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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.



Friday, 10 July 2020

Unité des Chrétiens: an interview

For any who might be interested, Unité des Chrétiens, the French ecumenical journal has run an interview with me which touches upon many themes of our Diocese in Europe: ecumenical life, Anglican identity, Brexit and our multicultural context. The journal itself (despite this interview!) is always an interesting read, covering ecumenical life in France, Europe and beyond, from Oriental, Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican and Protestant perspectives. The link to the journal's site is here: https://unitedeschretiens.fr/

The article is below:

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Petertide Seminars: An Introduction to ARCIC and IARCCUM



Here is something of interest to those in the diocese and beyond, who are keen to learn about our Anglican Communion's official dialogue and relations with the Roman Catholic Church. (And perhaps to know what it is I do as Co-Chairman of the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission!)

This is a series of 3 seminars, online, sponsored by the Anglican Centre in Rome.

The official invitation is here:
H.G. Archbishop Ian, Director of The Anglican Centre in Rome, is delighted to invite you to attend ACR Petertide  online interactive course subdivided into three sessions on Ecumenism, examining the work of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC) and the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission (IARCCUM).

Course one, on the history and foundations of Arcic I and the beginnings of Arcic II and the Lambeth Conference of 1988, will be held on Monday 29 June – the feast of Sts Peter and Paul. Speakers will be the Old Testament scholar Dame Mary Tanner, who is also an expert on ARCIC, and Bishop Christopher Hill, who served as co-secretary of ARCIC from 1974-81.

Course two, on ARCIC II and III and the shifts in tensions and ecumenical mood, will be held on Monday 13 July with Professor Nicholas Sagovsky, former canon theologian of Westminster Abbey and Mgr Mark Langham, former official of the Pontifical Council for the Promoting of Christian unity.

The final and third course on Monday 27 July will focus on the establishment of IARCCUM,  will be given by Archbishop Donald Bolen, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Regina, Canada, and another former co-secretary of ARCIC, as well as of IARCCUM and Bishop David Hamid, suffragan bishop in Europe and co-chair of IARCCUM.

All the courses will be held on Zoom at 3pm, Rome time, and will last two hours, with those attending encouraged to participate. Attendance is free, but a donation to the Anglican Centre would be welcome.

To register, please contact administrator@anglicancentre.it and indicate which seminar/s you'd like to attend.


Thursday, 11 June 2020

Praying Together Across Europe For Racial Justice


On Friday 12 June at 12 noon Central European Time (11.00 am British Summer Time) there will be a service of prayer, scripture, silence of 8 minutes and 46 seconds, and blessing, in solidarity with BAME communities around the world. 

This will be a brief service (about 15 minutes in total) at the hour when Our Lord hung upon the cross. It will be led by some of the BAME clergy of the diocese. 

We offer this moment to come together to repent of the sin of racism, to pray for an end to injustice, to give thanks for the beautiful diversity of humanity, and to be strengthened for action that will make a difference. 

Please join us. 

Just follow this link to the live stream (available from about 11.30 am CET/10.30 am BST) on the Diocese in Europe YouTube.  

Photo by Nicola Fioravanti on Unsplash

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Racism is a sin. Full stop.



Today the Church remembers the Martyrs of Uganda, young Africans, of Anglican and Roman Catholic background who were put to death by the Ugandan King Mwanga, who despised people of religious faith. 

At this time across the United States of America and even here in London, demonstrations continue protesting the murder of another black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis. As we know he was mercilessly pinned down by the knee of a white police officer, begging to be able to breathe, until he died. Other police officers looked on. 

While the world searches for a cure and a vaccine against coronavirus - how we need still to find a cure and a vaccine for the racism that is still so pervasive in our societies. We Christians believe in the equality of all peoples and value the richness that comes with racial and ethnic diversity. Racism is a sin; as such we must oppose it in all its forms. 

