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.



Saturday, 27 August 2011

Creationtide Liturgy Planning



The Diocese in Europe, along with the rest of the Church of England, has endorsed the observance of a "Time for Creation", from 1 September (the first day of the church year for the Orthodox Churches) to 4 October (the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi). During this season our congregations are encouraged to give particular focus to environmental issues. “Time for Creation” links in naturally with the time when we celebrate harvest thanksgivings. This year the theme is “Our Daily Bread – Food in God’s Creation”. 
I want to commend to the clergy and readers of the diocese and to all involved in planning and leading worship the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) website which has a host of useful resources, including sermon notes, intercessions and other liturgical material.  The website is here.
Common Worship: Times and Seasons also has a rich selection of resources on pages 599-606 and 623-632. Those who pray the daily office may wish to use the material on pages 536, 537 and 541 of  in Common Worship: Daily Prayer to add a seasonal flavour.
Our Diocesan Environmental Officer, Madeleine Holmes, can also provide you with other information on “Time for Creation” or on any matter related to the Church’s focus on care for the natural environment. Madeleine can be reached here.
Madeleine Holmes


Friday, 26 August 2011

English Church in Heidelberg mourns death of its senior member


This year, the English Church in Heidelberg is celebrating 40 years of its re-establishment after the war. Most recently, however, the community lost a beloved member, who was herself a pioneer of post-war reconciliation between Germany and England, Mrs Gladys Fischer MBE. Gladys is pictured above with locum priest, the Venerable Fred Ailwood, last June.

The reader in Heidelberg, Dr Rosemary Selle writes:

Mrs Gladys Fischer MBE, the senior member of The English Church Heidelberg, died peacefully at home on August 4th at the age of 97. Born in Oxford in the year when Britain and Germany engaged in the hostilities of the First World War, 1914, Gladys Munday proved an enlightened and visionary champion of reconciliation and good relations between the two countries. Together with her German husband Friedrich Fischer, she founded a School of Translation and Interpreting in Heidelberg immediately after the end of the Second World War, soon to be complemented by a Grammar School. The latter in particular thrives to this day and has educated generations of young people "at a German school in the British way" - which includes fostering an excellent hockey team! Gladys Fischer was made a Member of the British Empire for her services to Anglo-German relations. She strongly supported The English Church (though because of the death of her husband that year she was not closely involved in our re-founding in 1971) and only two weeks before her death hosted a Summer Celebration for our 40th Anniversary with music, dance, poetry and endless cups of tea at her beautiful home in Heidelberg. Gladys leaves two daughters and a host of grandchildren and great-grandchildren - and we at the English Church have lost a dear friend and supporter and a great encourager. May she rest in peace. 

The website of the English Church in Heidelberg is here.

Friday, 19 August 2011

What's in a name?

What should we call our clergy in the Diocese in Europe?

Many are called "Father", (mostly men, mind you). A couple are "Mother" (all women). "Pastor" has been heard, particularly in Lutheran lands. "Chaplain" seems a little cold and formal. "Padre" a little too military. "Reverend" is just plain wrong, in English.

The Revd Canon David Burton Evans who has served the diocese in Pau and more recently in Vernet-les-Bains has proposed a very apt  title.

The only problem is - it's the name of a Spanish fruit and vegetable wholesaler!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Vacancy spotlight: St Laurence, Lanzarote



If you are a priest looking for a place to continue a stimulating and active ministry on a part-time basis, on an interesting island blessed with a perpetual spring-like climate, you might want to take a close look at the post of priest-in-charge of St Laurence, Lanzarote, Canary Islands. 
The position offers a house, car, ½ stipend (no pension contributions) and expenses of office – and a host of congenial and supportive parishioners! Not to mention the chance of being part of one of the most exciting dioceses in the Church of England.


Monday, 15 August 2011

New Area Deans for the Netherlands and the Nordic/Baltic States

The Revds Mark Collinson and Barbara Moss
Two new Area Deans have recently been appointed to serve areas of the diocese. 


The Revd Mark Collinson, chaplain of Christ Church Amsterdam, has been appointed Area Dean for the Netherlands, the first such appointment to serve the 16 Church of England congregations and worship centres in that country. Together with his counterpart the  Area Dean for Belgium and Luxembourg, the Revd Andrew Wagstaff, Mark will assist the Archdeacon of North West Europe, the Venerable John de Wit, in the oversight and pastoral care of the clergy and congregations in their respective areas. Bishop Geoffrey will formally commission Mark for this new role during the synod of North West Europe to be held from 6th to 8th October.


