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, 30 May 2013

Communications meltdown

Since last Friday, all computers, servers and telephones in Church House, Westminster, have been completely shut down. This has meant that the Europe Diocesan Office and my own office have been left with extremely limited capacity to respond to any messages or emails. (We have been able to get some messages in and out through our mobile telephones). It is not possible to access any documents or work stored on the servers.

Needless to say, this is an extremely frustrating situation, given that next week we are all in Cologne for the inside of a week at Diocesan Synod! Nerves are frayed, understandably. Meanwhile, the Diocesan Finance Officer, Mr Nick Wraight, is offering his colleagues comforting cups of tea. A classic English solution in times of hardship.

The IT department of Church House is working on this systems meltdown. We sincerely hope to be back to full operation by the end of today. We apologise for any delay in correspondence or in matters related to the work of the Diocesan Office or my office.

Monday, 27 May 2013

Greater Athens chaplaincy comes together for a quiet day

On 27th May, fifty two adults and thirteen young people of the Greater Athens Anglican Chaplaincy came together for a quiet day at the Uniate Convent of I Pammakapistos in the northern suburbs of Athens. We can certainly appreciate that with the upheavals in Greece, a time for prayer and reflection together was much appreciated. The Revd Canon Malcolm Bradshaw, the chaplain of Greater Athens reported that the weather was perfect, the grounds expansive, facilities excellent and the hospitality given by this small religious community was extraordinary. Sr. Frances Dominica of Helen and Douglas House led the Quiet Day. Drawing from her long experience within the Hospice movement she spoke on ‘Me’, ‘You’ and ‘God’. Both the tragedy and the joy in life were touched upon as well as living with unanswerable questions and the mystery of God.

The worship for the day was based on the shape of the Eucharist. It was closely inter-related with the theme of each session. Parallel to the sessions for the adults was a lively programme of art, story-telling and games for young people all built around the story of Moses. The young people gave a short presentation at the end of the Quiet day. There was a unanimous call for another such day next year.


Sunday, 26 May 2013

Feast of the Holy Trinity in Monaco

Candidates renew their baptismal vows

Great Feasts of the Christian calendar might get slightly displaced in Monaco if they happen to fall on the weekend of the Formula One Grand Prix. Road closures on Sunday morning mean that it is very difficult for people to get to Church. The main Sunday liturgy is thus celebrated on Saturday evening.

This year it was the Feast of the Holy Trinity which had to be "anticipated" on Saturday night. But it was still a major and joyful celebration which this year included confirmation of two members of St Paul's Monaco, and one from the neighbouring parish of St Michael's, Beaulieu. Fr Walter Raymond OGS, of St Paul's was joined by Fr Philip Robinson, the locum priest at St Michael's, in presenting candidates for the Apostolic Rite of Confirmation.


Thursday, 23 May 2013

Petertide Ordinations 2013

Doreen Cage, John Barker, Richard Gardiner, Matthias Grebe
With great joy I announce the following persons are to be ordained this Petertide (God willing):

Sacred Order of Deacon

By Bishop Geoffrey on Saturday, 29 June, in the Pro-Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Brussels at 2.30 pm:
Mr Richard Gardiner (to serve as assistant curate, St Boniface, Bonn and All Saints, Cologne)
Mr Matthias Grebe (to serve as assistant curate, St Boniface, Bonn and All Saints, Cologne)
Ms Doreen Cage (to serve as assistant curate, St George’s, Málaga)
Mr John Barker (to serve as assistant curate, Christ Church, Vienna with responsibility for Yerevan)
The street address for Holy Trinity is: 29 rue Capitaine Crespel, 1050 Brussels, Belgium. For further details please contact the Revd Canon Dr Robert Innes on +32 2 511 71 83, or email:
Liturgical colour: White

Sacred Order of Priest

By Bishop Edward Holland as Archbishop of Canterbury’s Episcopal Commissary on Sunday 30 June in All Saints, Rome at 10.30 am:
The Revd Dana English (assistant curate of All Saints, Rome)
The Revd Dr Mary Styles (assistant curate of All Saints, Rome)
The street address for All Saints is Via del Babuino 153, 00187 Rome, Italy.  For further details please contact the Venerable Jonathan Boardman on +39 06 3600 1881 or email:
Liturgical colour: White
All are warmly invited to attend these celebrations.

Clergy and Readers are invited to robe and join in procession. Priests of the Church of England or of a Church in communion are invited to join in the laying on of hands at the ordination of priests. Please plan to arrive at least ½ hour before the appointed service time.

