Vernet-les-Bains, you say? If you have not heard of this particular parish in our diocese, it is because until a few years back, we forgot that we had a church there! Thanks to the work of Fr David Burton Evans, the then priest-in-charge of St Andrew's Pau, who was alerted to the existence of the building back in 1997, St George's has been recovered and an association formed so that Church life can resume.
And so, on Saturday 9 July, I was able to license the Reverend David Phillips, formerly Associate Priest in the Benefice of Elloughton Brough with Brantingham (York) as Priest-in-Charge of the Anglican Church of St George, Vernet les Bains. We welcome Fr David and his wife Lesley to this diocese.
|The Revd David Phillips and Lesley Phillips|
|Abbé Christophe, Mme la Maire, the Deputy Maire, Fr David Phillips and Fr David Burton Evans|
The village, once known as "the Paradise of the Pyrenees" is associated with Rudyard Kipling who spent time here a century ago. Co-incidentally, the Church itself is celebrating its 100th anniversary. One of the attenders at worship in the early days was Princess Beatrice, the youngest daughter of Queen Victoria.
While the municipality continues to seek funding for the necessary renovation to the building, St George's congregation uses a Roman Catholic Chapel in the village for Sunday services.