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York issued this statement concerning the events in the USA:

“Recent events in the United States of America have once again drawn public attention to the ongoing evil of white supremacy. Systemic racism continues to cause incalculable harm across the world. Our hearts weep for the suffering caused – for those who have lost their lives, those who have experienced persecution, those who live in fear. God’s justice and love for all creation demands that this evil is properly confronted and tackled. Let us be clear: racism is an affront to God. It is born out of ignorance, and must be eradicated. We all bear the responsibility and must play our part to eliminate this scourge on humanity.

“As Dr Martin Luther King Jr said, ‘In a real sense, we are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Therefore, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’

“We pray that God’s abounding wisdom, compassion and love will guide leaders across the world to forge a better society

What can we do as Christians? Many, including my sister Bishop Rose Hudson-Wilkin (above), Bishop of Dover, herself a black woman, say words are now not enough. Some action must be taken.

The faithful of this diocese can redouble our efforts to listen - to listen to minority voices in the Church and beyond the Church; to listen to the voiceless and to those who keep silent after years or generations of oppression. We are a community of reconciliation - and our witness to the world begins with our living that reconciliation within our own Church. 

We can speak and preach about the the sin of racism, and keep before the community our need to repent for ways we may be complicit or have in the past been complicit in this sin. 



And certainly we can take a stand when politicians manipulate and violate our religious principles. The Primate of the Episcopal Church, Bishop Michael Curry (above), an African American man, denounced President Trump's stunt last Monday, when he clutched a Bible outside St John's Episcopal Church, close to the White House, after he had caused armed security forces to use tear gas and violence to disperse those gathered to peacefully protest George Floyd’s murder: 

"This evening, the President of the United States stood in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church, lifted up a Bible, and had pictures of himself taken. In so doing, he used a church building and the Holy Bible for partisan political purposes. This was done in a time of deep hurt and pain in our country, and his action did nothing to help us or to heal us.

The Bible teaches us that “God is love.” Jesus of Nazareth taught, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” The prophet Micah taught that the Lord requires us to “do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.”

The bible the President held up and the church that he stood in front of represent the values of love, of justice, of compassion, and of a way to heal our hurts.

We need our President, and all who hold office, to be moral leaders who help us to be a people and nation living these values. For the sake of George Floyd, for all who have wrongly suffered, and for the sake of us all, we need leaders to help us to be “one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.”

God of justice, In your wisdom you create all people in your image, without exception. Open our eyes to see the dignity, beauty, and worth of every human being. Open our minds to understand that all your children are brothers and sisters in the same human family. Open our hearts to repent of racist attitudes, behaviors, and speech which demean others. Open our ears to hear the cries of those wounded by discrimination and their passionate appeals for change. Fill us with courage that we might seek to heal wounds, build bridges, forgive and be forgiven, and establish peace and equality for all in our communities. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.






Sylvia Brantingham RIP




Many people across the diocese will remember Sylvia Brantingham, the cheerful and helpful receptionist and office assistant at the Diocesan Office in Westminster, who retired several years ago. 

Sylvia died on the morning of Pentecost, last Sunday 31 May, after a battle with cancer. She was a faithful member of St Pancras Old Church in London, and her parish priest was able to bring her Holy Communion and minister the last rites to her that morning and be with her as she passed into the loving arms of God. 

Sylvia's Christian devotion was both humble and inspiring. Bron Panter our Office Manager knew her well and even recalls getting a bit cross with her as she would quietly disappear to say her midday prayers! I also recall how Sylvia never wasted a moment; in the midst of the busy-ness of answering doors, phone calls, preparing refreshments for visitors and meetings, sorting post, and other general office duties, if she had a spare moment, she would be found at her desk quietly reciting the rosary, in all likelihood with special intention for us all. 

Sylvia was always at the centre of our Tufton Street community gatherings. She will be missed. When we are able to gather again, post-lockdown, as a Tufton Street team, we will celebrate a requiem mass for her.

May blessed Mary and all the saints surround her with love and welcome her home. 




Saturday, 23 May 2020

USPG's world-wide partners pray for us

Canon Sabry (Casablanca), retired Archdeacon Geoff Johnston, and Rebecca Boardman

USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) is one the oldest mission agencies in the Anglican Communion. Founded in 1701, it has been a partner to Churches and communities world-wide, including the Diocese in Europe. It sees its partnership as a way to "enliven faith, strengthen relationships, unlock potential and champion justice". It is a little known fact that over half of the communities in the Diocese in Europe owe their origin to USPG (or SPG as it was known then) support and sponsorship. Today, USPG supports our work with migrants and refugees in France, Germany, Greece and Morocco.