Please announce these ordinations in your churches so that the candidates can be upheld in the prayers of the members of our congregations as they make their final preparations towards ordination as deacon or priest.

The Revd Dr Mary Styles, The Revd Dana English

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Commemoration of two priests who helped save Jewish lives in Vienna

It's a little known act of bravery - how two British priests serving in Christ Church, Vienna, rescued Jews from the Nazis by baptising them. 

Between March and September 1938, after the annexation of Austria by the Third Reich, the Revd Hugh Grimes and the Revd Frederick Collard baptised some 1,800 Viennese Jews in the hope that the resulting baptismal certificate would help provide them with safe passage out of the country. At that time, Austria's neighbours, although wary of allowing Jewish refugees to enter, were more prepared to admit those who could demonstrate that they belonged to the Christian religion. The baptismal register of this Church of England parish in Vienna contains this remarkable story. On some days over 100 baptisms were held.

On Saturday 18 May, at a service of Evensong in Christ Church, a memorial plaque was unveiled to commemorate the act of courage and compassion shown by these two priests. Testimonies were given by Dr Harold Chipman, whose grandfather was one of those baptised, who escaped to England and eventually to Brazil, and by a long-time member of Christ Church, Mr Fred Grüber, who survived persecution as a child refugee in the Kindertransport rescue mission. The British Ambassador HE Susan le Jeune d'Allegeescheque was present, and several ecumenical guests and other representatives. The service was followed by a reception. The plaque design includes an extract from the baptismal register and the following words:

Between March and September 1938, more than 1800 Jewish Austrians were baptised at Christ Church Vienna by the Reverends Hugh Grimes and Fred Collard. On 25 July alone, 229 baptisms took place. For these people, baptism was a source of hope and for many, a step on the road to survival and freedom in emigration. 

Archdeacon Patrick Curran
Dr Harold Chipman, Mr Fred Grüber

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Curates' Residential on Prayer and Spirituality

Our curates in their training (title) posts continue with scheduled residential meetings to fulfil the Church of England's requirement for what is known technically as IME 4 - 7. IME 4 - 7 are the 4 years of training for ordained ministry that must be completed after ordination. Thus the full amount of time required to train a priest or deacon in the Church of England is approximately 7 years. IME 4 - 7 in the Diocese in Europe is delivered under the supervision of the Director of Training, the Revd Canon Ulla Monberg. 

Earlier this month the curates came together at St Columba's House in Woking for an extended weekend of Post Ordination Training, focussing on prayer and spirituality. The resource person for this particular set of sessions was the Rvd Dr Mark Godson of the London Centre for Spirituality, who is pictured second from the right above. 

What a fine looking group of curates we have!  

Friday, 17 May 2013

Prayers for the 60th Anniversary of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Coronation of Her Majesty the Queen who was crowned in the ancient ceremony which was held in Westminster Abbey on Tuesday 2 June 1953. Churches in the Diocese in Europe may want to mark the anniversary at services on Sunday 2 June. There will be a service from Westminster Abbey televised on BBC on Tuesday 4 June at 11.00 am British Summer Time.

The following prayer, which has the Queen’s approval, will be incorporated in the Service of Thanksgiving in the Abbey on 4 June. The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have commended it for use throughout the Church of England. It is available in both traditional and modern language, and I commend it for use in congregations of this diocese. Some local adaptation may be required in countries which are clearly outside the realm of England. It could be as simple as omitting the words "of our Sovereign Lady" before "Queen Elizabeth".

Traditional language:

Almighty God,
who through anointing with the oil of gladness at the hands of priests and prophets
dost strengthen thy chosen servants with the gifts of thy Holy Spirit:
be pleased to accept our joyful praise as with united voice
we give thanks for the long and glorious reign
of our Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth;
and to receive our humble prayer that, by renewing thy blessings,
thou wilt pour upon her thy choicest gifts,
and upon all thy people the spirit of humility and service,
shown forth in the life and death of him who is the anointed King of all,
our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Modern language:

Almighty God,
at the hands of priests and prophets
you anoint your chosen servants with the oil of gladness
and strengthen them with the gifts of your Holy Spirit:
accept our joyful praise as with united voice
we give thanks for the long and glorious reign
of our Sovereign Lady Queen Elizabeth.
Renewing your blessings, pour on her your choicest gifts,
and on all your people the spirit of humility and mutual service
shown in the life and death of him who is the anointed King of all,
our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

