WELCOME...

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.



Thursday, 31 March 2011

New priest in charge of Crete


The Reverend Terence (Terry) Wilcock, has been appointed Assistant Chaplain in the Anglican Church of Greater Athens, to serve in the Anglican Church of St Thomas, Kefalas, west of Chania in Crete. Fr Terry begins his new ministry on 1 April. We welcome him to this diocese!

He comes to this diocese from the diocese of Carlisle where he has been serving as Priest-in-Charge of St Thomas, Crosscrake, Kendal. The chaplaincy of "Greater Athens" actually covers most of Greece, and includes two congregations in Athens and congregations in Patras, Thessalonica, Andros, Nafplion and Crete. Fr Terry assumes responsibility for the Anglican work in Crete, which is one of the newest developments in the diocese. The work on the island was pioneered by the Revd Tony Lane, who continues to serve his training curacy there.

The website for the Anglican Church in Crete is here.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

March 2011 Book Selection


I am sorry that I am posting the March book selection a little late in the month! The 10 volumes reviewed include works on ethics, ministry, liberation theology, Old Testament and apologetics in the face of the "new athiests". One book addresses an intriguing question, seldom heard, "is persuading people to become Christian an ethical activity?" There is also a further work by Russian Orthodox Archbishop Hilarion, well known to this diocese. One work, the Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity, will be a useful reference book for clergy, readers and readers-in-training to have on one's bookshelf. Perhaps you could suggest someone buy you an Easter gift?

For the reviews, press the read more button.

Friday, 25 March 2011

The Revd Keith Bretel appointed to St John's in St Raphäel, France


The Reverend Keith Bretel has been appointed the Priest-in-Charge of the Anglican Church of St John the Evangelist, St Raphäel. Fr Bretel comes to this diocese from a distinguished career in the Royal Army Chaplains Department. He has spent a large amount of time overseas, including postings in Germany and Belize. His last position just before retirement from the Army was as Senior Chaplain of the UK Support Command, Germany.

Keith is married to Sherlie. They have a son and daughter, both married, and one grandson.

Fr Keith will be licensed on Saturday 26 March at 12 noon, by the Archdeacon of France, the Venerable Ken Letts.  The website of St John the Evangelist Church is here.

The Revd Canon Denis Moss - retired from St Margaret's Budapest

One of our churches, Saint Margaret of Scotland in Budapest, Hungary, has seen a major change over the past months. The congregation has said farewell to their priest who has retired after 19 years of faithful service.

The Revd Canon Denis Moss, ordained in New Zealand, experienced “a calling to come to Hungary” and has played a key role in the development of the Church of England presence in the capital. His wife Maria is Hungarian. Fr Denis describes how he started in Budapest "with four sets of vestments and some basic communion vessels in rented accommodation for both worship and living". Over the past 19 years, much as been accomplished, including the securing of a chapel for worship. Fr Denis and his wife Maria also founded the Szarnyak (Wings) Foundation which, affiliated with the Wings Rehabilitation Trust in New Zealand, offers counselling services in both English and Hungarian to those troubled by addiction. We wish Fr Denis and Maria every blessing in their retirement.

Fr Moss is one of the persons from our Diocese to be honoured by Her Majesty the Queen as a recipient of the Royal Maundy, in a service in Westminster Abbey on Maundy Thursday, 21 April.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

40th anniversary of re-establishment of English Church in Heidelberg.


The Church of England presence in the ancient university town of Heidelberg, Germany dates back to 1613 when Elizabeth Stuart, daughter of James 1 of England, came to Heidelberg as the seventeen-year-old bride of the Elector Friedrich V. She brought a chaplain, the Revd Alexander Chapman, who introduced Church of England rites at the chapel of Heidelberg castle. (John Donne preached in the chapel in 1619 while accompanying a diplomatic mission to Germany). The chapel in the castle remains to this day a place where Anglican worship is authorised. In the 1800s, the English-speaking population increased, and the chapel of a former Dominican convent became the home of the English Church. When war broke out in 1914, the church was closed and the priest expelled. In 1936 the building was handed over to the Old Catholic congregation in the city. In 1971 the English Church sprang to life again, and after negotiation with the Old Catholics, Anglican services resumed in the building that had been the English Church.

