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, 28 April 2011

The Revd John Payne to Milan

On 7 May at 4 pm, the Archdeacon of Italy and Malta, the Venerable Jonathan Boardman will license the Revd John Payne (left) to be the priest-in-charge of All Saints, Milan, with the Church of the Holy Ghost, Genoa and the Church of the Ascension, Cadenabbia.

All Saints is a vibrant and welcoming congregation drawing in people of many nationalities who find themselves in one of Europe’s most enterprising and innovative cities, and the second city in Italy, after Rome, in population.

Although a bustling, forward-looking centre, Milan has, of course, ancient Christian roots. One of its first bishops was St Ambrose considered to be one of the 4 doctors (teachers) of the Western Church. He had a profound influence on St Augustine who was converted to Christianity in Milan in 386.

Fr Payne comes to the diocese in Europe from Thirsk in the diocese of York where he was Chaplain of Queen Mary's School. We welcome him to our diocesan family!

The website of All Saints Milan is here.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Barry Mason begins Reader Ministry in Costa del Sol West

Barry Mason (above) has been recently admitted to the office of reader and authorised for work in the parish of Costa del Sol West in Spain. We welcome Barry to the group of over 100 Readers which serve the congregations of our diocese.

There are a further nine persons in various stages of discernment or training for Reader Ministry across the Archdeaconry of Gibraltar (which of course, covers Gibraltar, Spain - mainland and islands, Portugal with Madeira, Andorra and Morocco).

Barry is pictured below with the Area Dean of Gibraltar, Canon Hugh Broad, who admitted him to the office of Reader. The chaplain of Costa del Sol West, the Revd Canon Dr Alan Maude is second from the right, and to the right of him is the Revd Maurice Horsey, Honorary Assistant priest.

The website of the parish, which has two centres of worship, San Pedro and Sotogrande, is here.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

The Revd Dr Frank Hegedus begins ministry in Budapest

The Reverend Dr Frank Hegedus has been appointed priest-in-charge of the Anglican Church of St Margaret of Scotland, Budapest, Hungary. He comes to this diocese from the Episcopal Church, USA, where he most recently served as interim minister, Almaden, San Jose, California. Fr Frank began his new ministry on 1 April and will be licensed formally by the Archdeacon of the East, the Venerable Patrick Curran, on 7 May. Welcome to this diocese, Fr Frank!
Why is our Church in Budapest dedicated to a Scottish saint? St Margaret of Scotland was born in Hungary, her father having been exiled by King Canute when he conquered England. She later returned to Britain, and married the Scottish King Malcolm III. 

St Margaret's Church has a Facebook page here

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Easter Greetings

The Easter icon traditionally depicts the descent of Christ into hell after the crucifixion. Our Lord stands on the Cross, portraying his own victory. He takes Adam by the hand and raises him to life; Eve awaits resurrection with her hands outstretched. Christ is surrounded by figures of the prophets, Old Testament kings, John the Baptist, the Apostles. But what I find interesting is the young person to Christ's left, with a shepherd's staff. It is Abel, the first victim of violence, killed by his brother Cain. 

So much more than an empty tomb: Easter is about Christ our Victorious God who reaches into the depths of human hell to bring new life, new hope and a reign of peace.

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, 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 the peace and joy of the Risen Christ fill your hearts this Easter.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Diocese in Europe at the Royal Maundy

Archdeacons, Chancellors and Bishops at the Royal Maundy

40 men and women from the Diocese in Europe were honoured by Her Majesty the Queen as recipients of the Royal Maundy on Maundy Thursday. The ancient ceremony took place in Westminster Abbey. The recipients, nominated by the bishops, are all pensioners who have been selected for the outstanding Christian service they have rendered to the Church and the community for a number of years.

It was the 801st such service in recorded history, and was extra special as the day was also the Sovereign’s 85th birthday. The title of the service is from the Latin mandatum, commandment, deriving from the words of Our Lord, “I give you a new commandment: Love one another.” This was the first time that the Diocese in Europe was included in the ceremony. Recipients also came from the Diocese of Sodor and Man, and from the community at Westminster Abbey itself.

The service was broadcast live on BBC. A clip of the highlights, courtesy of Westminster Abbey, can be seen here

The recipients from the Diocese in Europe were

Mr Malcolm Hall
Former Diocesan Staff
Revd Canon Geoffrey Allen
Former Archdeacon NW Europe
Mr Julian Aveling
Paris, St George’s
Mr Michael Rae
Revd Canon Denis Moss
Revd Canon Geoffrey Evans
Mr Albert Langston
Mr Brian Bowyer
Mr John Copestake
Mr Geoffrey Phillips
Mr Nigel Coombs
Mr Basil Bloodworth
Chateau D’Oex
Mr Edgar Wille
Formerly Prague
Revd Canon Raymond Jones
Formerly Ypres
Mr Peter Hurd
Mr John Hall
Paris St Michael’s
Mr Julian Thompson
Mr Roger Boot
Mr John Overstall
Mr John Nicholson
Mrs Ruth Steketee
Mrs Carey Graziano
Miss Sylvia Brantingham
Diocesan staff
Lady Marjorie Holmes
Mrs Patricia Atkinson
Mme Mary Pesso
Mrs Jean Fountain-Wilson
Tenerife North
Mrs Nancy Fjällbrant
Mrs Rosemarie Curran
Mrs Gill Howie
Mrs Elizabeth Loze-Fraser
Mrs Pamela Lloyd
Mrs Johanna Koch
Mrs Mary Evans
Mrs Mary Wood
Mrs Lindsay Renzulli
Mrs Patricia Clifford
Mrs Valerie Rymerenko
Mrs Hyacinth Osterlin
Mrs Pamela Bonaventura

