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Friday, 27 October 2017
Monday, 23 October 2017
On Sunday 16 October, the Cathedral in Palma de Mallorca was packed for a service to commemorate 500 years since the start of the Reformation. Fr David Waller, the Chaplain of St Philip and St James, Mallorca, and I joined clergy from the German Protestant Church, the Church of Sweden, the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church for the service, at which Bishop Margot Käßmann of the Evangelical Church in Germany preached.
|Bishop Käßmann, front, 3rd from right|
Sunday, 22 October 2017
Our Lady of Peace - a symbol of the international welcome at St Philip and St James, Palma de Mallorca
The Anglican Chaplaincy in Mallorca, Spain, has three congregations based in Palma, Puerto Pollensa and Cala d’Or. On Sunday 15 October I was able to visit the congregation in Palma for the Sunday Eucharist.
The Church in Palma is dedicated to St Philip and St James. Icons of these two apostles are on either side of another icon of Our Lady of Peace. In this icon Our Lady is surrounded by the heads of 9 children, representing the traditional ethnic groups of humanity. It is a fitting symbol for this international all-age congregation.
|Parishioners at the coffee hour|
Saturday, 21 October 2017
On 17 October 2017 at St Margaret's Church, Westminster, the annual Coptic New Year (Nayrouz) celebrations were held, at which, His Grace Bishop Angaelos of the Coptic Church in the UK presided and preached.
|His Grace Bishop Hovakim of the Armenian Apostolic Church|
In his powerful sermon, HG Bishop Angaelos said of religious freedom, and the martyrdom of so many who are denied that freedom: "If God respects humanity enough to empower us all with a freedom of choice, who are we to decide who has the right to believe or not believe? The Christian message has as its ultimate strength, the ability with which it can consciously and actively love and even forgive those who not only persecute, but kill us. That is what sets this apart. It is not because we are better than anyone else but because it is what we are called to do.”
His Grace went on to say, "The gathering in this church this evening resembles the beautiful mosaic that is British life; from religious leaders to political leaders, social activists and human rights defenders, to members of the general public, we all work together. Together we should use whatever platform or gift we have to further this message. It is a tragedy if we feel there is nothing we can do, because the reality is that there is never a darkness that cannot be broken by the slightest light, and there is never a problem that cannot be addressed even if not fully resolved.”
So we continue to pray for all who suffer religious persecution and as we gather year by year, there may be signs of improvement around the world, and "less to regret and forgive, and more to celebrate and be joyful about".
Our Diocese was also well represented at this service by Registrar Aiden Hargreaves-Smith and my Chaplain, Deacon Frances Hiller, both well known to HG Bishop Angaelos.
|Diocesan Registrar Aiden Hargreaves-Smith|
|Deacon Frances Hiller|
Tuesday, 17 October 2017
|Fr Marcus and Archbishop Bernard|
Fr Marcus Walker, the Deputy Director of the Anglican Centre, well known already to All Saints, was the Deacon for the mass.
|Some of the Sunday School welcome Archbishop Bernard|
It seems it is true that "all roads lead to Rome".
Friday, 6 October 2017
|Archdeacon Vickie Sims introduces Ian Carter, Diocesan Safeguarding Manager|
|Dr Clare Amos, Diocesan Director of Lay Discipleship|
Clare also led an introductory session on discipleship in the Diocese in Europe. She reflected on how aspects and descriptions of the Blessed Sacrament, which is of course central to our lives as Christians, can underline aspects of our discipleship vocation:
Community - "Communion"
Worship - "Eucharist" (= thanksgiving)
Mission - "Mass"
Learning - "Lord's Supper"
|Dr Pemberton Ford|
In other business, Ian Gibson and Tola Hummel from the Diocesan Safeguarding team were on hand to give updates on the Safeguarding agenda which is central to our diocesan life, and to have valuable informal discussions with synod members. Archdeacon Sims led a session on some essential parish administration and governance questions and chaired reporting sessions from the congregations across Italy and Malta.
|Assistant Safeguarding Manager Tola Hummel with Synod Member Una Scaletta|
|Locum priests Ed Hanson, Richard Gowty, and Derek Goddard,|
Thursday, 5 October 2017
HRH The Prince of Wales paid a special visit to St Paul’s Pro Cathedral in Malta on Wednesday 4 October. It was an opportunity for him to review the restoration work on the Cathedral, to which the Prince has made a generous personal contribution. (The total restoration appeal is for €3 million). The Chancellor of the Pro Cathedral, the Revd Canon Simon Godfrey, gave Prince Charles a tour of St Paul’s itself, a building which owes its origins in 1844 to the Prince’s own ancestor, Queen Adelaide.
His Royal Highness then officially opened the newly refurbished undercroft of the Cathedral which is now to serve as a place of welcome for the many visitors to Valletta as well as an educational centre. The opening ceremony which included a formal blessing of the undercroft, also included prayers for two other events in Malta which Prince Charles will be taking part: the “Our Ocean” conference which aims to empower a new generation of leaders, entrepreneurs, scientists and civil society to identify solutions and commit to actions for clean and sustainably managed oceans; and the 75th anniversary of the awarding of the George Cross by King George VI to the people of Malta for their bravery and heroism during the siege of Malta in World War II.