The present day congregation, made up of members from a wide range of countries and church backgrounds, looks forward to celebrating the 40th anniversary of its re-establishment at a Festive Eucharist on Sunday 8 May at 10.30 am. The celebrant and preacher will be the Venerable Jonathan LLoyd, the Archdeacon of Germany and Northern Europe. Members, past and present, friends and visitors are warmly invited. There will be a lunch following the service.

This congregation is unusual in the diocese as it has no appointed priest. Dr Rosemary Selle, a Reader in the Diocese, co-ordinates the work of visiting locum clergy who serve the parish throughout the year. The website of the English Church in Heidelberg is here.

Saturday, 19 March 2011

Communication from Diocesan Environment Officer - March 2011



The Diocese in Europe Environmental Officer, Madeleine Holmes, has circulated to our clergy, readers and parish environmental officer an update on environmental matters of interest to our Church. As Madeleine wants her communications to be widely circulated in the diocese, I have posted it on this weblog.

If you wish to be in contact with Madeleine her email address is: madeleine@peladis.plus.com

For her message to clergy, readers and parishes of the diocese, follow the read more link below.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Sabbatical Bursary Awards - Applications Welcome


Clergy of the Diocese in Europe are not always aware of our sabbatical policy. Sabbatical leave is a period away from parochial responsibilities for period of two to three months. It is a time for rest, renewal and re-creation so as to return refreshed in one's ministry. Clergy who wish to explore sabbatical leave can download guidance notes from here.

I bring this to the attention of the clergy because of an announcement of bursary awards available from the Ecclesiastical Insurance Company. Applications are now welcome for support from the Ecclesiastical Ministry Bursary Awards Scheme for sabbatical leave in 2012. The scheme gives financial support to clergy to carry out personal development projects during a sabbatical. In 2010 the company received more than 50 applications for funding support of different sabbatical projects planned for 2011. All applications that met the conditions of the grants were successful.

The projects supported by the Ministry Bursary Awards range from taking time out for quiet reflection and pilgrimages, to educational trips to foreign churches and missions.

The Ecclesiastical Ministry Bursary Awards scheme has supported more than 750 members of the clergy since its establishment in 1987.

If you are considering a sabbatical in 2012 then do download the guidance notes  If you are looking for financial support towards your sabbatical, applications for 2010 grants from the Ecclesiastical Ministry Bursary Award scheme can be received until 30 September 2011.

Applications can be made online at www.ecclesiastical.com/mba

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Anglicans in Germany look at Selection and Training for Ministry

The Council of Anglican/Episcopal Churches in Germany, CAECG, met in the Maria Lindenberg Centre in St Peter, near Freiburg, on 11 - 12 March. The CAECG brings together the congregations of the Church of England deanery of Germany and the German congregations of the (US) Episcopal Church's Convocation in Europe.

The meeting spent some time looking at the processes for selection and training for ministry, lay and ordained, in both the Church of England diocese and the Convocation.The Diocesan Director of Ordinands, the Revd William Gulliford spoke for the Diocese in Europe. The Rt Revd Pierre Whalon, Bishop-in-charge of the Convocation, and the Revd Jennifer Adams-Massman spoke for the Convocation. The comparative and contrasting features of the process in both jurisdictions was interesting and the members of CAECG learned much from these presentations.

Fr William Gulliford, Bishop Pierre Whalon
The representatives of several parishes noted an increase in interest among ecumenical partners, particularly Roman Catholics, in learning about Anglicanism, since the publication of Anglicanorum Coetibus (the provision by the Roman Catholic Church to receive groups from Anglican Churches into "ordinariates").

During the meeting I commissioned the Revd Canon Christopher Jage-Bowler, the chaplain of St George's, Berlin, as Area Dean of Germany for a further 3 year term. In a separate meeting of the Church of England deanery of Germany alone, I gave a presentation on the consecration of women bishops, and the process underway in the Church of England and in our diocese to consider the proposals.

On the grounds of the retreat centre where we met is a church (below) where the Roman Catholic men of Freiburg have, since 1955, met day and night throughout the year for prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. This vigil has its origins in the needs of the postwar period. The men continue to pray for peace in the world, the unity of Christians, and the unity of all of humanity.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Bishop of tsunami-hit diocese is safe, but uncontactable.

The Anglican Communion Office has released a message that the bishop of the diocese in the northern part of Japan devastated by last Friday's earthquake and tsunami, is said to be safe but uncontactable. Bishop Hiromichi Kato managed to get a message out to say that he is OK, but according Rikkyo University professor Revd Prof. Renta Nishihara no one has managed to contact him directly.  Prof. Nishihara added that Bishop Kato had revealed that many churches of Tohoku , including the cathedral suffered heavy damage.

