attention to those in the chancel alone who were from places as diverse as Italy, Ecuador, Japan, Nigeria, England, New Zealand, USA and Canada.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Resources for Commemorating the Centenary of First World War

Canon Meurig Williams, the Bishop’s Chaplain, has compiled a collection of resources which our Churches in Europe may find useful for commemorating WW1. He has drawn from material proposed by the Church of England and helpfully supplemented with his own suggestions.

He points to two websites that are particularly helpful:

http://www.ctbi.org.uk/673 (Churches Together in Britain and Ireland)

http://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-worship/worship/latest-updates/world-war-one-liturgy.aspx (The Liturgical Commission of the Church England)

We thank Canon Williams for this resource.

This is a very large post. For convenience, it is also in a separate page tab under the Eurobishop header photo.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Prayers, perhaps, for the World Cup

The Church of England has released prayers for the World Cup. These prayers come originally from Bishop Nick Baines of Leeds (a Liverpool fan). 

A Prayer for the World Cup
Lord of all the nations, who played the cosmos into being, guide, guard and protect all who work or play in the World Cup. May all find in this competition a source of celebration, an experience of common humanity and a growing attitude of generous sportsmanship to others. Amen.
A Prayer for Brazil
God of the nations, who has always called his people to be a blessing for the world, bless all who take part in the World Cup. Smile on Brazil in her hosting, on the nations represented in competition and on those who travel to join in the party. Amen.
A prayer for those simply not interested 
Lord, as all around are gripped with World Cup fever, bless us with understanding, strengthen us with patience and grant us the gift of sympathy if needed. Amen.
In the Diocese in Europe, there will be a range of teams being supported. However, I do rather like Bishop Nick's suggested prayer for the English team....
A prayer  for the England Football team
"Oh God..."