© Westminster Abbey 2013

Other liturgical resources to mark this anniversary can be found here.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Anglicanism Module for Trainee Readers

Readers (that is Licensed Lay Ministers) in this Diocese in Europe, after selection for this ministry, train for approximately three years, studying various aspects of theology and biblical studies through St John's College, Nottingham. There is an additional module which the Director of Training, the Revd Canon Ulla Monberg, has instituted this year, on Anglicanism. This module will be run by the diocese itself and will be a residential weekend of lectures and discussion followed by an essay. The first Anglicanism module was held for 12 trainee Readers last weekend in St Columba's House, Woking.

Director of Training, Canon Ulla Monberg
Readers are licensed to lead services of the Word, to preach and to teach, and are better described by the phrase "Licensed Lay Ministers". Very often people from other Churches assume that all that Readers do is read lessons and there is sometimes some puzzlement as to why this requires a selection process and a three-year theological training and formation!

Senior Tutor and Advisor for Reader Training, the Revd Elaine Labourel
During the weekend, the participants heard lectures on aspects of Anglican history, ecclesiology, ecumenical engagement, liturgy, music, spirituality, canon law, structures and synodical life. Worship was held each day, taking advantage of the range of authorised forms, from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer to the ancient Vigil Office celebrated on Saturday evenings since about the 3rd century! The residential gathering offers the chance for exchange of experiences and for many basic and practical questions to be raised and discussed.

Deacon Frances Hiller leads session on Anglican Hymnody
Aiden Hargreaves-Smith, Diocesan Registrar instructs on Canon Law
There are about 100 licensed Readers in the Diocese in Europe with another approximately 40 in various stages of discernment and training for this ministry. This attendees at this first module on Anglicanism were from Gibraltar, Spain, Netherlands, Portugal, France, Switzerland and Croatia.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

New Priest-in-Charge of St James's Porto

On Tuesday 30th April Fr Peter Ford was licensed to serve in St James Porto by the Ven David Sutch, Archdeacon of Gibraltar in the presence of Bishop José Jorge Pina Cabral, the recently consecrated Bishop in the Lusitanian Church in Portugal, Fr Nigel Stimpson from Lisbon, Fr Bob Bates from the Algarve, Fr Michael Bullock OGS, formerly of Lisbon and Judith Murray, a Reader in Training, supported by Terry Weineck and Ian Sinclair, the Churchwardens.

Fr Peter knows this diocese well. He most recently served as priest-in-charge of Holy Trinity, Las Palmas in Gran Canaria, with her daughter congregations on that island.
St James's Porto can trace its history back to 1671. The parish website is here. We welcome Fr Peter to this new responsibility in this historic parish.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

The Very Revd John Arnold at St Thomas Becket, Hamburg

The Very Revd John Arnold, centre, with Fr Matthew Jones

The Church of St Thomas Becket in Hamburg welcomed as its guest preacher at its Sunday Eucharist on 5 May, the former Dean of Durham, the Very Revd John Arnold. This Eucharist which celebrating the feast of Saints Philip and James, concluded the parish's extensive involvement over the days of Kirchentag in Hamburg and it was fitting that such a prominent ecumenist and distinguished European Churchman should be the preacher. Dr Arnold was in fact, one of the drafters of the Meissen Common Statement. He has also served as the President of the Conference of European Churches, and even had a hand in shaping our diocese at the time of the preparation of the Diocese in Europe Measure in 1980!

The Chaplain of St Thomas Becket, the Revd Matthew Jones, informed the congregation that over 1100 people had attended services at St Thomas's over the 4 days of Kirchentag, and many more people visited the church which was open for prayer each day.

It had been a busy time for parishioners, many of who helped as volunteers at the Kirchentag stalls for the Council of Anglican-Episcopal Churches in Germany (CAECG), and the Anglican-Lutheran Society. The parish, which marked 400 years last year with an active programme of celebration, now begins some major external works on the building itself, involving painting, new lighting and other improvements which will make our Church much more visible and identifiable in this great city. The website of St Thomas Becket is here.


Wednesday, 8 May 2013

St Edmund's Oslo: A international meeting place

The Revd Canon Janet Heil, the Chaplain of St Edmund's Oslo, is the parish priest of an international congregation in the Norwegian capital. At a recent parish visit on 29 April, I confirmed members that she had prepared from Kenya, Nigeria, Norway, and the USA. At a Church Council meeting I met other members from Zambia, South Africa, and even England! Worship at St Edmund's is in English, of course, but Canon Heil has also learnt Norwegian which does help our relations with our sister Church of Norway.