Messages for support and offers of help for the Anglican Church in Japan have come in from around the world. Archbishop Rowan Williams sent a message of condolence to Archbishop Nathaniel Uematsu of the Nippon Sei Ko Kei, the Anglican Church in Japan, expressing support and prayers for the Japanese people. The Archbishop said:
"The news of the horrific earthquake in Japan has shocked us all. We await further and more detailed news with apprehension, but I want to say immediately that our hearts and our prayers go out to all who have been affected and that we as a church will do what we can to offer practical as well as spiritual support at this time of great suffering and great anxiety for so many. A message of sympathy and support has already gone to the Anglican Archbishop of Japan, and we intend to keep in contact about the crisis."
In our own diocese, the Revd Ken Dimmick, priest-in-charge of St Catherine's, Stuttgart, has many friends and contacts in the Japanese diocese most severely affected by this disaster. He has been trying to reach them. Finally on Sunday he received a reassuring message saying that most of his friends in the church are safe, although but some have not been reached as yet. "We know that you and God are very much by our side", said Fr Ken's correspondent.

This prayer has been prepared by the Church of England:
O loving Creator, bring healing and hope to those who, at this time, grieve, suffer pain, or who have been affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
We remember those who have died and we pray for those who mourn for them.
We pray for those who may be affected as the tsunami spreads across the Pacific.
May we all be aware of Your compassion, O God, which calms our troubled hearts and shelters our anxious souls.
May we pray with humility with our troubled and struggling brothers and sisters on earth.
May we dare to hope that through the generosity of the privileged, the destitute might glimpse hope, warmth and life again.
Through our Saviour Christ who lives with us, comforts us and soothes us. Amen.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

St Mark’s Versailles – Reaching upward!

Architects drawing of the new St Mark's Church
St Mark’s Versailles has embarked on a building extension project that has been years in planning and preparation. Over €650,000 have been raised of the total estimated €1.2 Million required for the expansion which will provide a more adequate space for worship and meetings for this growing congregation. The monies have come from present and past members of St Mark’s, including some large and generous gifts from certain individuals.

The project is appropriately named “Reach”, as it involves reaching upward as the new construction will be upstairs from the present facility. Work has now started and the plan is to have the project finished by the end of July.

The present facilities only seat 150 people and have now been outgrown by the congregation. The new building will have seating for 250. St Mark’s is not only building this for themselves, however. They wish to expand their service to the community and wish the new facility to be used by a variety of groups. There is no other spiritual conference centre with a large auditorium, small meeting rooms and parking for 60 cars within many miles of the church. Furthermore, St Mark’s committed to giving away a tithe (tenth) of all monies raised to help other building projects. Already help has been given to:

• St.George’s Baghdad rebuilding a medical clinic after a bomb blast
• Pastor Bujie's wayside church in Andhra Pradesh, India
• St.Peter’s Chantilly with their church refurbishment
• River of Life Uganda and Love Uganda projects
• Cry In The Dark Orphanages in Romania
• St.John’s Theological College Nottingham refurbishment
• St.Peter’s Zermatt Building Appeal

We continue to pray for St Mark’s and their project of expansion and outreach, and give thanks to God for their vision and commitment..

The history of St Mark’s in Versailles, just west of Paris, goes back to 1814. Their website is here.

The Revd Paul Kenchingron, Chaplain of St Mark's Versailles

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Lent - a time to strengthen our passion to serve

Lent is upon us again. Christians live these 40 days of prayer, fasting and self-denial as a way of strengthening our resolve to turn from all that separates us from God and return to his generous heart.

But the 40 days also remind us of the 40 years that the people of Israel spent wandering in Sinai when they grew to understand God’s special vocation for them in the world. It is also reminiscent of the 40 days that Christ spent in the desert, a place thought to be where demons lived and God was absent. Our Lenten discipline gives us a chance to reconnect with God's call to us to be his people, and to be in solidarity with all who hunger for food, peace and justice and with all who struggle against evil and yearn to know God's presence.

Lord of justice and kindness,
keep us strong through Lent.
Unite us to our neighbours in need,
and strengthen our desire to make this world a better place.
Amen.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Workshop deepens understanding of Reader Ministry

14 Readers and Readers in Training met from 2 to 4 March at St Columba's House, Woking, England, for a workshop on "Pastoral Care and Liturgical Principles". The teaching and reflection were led by the Revd Elaine Labourel, Assistant Priest at St Mark's Versailles. Worship and fellowship were central to the programme.

