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.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Area Deans of Nordic / Baltic and Balkans / Turkey in 10 day theological consultation

The Revd Barbara Moss (left) and the Revd Canon Malcolm Bradshaw
The Revd Barbara Moss of Gothenburg (and Area Dean of the Nordic and Baltic states) and Revd Canon Malcolm Bradshaw of the Greater Athens Anglican Chaplaincy (and Area Dean of the Balkans and Turkey) had a challenging ten days in July as they shared in a consultation with twenty four other senior parish priests at St George’s House, Windsor Castle.

The consultation was entitled ‘God: Some Conversations. How to speak about God?’ It was a rigorous programme. Each morning began with worship at 7.30 in St George’s Chapel, followed by groups for bible study, facilitated by a theologian. The biblical passage studied was linked to the particular theme explored during the day: Today’s Church, Equality, Childhood, Literature and the Arts, Drugs policy, Finance/Economics or Assisted Dying. By 10.00 am the group was reviewing a book or a film focused on the theme of the day such as ‘Easter’ by Michael Arditti or ‘A Perfectly Good Man’ by Patrick Gale or the BBC programme  ‘Rev’. At 11.00 am a key note lecture was given by such worthies as Baroness Margaret Jay, Dr Nigel Varndell of the Children’s Society, Mr. Roger Howard  Chief executive of the UK Drug Policy Commission, Mr. John Lancaster a commentator and author. By 4.00 pm the groups convened yet again to engage on all that had been spoken about in the morning.  After Evensong an hour was given to receiving and discussing a presentation on a topic of a participant’s choosing and prepared previously.

Fr Malcolm reports that despite the rigour of the 10 day process it was good to talk theologically with peers in ministry on current issues regarding both Church and Society. Barbara and Malcolm express their thanks to the Diocesan Ministry for Vocations and Training for making such an opportunity available to them.

Monday, 20 August 2012

The Revd Stephen Hazlett: new Port Chaplain in Rotterdam

On 19 August, the Reverend Stephen Hazlett was licensed to the position of Port Chaplain for the Missions to Seafarers, Rotterdam. Fr Hazlett, originally from Belfast, has most recently been serving as an industrial chaplain, based at Sunderland Minster in the Diocese of Durham. Stephen will be very busy:  Rotterdam is the largest and busiest port in Europe. But he will also give occasional service to St Mary's Church in Rotterdam. We welcome Stephen and his wife Hazel to his new position with Mission to Seafarers within our Diocese.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

On leave

I will be taking some leave from the 20th to 31st August. Do not expect too many blog updates during this time. 

My chaplain Deacon Frances Hiller (+44 (0) 20 7898 1161), or the staff at the diocesan office (+44 (0) 020 7898 1155) are able to get messages to me in case of urgent need.
¡Hasta luego!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

"Time for Creation" is approaching

A reminder that the Church of England, including this Diocese in Europe, has endorsed the observance of a "Time for Creation", which runs from 1 September to 4 October. 1 September is the first day of the church year for the Orthodox Christians who start that day with a commemoration of how God created the world. 4 October is the feast of Saint Francis of Assisi, when many western Churches, including the Church of England commemorate St Francis of Assisi, a lover of God's creation. St Francis is the author of a famous Canticle which is found in our Common Worship: Daily Prayer, as Canticle 85 on age 641.

During this "time of creation" we are encouraged to give particular focus to environmental issues. This year the focus is sustainable energy. The World Council of Churches has assembled a list of resources for sermon and liturgy preparation, including material suitable for Harvest Festivals. They can be accessed here. 

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.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Canon Dr Gary Wilton elected to General Synod from the Diocese

A vacancy in our delegates to General Synod was created by the resignation of the Revd Canon Ian Hutchinson-Cervantes, who is leaving St George's Madrid in September, to take up a new post in Chichester diocese. The Presiding Officer for elections in the diocese, Mr Aiden Hargreaves-Smith, has confirmed that the  vacancy been filled by the Revd Canon Dr Gary Wilton (pictured above).

Canon Wilton is the Archbishop of Canterbury's Representative to the EU, and is an assistant priest at Holy Trinity Pro-Cathedral in Brussels. He joins the remaining 3 delegates, the Revd Canon Debbie Flach, Canon Ann Turner, and Mrs Madeleine Holmes.

We thank Canon Hutchinson-Cervantes for serving the diocese in this way for the last year and a half, and pray for Canon Wilton as he takes up this representative role.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

The Blessed Virgin Mary

15 August is the feast of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Christians have celebrated this day since at least the 5th Century. It is known by several titles. Eastern Christians refer to The Dormition of Our Lady. The Anglican Church of Canada calls it The Falling Asleep of the Blessed Virgin Mary. For Roman Catholics and others, the feast is known as The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Church of England title is simple: The Blessed Virgin Mary and was chosen to avoid doctrinal controversy!

50 years ago when the Second Vatican Council of the Roman Catholic Church was convened, one of the hot topics debated was whether to produce a document on Mary. In the end it was decided to say something about Mary, not in a separate statement, but as part of the fuller ecclesiological document, the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (known by its the Latin title Lumen Gentium). A vital truth is contained in this decision: Mary's place is among the People of God. 