The Mission and Public Affairs Unit of the Diocese, chaired by Archdeacon Leslie Nathaniel, has a member from USPG on the unit. Rebecca Boardman has been a close collaborator, particularly on migration and refugee issues, for over 5 years.  

At a recent meeting of the MPA unit Rebecca in her report told us that USPG has received many expressions of  support from world-wide partners who are aware that Europe is one of the regions of the world where coronavirus has had a most devastating effect, with hundreds of thousands dead and widespread disruption. Rebecca wanted the people of our diocese to know that we are "woven into the prayers of so many partners across the world". 

We thank our world-wide friends for heir love and prayerful support. 

Monday, 18 May 2020

Protocol with Italian Government permits C of E public services to resume

Abp Ian with PM Conte to his right
At Palazzo Chigi, Abp Ian Ernest with Prime Minister Conte to his right

Slowly, slowly, in some parts of the Diocese, steps are being taken to return to public worship in our church buildings.

For instance, today 18 May, a special Protocol which was signed last Friday by the Italian Prime Minister, Professor Avv. Guiseppe Conte and Archbishop Ian Ernest, the Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome (acting on behalf of the Association of the Church of England in Italy) came into effect. The Protocol is detailed and provides instructions to be followed in liturgical celebrations and includes measures to be observed around social distancing, compulsory use of facemasks and other forms of protection, and the disinfection of church premises.

The signing ceremony at the Palazzo Chigi was also attended by Dr Wendy Wyver, First Political Counsellor of the United Kingdom Embassy in Italy (and a member of All Saints in Rome).

Incidentally, this Protocol is a fruit of the fact that the Church of England is now a recognised religious body in Italy.

Lord  our God, in your Son risen from the dead, all creation sees the pledge of things to come. Hear the sigh that goes up from all the world and remember the suffering of all humanity, so that out of its pain may come newness of life. You who reign for ever and ever.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Day of prayer for people of every faith

Tomorrow, 14 May, is an international, interreligious day of prayer to ask God to lift this pandemic from the world, and to inspire scientists to find a cure for the disease.

The inspiration for this comes from the "Higher Committee for Human Fraternity" which was set up when Pope Francis visited Abu Dhabi last year. The initiative transcends religious boundaries and invites all religious people to appeal to God, in accordance with their own faith and teachings. 

Pope Francis has released a video which I post here to motivate us all. In it he calls on all believers, adherents of all religions to pray, fast and perform works of charity tomorrow.



Dr Clare Amos, our Director of Lay Discipleship, was previously the Interfaith Director at the World  Council of Churches. She has composed this prayer which I commend for use:

God of life, Creator of all, 
Your reach stretches beyond the farthest stars that we can see, 
Yet you are nearer to us than our own soul.  
In this time of crisis may your love draw human beings together,
Bridging the distance of place, of nationality, of ideology and religion.
Unite us as one in prayer to face together this enemy, the virus.
Free us from fear, grant us courage and compassion, make us generous in acts of charity,
And bring to effect our longing for the healing of this world. Amen

Friday, 24 April 2020

Emmanuel Eneh RIP



Sad news from Fr Tuomas Mäkipää, Area Dean of Finland, concerning Emmanuel Eneh, Reader:

_____________________________________________________________

Emmanuel Eneh RIP

It is with great sadness that I have learnt the news about the death of Emmanuel Eneh. Emmanuel passed away on Thursday, 23rd April 2020.

Emmanuel was a long-standing member of the Anglican Church in Finland and had a significant lay ministry at the International Congregation of Christ the King in Tampere. He served many years as an Anglican Licensed Lay Reader, working together with the priests of the Lutheran Parishes in Tampere in providing pastoral and liturgical ministry to the international church community, gathering in Vanha kirkko in Tampere. His commitment to the implementation of Porvoo Agreement (between Anglican and Lutheran Churches), and his service to the wider community by participating in local politics in Tampere, were a source of inspiration for many.