The participants came from Greece, Switzerland, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and France. The Diocesan Director of Training, the Revd Canon Ulla Monberg, commented on the workshop, "I think it is fair to say that it was a very enjoyable and constructive event. There seems to be a real sense of friendship and a deepening understanding of Reader ministry emerging out of these workshops".

During the days the community celebrated, with a blessing and a toast, the upcoming 30th anniversary of Roy Damary's ministry as a reader. Roy presently serves in Holy Trinity, Geneva.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Archdeacons of the Diocese in Europe visit the EU Institutions

The archdeacons of the Diocese in Europe met together from 28 Feb to 2 Mar in Brussels for prayer and discussion. The 7 archdeacons oversee areas of the diocese on behalf of the bishops, giving support to clergy and congregations and guiding them in their mission and ministry.

During their meeting the archdeacons also met with the Revd Dr Gary Wilton, the Archbishop of Canterbury's representative to the EU, and an assistant priest at Holy Trinity Pro-Cathedral in Brussels, who arranged for them a tour of the European Institutions. The 7 archdeacons are pictured above with Dr Winton outside the headquarters of the European Commission. "We were most impressed with the ministry of Dr Gary Wilton amongst the European Institutions, " said Archdeacon of Germany and Northern Europe, Jonathan LLoyd. As part of their meeting in Brussels, the archdeacons also attended Choral Evensong at Holy Trinity Pro-Cathedral.

In the photo above, from left to right:
Ken Letts, Archdeacon of France
John de Wit, Archdeacon of NW Europe
Jonathan LLoyd, Archdeacon of Germany and Northern Europe
Gary Wilton, Archbishop of Canterbury's Representative to the EU
Jonathan Boardman, Archdeacon of Italy and Malta
David Sutch, Archdeacon of Gibraltar
Peter Potter, Archdeacon of Switzerland
Patrick Curran, Archdeacon of the East

Friday, 4 March 2011

Morocco Update

Earlier last month I posted a notice about the cancellation of services at St John the Evangelist Church in Casablanca on Sunday 20 February, due to the proximity of the Church to the place where demonstrations were due to be held that day.

The chaplain of St John's, the Revd Mark Cregan (left), has written to thank the diocese for our prayers for the situation in North Africa. He notes that demonstrations were in fact held on 20 February in Tangier, Al Hoceima and Casablanca, and some continue to be held all over Morocco but there are not widespread reports available. Services resumed at St John's last Sunday 27th, but Mark continues to monitor the situation carefully.

Mark would be grateful for the continued prayers of the people of the diocese for our two Anglican churches in Morocco, St John's in Casablanca and St Andrew's in Tangier, that the congregations will be able to continue to hold services each week. He also asks for prayers that any changes in Morocco may occur peacefully.

The Revd John Phillips RIP

With sadness I pass along the news to the diocesan family of the death of the Revd John Phillips. Fr John retired from parochial ministry in the diocese of Peterborough in 1995. He settled near Alcossebre in Spain, and in retirement laid the foundation for what is now a flourishing parish in the Costa Azahar. Fr John died on the evening of 3 March at his home in Wellingborough, Northants where he had recently returned with his wife Judith to be near their family.


I first made contact with Fr John in September 2003 when he came to see me to discuss his vision for new work in this part of Spain where which was miles from any existing Church of England congregation, the nearest being in Costa Blanca to the south or Barcelona to the north. Through his work and personal generosity, the congregation of St Christopher was established. His pioneering work now has grown to include three congregations on the Costa Azahar, St Christopher's Alcossebre, with its two daughter congregations, one in Vinarós and another in L'Ampolla.

Fr John suffered with Parkinson´s disease for a number of years yet, this did not deter him from his pioneering work and his pastoral concern for the building up of a new congregation. He established many fruitful ecumenical contacts which have continued to this day.

It is likely that a memorial service will be held in Alcossebre to coincide with John´s funeral in the UK when more details are known.

The priest-in-charge of St Christopher’s in Costa Azahar, the Revd Paul Needle, asks for our prayers of thanks to God for John’s long and fruitful ministry, that he may now rest in peace. Your prayers are also asked for Judith and the family who mourn their loss.

The website for the congregations in Costa Azahar is here.