This insight has been known to Christians for a very long time. In the ancient iconography of the Church, Mary is never depicted alone. She always with Christ, the apostles or the saints. She is among us, within the fellowship of the Church, a pre-eminent member as she is closest to Christ, and for believers a model of holiness, obedience and faith. 
In her humility and obedience to your calling, O God, the Virgin Mary stands as a model for your Church. Grant that your people may trust in your word, and so in faith become bearers of Christ, our light and our life, for ever and ever.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Priest's plans for chaplaincy at Athens 2004 helps London 2012

We have discovered that the wisdom and experience of the Revd Canon Malcolm Bradshaw of St Paul's in Athens, related to managing the chaplaincy for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, has found its way into the management of the chaplaincy for the 2012 London games. The plans, procedures and structures that Fr Malcolm put in place in 2004 were referred to in an article written for the The Baptist Times by the Revd John Boyers who assisted Fr Malcolm at the Athens Games and who is part of the chaplaincy team at London 2012.

We are delighted that the vast amount of work that Fr Malcolm undertook over 8 years ago has been found to be useful to those who had to devise a plan for chaplaincy in the London games. In this small but important way, our Diocese, through Fr Malcolm's experience, has contributed to the way that the athletes and their entourages are cared for pastorally at London 2012.

There are around 160 chaplains serving both the Olympics and the Paralympics.

Friday, 3 August 2012

Vacancy spotlight: St John the Evangelist, Casablanca

From time to time I spotlight a current vacancy for a priest in the diocese. One interesting position is currently vacant: St John the Evangelist, Casablanca. (Although we are the Diocese in Europe, two of our parishes are actually in Morocco, the other being St Andrew's, Tangier).

St John’s is an active Church, serving the English-speaking foreign community in Casablanca. Members include Americans, British, Filipinos, Koreans, Australians, South Africans and people from many Sub-Saharan African countries.

If you are a priest who has 
  • a breadth of pastoral and cross-cultural experience
  • an ability to provide worship in the broadly evangelical tradition while remaining inclusive to a wide spectrum of the Anglican Communion
  • a commitment to ecumenical engagement
  • a sensitivity for the unique context of the ministry of a historic Church in a Muslim land
you may wish to look closely at this opportunity.

The package includes a stipend of 200,000 Moroccan Dirhams (about £15,000) per annum, a fully furnished accommodation, plus payment of utilities, a parish car and expenses of office. (There are no contributions to a pension scheme). 

Details can be found on the Diocesan website here.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Elections for Diocesan Synod are approaching. Have you considered standing?

In late June I gave a lecture in Santander, Spain, about Vatican II and its ecumenical impact. Following the lecture there was a lively discussion among the mostly Roman Catholic audience. They recognised that one of the main differences between Anglicans and Roman Catholics is the place of laity and clergy, as well as of bishops, in the governance of the Church. The Church of England, like the Roman Catholic Church, is an episcopal church, and share a common understanding of the ministry of bishops. But the government of the Church of England is not by bishops alone, but by bishops in synod. 

Which brings me to an important observation: We are at a key moment in the three year cycle of the governance of our Diocese. There are just 3 weeks left for nominations to be made for the new sessions of Diocesan Synod which will run for 3 years from 2013-2015.

Elections will be held for both the House of Laity and the House of Clergy. Elected members are likely to oversee an exciting period in the Diocese’s history – with plans for full-time Archdeacons and more powers for the Synod expected to come into effect during that time. The Diocesan Synod is the main policy making body of the diocese and the forum for the discussion of issues important in diocesan life. It meets annually – in Cologne in recent years – over four days each May/June. All members are also members of the Diocesan Board of Finance which is responsible for the custody and management of diocesan finances. 

Candidates for the House of Laity on Diocesan Synod may stand for election if they are:
(i) actual communicant members of the Church of England or of a Church in communion with that Church;
(ii) aged eighteen years and upwards;
(iii) on the Electoral Roll of any chaplaincy or congregation in the diocese;
The Electors are laity who have been elected as Archdeaconry Representatives by their churches. 

Candidates for the House of Clergy on Diocesan Synod may stand for election if they hold the Bishop's Licence. The Electors are all licensed clergy who were in post during June.

The numbers to be elected in each archdeaconry / deanery are as follows:

                                                            Clergy           Laity
Eastern                                                    2                   2
France                                                     3                   4
Germany & Northern Europe                   2                    2
Gibraltar                                                  2                    4
North West Europe                                  2                    3
Italy & Malta                                            1                    2
Switzerland                                              1                    2

Total to be elected                                   13                  19

(The Dean, Archdeacons and members of General Synod are ex officio members of Diocesan Synod).

The Diocesan Secretary, Mr Adrian Mumford, says, 
"Please do consider standing for Synod: it is vital to Synodical Government that the thoughts of members from every chaplaincy are shared. Swift action to encourage nominees is advised as forms must be obtained from the Diocesan Office and must be returned by 21st August 2012. Ballot papers will then be issued with a final count on 26th October".  
Remember that many in a sister Church look with envy on the possibility available to Anglican laity and clergy to participating in the Church’s governance in this way!

As our Synods are residential, there are also opportunities to get to know people from across the diocese and to share in times of friendship with them. We work hard, and we enjoy each other's company!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

July 2012 Book Reviews

With the Olympic Games in full swing you might find you have less time to devote to reading. Nevertheless here are 9 reviews of some new theological works. There is (yet another) study of Fresh Expressions, two theological reflections on economic issues, some Church History, spirituality, and a couple of big names in theology: Jurgen Moltmann and Timothy Radcliffe. Also, a book that is sure to provoke some reaction in its new approach to the current human sexuality debate... 

Felix lectio!  

For the reviews press the read more button.