Emmanuel remained as a member of the Diocesan Synod of the Diocese in Europe until his death. He was also a member of the Deanery Synod of the Nordic and Baltic states.

We remain grateful for Emmanuel’s ministry and pray for him and his family. He is survived by his wife and three children
  
Now, Lord, you let your servant go in peace:
your word has been fulfilled.
My own eyes have seen the salvation
which you have prepared in the sight of every people;
A light to reveal you to the nations
and the glory of your people Israel.
Luke 2.29-32

______________________________________________________________

Over the many years I have known Emmanuel, I found him to be a remarkable leader, a defender of human rights and equality, a promoter of ecumenical relations, and a firm believer in his Saviour, Jesus Christ. May he now be welcomed into the joys of the kingdom, in the company of the saints in light.

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

The Bible and Creation: an online study led by Clare Amos


Special Zoom Study Meeting announced
Led by Dr Clare Amos, the Diocesan Director of Lay Discipleship


Saturday April 25 2020   10.00am-11.00am and 11.30am-12.30pm CET (BST+1)

Dr Amos writes: 
"Drawing on both the Old Testament and the New Testament this study morning will explore what the Bible has to say about the relationship between human beings and the rest of creation, which is increasingly seen as one of the most significant issues for our time. It will suggest that our relationship to creation is absolutely integral to our Christian faith".
This study morning was originally scheduled as a physical meeting for the parish of Holy Trinity Geneva. It will now be held by Zoom due to the lockdown. Given the widespread interest across the diocese in the theology and care of creation, Dr Amos has widened participation in this study to any who are interested. 
To meet the needs of ‘Zoom’ security issues, and in order to ensure that you can be sent handouts in advance, please let Holy Trinity Church (admin@holytrinitygeneva.org)  know that you are planning to attend (Ideally send your note by lunchtime on Friday 24 April). Guidance can be given to those unfamiliar with the medium of Zoom. Please mention any need for help when you send in your reply.
I know that participants will enjoy this morning and be enriched by Clare's profound theological and biblical scholarship.


Saturday, 11 April 2020

Christ is risen!



You rose from the tomb as God in glory, 
and raised the world up with you.
Mortal nature sang your praise as God,
and death disappeared.
Adam dances, O Master,
and Eve, now freed from her chains,
rejoices as she cries:
It is you, O Christ, who grant Resurrection to all.

(Orthodox Kontakion for the Resurrection) 

May you be comforted in this time of trial, and filled with Easter joy and peace.

Χριστός ἀνέστη!
Christ is risen!

Friday, 10 April 2020

Holy Week resources for the Diocese in Europe


To assist the faithful across the diocese with their prayers during this time of lockdown, Fr Louis Darrant has produced a resource specially for us. It is a PDF booklet, which, as Fr Louis states in the introduction  "is to support us in our common prayer during Holy Week". 

You may already have found it among our diocesan resources on the website.If not, the link is here:
https://europe.anglican.org/downloads/praying-at-home-in-holy-week-2020.pdf

Louis writes: "The Church is responding quickly to the changing circumstances in which we find ourselves. With imagination and creativity we will find ourselves caught up in the Easter mystery in such a way as will bear fruit in due time. No Christian prays alone. Together we share the sacred work of the Church in offering praise to the Father through the Son and in the power of the Holy Spirit."

Fr Louis Darrant is the Chaplain at St Christopher's Costa Azahar in Spain. He is also one of the clergy representatives from the Archdeaconry of Gibraltar on our Diocesan Synod. 

We thank him for this resource to keep us connected to the liturgy of the Church this Holy Week. 


Fr Louis Darrant

In addition to this guide to our prayer this week, the Director of Lay Discipleship, Dr Clare Amos, has been compiling in the Faith in Europe blog she runs for the diocese, a series of resources and reflections entitled "Discipleship in Difficult Days". The link to this important resource is here:





Clare is always willing to receive contributions to this blog. She can be contacted here: clare.amos@europe.anglican.org