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Tuesday, 15 May 2012

French Archdeaconry meets in Brittany

Photo: St Paul's Monaco
Over 120 clergy and lay representatives from our congregations in France and Monaco gathered for the annual synod of the French Archdeaconry in St Jacut de la Mer, Brittany.  There are over 70 Church of England congregations in France and Monaco, clustered into about 30 "parishes".

Abbey of St Jacut
Besides the daily round of office and eucharist, and the customary business that synods must address, the representatives heard some stimulating lectures by the Revd Dr Anders Bergquist, the vicar of St John's Wood, London. Dr Bergquist spoke on "God's work and ours", reflecting on aspects of the liturgical life of the Church, and on the dimensions of the Church's ministry, lay and ordained.

The Revd Dr Anders Bergquist
Other discussions and presentations were on
  • the updated Diocesan Safeguarding guidelines (formerly known as Child Protection)
  • Environmental matters
  • the Anglican Covenant
  • Diocesan Strategic Planning
  • next steps in the ordination of women to the episcopate
  • Music copyright
  • Rising costs of ministry
Significantly, the Revd Franck Lemaître OP, the Ecumenical Officer of the French (RC) Episcopal Conference, joined us for part of the synod and addressed the gathering, reporting on the good state of ecumenical relations with the Roman Catholic Church in France.

 The Revd Franck Lemaître OP
This was the last archdeaconry synod at which the Venerable Ken Letts would preside. Fr Ken steps down as Archdeacon of France on 30 June (but continues as Chaplain of Holy Trinity Nice and St Hugh's Vence). There were several moments when the synod's deep appreciation for his leadership were expressed. The representatives gave Fr Ken an icon of the 12 Feasts, as a token of their love and best wishes. 

Photo: St Paul's Monaco
Mrs Isabel Letts and Archdeacon Ken Letts. Photo: St Paul's Monaco

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