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Clergy and Readers renew commitment to ministry

On Tuesday in Holy Week, clergy and readers from the diocese gathered with the bishops in two different churches for Chrism masses.

For 5 years now, these services have been celebrated simultaneously in different parts of the diocese to enable more people to attend this important Holy Week tradition. This year, Bishop Geoffrey presided at one service in St Boniface, Antwerp while I presided at Holy Trinity Geneva.

The service in Geneva brought together clergy and readers from 5 countries - Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy and Monaco. The chaplain of Holy Trinity, the Revd Roy Taylor (below centre) hosted the service and some of his parishioners provided lunch following for the visiting clergy and laity. Music was provided by members of Holy Trinity choir. The preacher was the Archdeacon of Switzerland, the Venerable Peter Potter (below left), who linked the service to aspects of the Royal Maundy at which 3 laity from Switzerland will be honoured by Her Majesty the Queen on Maundy Thursday in Westminster Abbey, as well as to the commitment to service symbolised by the washing of feet, also on Maundy Thursday. It was a particularly poignant service for the assistant priest at Holy Trinity, the Revd Maree Wilson (below right), who will be leaving this diocese to take up a position in Hereford after Easter.

The Chrism Eucharist is the occasion when the blessing of the three oils which are used in the services of the Church - for the sick, for those to be baptised and Chrism for confirmation and ordination -  is combined with the renewal of commitment to ministry by bishops, priests, deacons and authorised lay ministers. Together we remember how Christ consecrated himself to obedient service to his Father, in his prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

St Catherine's Stuttgart Organ Project nears conclusion

St. Catherine's Anglican Church in Stuttgart has for the past year been working with their Old Catholic host congregation on a Pipe Organ Project to bring an antique [1903] organ from England to install in "the English Church". This is a replacement for the original instrument destroyed by allied bombing in the last war.

The Revd Ken Dimmick, priest-in-charge of St Catherine's, has just announced the happy news that the fund-raising for the organ has been virtually completed! Additionally, all the building construction necessary to set this organ on a proper and attractive organ loft under the rose window is also complete. The organ in the final stages of renovation at the workshop of master organ builder Michael Mauch. It is expected that the installation will begin in early May. 

Fr Ken has issued an invitation to the Organ Dedicatiion and Blessing on Pentecost Sunday, 12 June 2011, at 17:00 in St Catherine's Church. Bishop Joachim Vobbe, the retired Bishop of the Old Catholic Diocese of Germany, and I will jointly preside at the service. An inaugural concert will be given by Andrew Dewar. Mr Dewar, originally from England, is a member of St. Catherine's, a former student of the Stuttgart Musikhochschule, winner of numerous international competitions, and currently based in Paris, France.  A Reception for friends, visitors, and parishioners will come immediately after the concert.   

If you are free to join the festivities that day, you will be most welcome.

Congratulations to the members of St Catherine's and to Fr Ken Dimmick for bringing the realisation of this exciting project to a successful conclusion.

St Catherine's website is here

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

90th Anniversary of the Royal British Legion celebrated in Spain

Keith Brown and Fr Terence Sampson (Royal British Legion Chaplain and Hon. Assistant Priest at SS Peter and Paul) 
Keith Brown, reader in training in the parish of Saints Peter and Paul, Torrevieja, was a key organiser of a programme to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Royal British Legion. Two concerts were held in the new Sala de Diputación in Alicante on Saturday 2 April, to packed audiences. I would estimate that close to 4000 persons were in attendance in total.
Ruth Lorenzo and Chelsea Pensioner
Massed voice choirs from the region were joined by a brass band and the Torrevieja Pipes and Drums. Ruth Lorenzo, a finalist in the 2008 X-Factor television competition and a native of nearby Murcia, was one of the guest singers. Also performing was the group All Angels, a successful classical "cross-over" group of young women sopranos. Cathy Carson, a popular singer originally from Yorkshire now a member of SS Peter and Paul, (and the wife of Keith Brown),  performed some favourites from the Second World War. 

I led a Drumhead Service which was incorporated into each concert. Military personnel returned from service in Afghanistan (including one injured soldier) and several Chelsea Pensioners were present and were given a particularly warm welcome by the packed auditorium.