The Revd Barbara Moss, chaplain of St Andrew's Gothenburg and chaplain to English-speaking staff and students at the University of Gothenburg, has been appointed Area Dean for the Nordic Baltic States. Barbara takes over this role from the Revd Nicholas Howe, who has served in this capacity for over 4 years. Together with her counterpart from the German Deanery, the Revd Canon Christopher Jage-Bowler, Barbara will assist the Archdeacon of Germany and Northern Europe, the Venerable Jonathan LLoyd in the oversight and pastoral care of of the clergy and congregations in their respective areas. There are about 30 congregations and worship centres in the Nordic Baltic Deanery, which stretches from Iceland to Estonia. I will formally commission Barbara for her new role during the Nordic Baltic Synod to be held from 30 September to 1 October. 


We offer Mark and Barbara our congratulations and the assurance of our prayers as they take on these additional responsibilities. The term of both appointments is three years. 

Saturday, 13 August 2011

21 September - International Day of Prayer for Peace


Each year on 21 September the World Council of Churches (WCC) calls its member churches to observe the International Day of Prayer for Peace. This day offers an opportunity for Christians in all places to pray and act together to nurture lasting peace in the hearts of people, their families, communities and societies. The idea arose from a meeting in 2004 between the then WCC General Secretary the Revd Dr Sam Kobia and the General Secretary of the United Nations, Kofi Annan. It purposely coincides with the UN International Day of Peace. Congregations of this Diocese in Europe may wish to explore with our ecumenical partners whether this day can be observed together.

Some prayers for peace from European sources have been gathered by the WCC and are available here.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Ephraim Boms, Reader in Athens, RIP



Yesterday I received word from Athens of the death of Mr Ephraim Boms, one of the licensed readers in the parish of St Paul. Ephraim became very ill suddenly last October and has been hospitalised ever since. He was an outstanding lay minister, much loved in the parish and in the community. He helped to pioneer the Church's outreach to the large migrant population in the Greek capital. He was taking steps to explore Holy Orders last year, just before he became ill. 

The Revd Canon Malcolm Bradshaw, the Chaplain of St Paul's Athens wrote: 
"It has been a long and painful struggle for [Ephraim] and those supporting him – 11 months of high maintenance care in hospital. His wife Victoria has been in Athens since the New Year. Our hopes were raised that he may be flown to Germany for rehabilitation. Unfortunately the bureaucracy was incredibly slow in trying to deliver this – and not helped by strikes of doctors and ambulance crews. Three weeks ago his blood pressure began to fall linked with an infection. Since then the doctors have struggled with the infection and the blood pressure but to no avail. For the Chaplaincy it is a genuine loss – before his heart seizure some twelve months ago he had just blossomed as a Reader. As you know he was to come to the next Diocesan Vocations Conference. We were all proud of him.
His family has asked that he is buried in his robes as a Reader. We will have a Requiem Mass at St Paul’s before Ephraim leaves for Nigeria" 
O Lord, receive our brother Ephraim into the glory of your Son, who is Lord for ever and ever. Amen 

Prayer for London



London is clearly not in the Diocese in Europe, but our Diocesan Office and my office are located here. Deacon Frances and some of the Diocesan Staff live in areas that are affected by the rioting and violence of the past days. Please remember them and the people of this city at this time. 

The Church of England has produced a prayer, written in the wake of the disturbances in our cities.  






Prayer for Peace in our Communities
Gracious God,
We pray for peace in our communities this day.
We commit to you all who work for peace and an end to tensions,
And those who work to uphold law and justice.
We pray for an end to fear,
For comfort and support to those who suffer.
For calm in our streets and cities,
That people may go about their lives in safety and peace.
In your mercy, hear our prayers,
now and always. Amen

Sunday, 7 August 2011

August 2011 Book Selection



It's the height of summer and here is a selection of some current theology for dipping into in these more relaxed weeks. There are 9 books reviewed below, including works on genetics, Christian Initiation, mission, atonement, the soul, violence and conflict, and a book by one of the foremost Orthodox theologians of our time, John Zizioulas.


For the reviews, press the read more link. 

Saturday, 6 August 2011

The Venerable Matthew Jones to Hamburg


The Venerable Matthew Jones will be licensed as Chaplain of the Anglican Church of St Thomas a Becket, Hamburg, Germany on 16 September 2011. Fr Matthew comes to this diocese from the Anglican Church of Australia where he most recently served as Rector of St Paul’s, Ipswich and Archdeacon of Cunningham in the Diocese of Brisbane. 

The Churchwardens and Council of St Thomas Becket Anglican Church have issued an open invitation to the eucharist at which Fr Matthew will be licensed by the Archdeacon of Germany and Northern Europe, the Venerable Jonathan LLoyd. The service will be in St Thomas a Becket Church, Zeughausmarkt 22, Hamburg, at 19.00 h. (Clergy of all churches are invited to robe and process).

St Thomas a Becket is among the oldest congregations of the diocese, and will celebrate its 400th anniversary  next year. The website of the parish is, in my view, a model website among those in this diocese. It can be found here.


We welcome Fr Matthew to this diocese in Europe!