Many mayors of nearby Spanish towns and cities were on hand for the concert and service in the evening, and remarked on how moving they found this particular British cultural/religious/military observance.

One fifth of the Royal British Legion overseas members reside in Spain.

All Angels (except for the one in the middle!)

Sunday, 10 April 2011

The Revd Canon Christopher Jage-Bowler, Area Dean of Germany

At the March meeting of the Council of Anglican/Episcopal Churches in Germany (CAECG) I commissioned the Revd Canon Christopher Jage-Bowler, chaplain of St George's, Berlin, as Area Dean of Germany for a further 3 year term. In the photo above, Fr Christopher is kneeling, while the Archdeacon of Germany and Northern Europe, Jonathan LLoyd looks on.

Area Deans in the Diocese in Europe sometimes are assigned to a deanery within the archdeaconry (as in the case of Germany) and sometimes serve the whole archdeaconry (as in the case of France). They have these general responsibilities:

  • To offer pastoral care of the clergy within the deanery or archdeaconry, and of their families
  •  To be a leader in the shared mission and ministry of the churches of the deanery or archdeaconry
  • To organise (and chair if necessary) meetings of Clergy Chapter of the deanery or archdeaconry and organise (and chair if necessary) along with the lay chair, the deanery or archdeaconry Synod
  • On request, to advise clergy and licensed readers on matters of continuing ministerial education, in consultation with the Director of Training
  • To provide contact with and support to licensed readers in the deanery or archdeaconry
  • At the request of the archdeacon, or Lead Bishop, to meet with and advise the Churchwardens and / or church council of a congregation entering or during a vacancy

Friday, 8 April 2011

Prayer for Prince William and Catherine Middleton

The Church of England has edited a prayer for Prince William and Catherine Middleton and all couples preparing for their wedding. It can be used in private prayer, in groups or within public worship. (The royal wedding will be at Westminster Abbey on Friday 29 April).

God of all grace,
friend and companion,
look in favour on William and Catherine
and all who are made one in marriage.
In your love deepen their love
and strengthen their wills
to keep the promises they will make,
that they may continue
in life-long faithfulness to each other;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

(adapted from Common Worship)

Monday, 4 April 2011

First Woman Primate in the Porvoo Communion

© Church of Norway Information Office
The Church of Norway has made a bold move as it establishes the office of permanent Presiding Bishop. The Church has appointed Bishop Helga Haugland Byfuglien to this new office. Bishop Helga thus becomes the first woman "Primate" of a Church within the Porvoo Communion of Churches. As the Church of Norway is the state Church Bishop Helga was chosen by the Minister for Church affairs after the unanimous recommendation from the Bishops' Conference and the National Church Council.

The office of Presiding Bishop as a permanent distinct office is a new development. For the past 500 years, the Presiding Bishop was chosen from among the existing diocesan bishops. The new permanent Presiding Bishop becomes an additional 12th bishop and will be based in the National Offices in Oslo but with a seat in the ancient cathedral of Nidaros (Trondheim).

Bishop Helga Haugland Byfuglien is presently the bishop of Borg and acts as the Presiding Bishop in an interim period until she starts in her permanent new position in August. The official inauguration of the new office and the appointment of the new bishop will be celebrated in the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim on Sunday, 2nd October.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Joint Anglican - Catholic Apostolic Confirmation in Utrecht

On Saturday 26 March in Utrecht I presided at an unusual confirmation service with candidates from Holy Trinity Utrecht, St James's Voorschoten, the Anglican East Netherlands parish and several Catholic Apostolics.  

The Catholic Apostolic Church is a religious movement with its origins in Britain in the 1830s. They hold to a belief in the near approach of the Second Coming of Christ. Originally their church organisation included apostles, bishops, priests and deacons. (Their bishops were known as angels!). The present day communities have no surviving clergy. In the Netherlands Anglican clergy provide sacramental ministry for them. Catholic Apostolics continue a intensive and comprehensive catechetical programme for thier youth, leading to confirmation.

The service was held in St Aloysius Roman Catholic Church in Utrecht as our own building was too small for the large congregation.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Worship and Dialogue at Church of the Resurrection, Istanbul

The Church of the Resurrection in Istanbul, a Turkish-speaking parish in the city, is now close to celebrating one year of life as a formal congregation in the diocese. On Sunday 20 March I presided and preached at their Sunday Eucharist. Several members of the congregation stayed after the service for a dialogue session (pictured above) at which we explored together many aspects and questions related to Christian life in Turkey and the unique contribution that the Anglican tradition can offer.

The priest-in-charge, the Revd Engin Yildirim, reports that after a year congregational life is deepening with several activities and groups organised: a drama group, music group, programme for discipleship training, "mercy ministry" (outreach) and childrens' ministry. 18 people are now enrolled in the programme to deepen a sense of lay vocation and discipleship. Among the activities included in "mercy ministry" is collaboration with the Roman Catholic organisation Caritas in work among refugees.

The growing congregation meets in a church building rented from the Armenian Protestant Church.

Friday, 1 April 2011