Canon Heil also oversees the work of daughter churches and their resident priests in Stavanger, Bergen and Trondheim.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Meissen Service at Kirchentag held in St Thomas Becket Church

Bishop Weber in St Thomas Becket Church
An important worship service during the Kirchentag in recent years has been a Meissen Eucharist to celebrate the relationship between the EKD (The Evangelical Church in Germany) and the Church of England, a relationship established by the Meissen Common Statement which was signed in 1991 This agreement enables eucharistic hospitality between our Churches, as a stage along the way to full communion. The Agreement does not permit interchangeability of ministers, but does promote fellowship in as many areas of Christian life and witness as possible so that our Churches might advance together towards full visible unity one day. It is also an agreement that has huge significance with regard to reconciliation between two countries that once were at war.

This year the Meissen service at the Hamburg Kirchentag was held in St Thomas Becket Church, our Anglican Parish in the city. Bishop Nick Baines of Bradford, the Anglican Co-Chairman of the Meissen Commission, presided. His EKD counterpart, Bishop Professor Friedrich Weber of Braunschweig was the preacher. St Thomas Becket parishioners provided a warm reception for the visitors after the packed service.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Kirchentag 2013

Archdeacon Jonathan LLoyd with St Thomas Becket Volunteer at Kirchentag
The 34th Protestant Kirchentag was held in Hamburg from 1 to 5 May. There is no other event quite like it in the Christian world. It is an immense gathering of people of all ages and walks of life. There are addresses from global leaders, dozens of acts of worship each day according to many traditions, from Caribbean beat to Iona contemplative, cultural events, workshops, musical performances (brass bands are everywhere!), and a marketplace for churches, groups, movements and agencies to set out their wares. The  CAECG, the Council of Anglican/Episcopal Churches in Germany, were among the stalls at the marketplace.

Angela Merkel and Helen Clark
The theme for this Kirchentag was "As much as you need” taken from Exodus 16.18, which gave opportunity for focussed reflection on issues of sustainability of the planet and to examine critically systems which promote wealth, greed and excess. I attended one of the keynote events on this theme which was a brilliant dialogue session between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Helen Clark, the former New Zealand Prime Minister, now the Administrator of the UN Development Programme. The two spoke passionately about issues in international development touching upon climate change, gender equality and the  sensitive political matter of balancing economic advancement for emerging nations such as China and India while encouraging responsibility for CO2 emissions.

I also attended an interesting panel discussion with the Revd Dr Olav Fyske Tveit, the General Secretary of the World Council of Churches and Archbishop Robert Zollitsch of Freiburg (who is also the President of the German Roman Catholic Bishops' Conference). The theme was Pope Francis and what he might bring to ecumenical life. Both the WCC leader and the Roman Catholic Archbishop were very optimistic about the ecumenical leadership of the Pope, particularly in a call for Christians to lead a more simple life, demonstrated in his own ministry to date. The hall was filled with 2000 mostly German Protestants, and they had some pointed questions for Archbishop Zollitsch, about the role of women and the future of ecumenical cooperation in Germany. The Archbishop was very candid in his responses. He said he was personally in favour of the ordination of women to the diaconate and was actively promoting a study of this issue. He also said, to the delight of the audience, that he recognised the German Protestant Church (EKD) as a church!

Over 130,000 people registered to be part of Kirchentag, with about 4,000 international visitors, bringing an atmosphere of celebration and Christian joy throughout the city. The Archdeacon of Germany and Northern Europe entered fully into that spirit!

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Vacancy spotlight: Emmanuel Church, Warsaw

From time to time I spotlight a current vacancy for a priest in the diocese. There is one very interesting post which is currently open: the priest-in-charge of Emmanuel Church, Warsaw. The Church of England has a fascinating and long history in Poland, going back to embassy chaplains in the 16th century. After the ravages of WWII, for many years the communist regime resisted recognition of our historic work. The present congregation was reborn in 1995 and the Anglican Church in Poland is now a legally recognised Church. 

This is a house-for-duty post, in a growing parish in an exciting and fast‐moving city at the heart of Europe. The congregation is international, with about 60 on the electoral roll, including citizens of the UK, USA, Nigeria, Australia and Poland. There are two honorary assistant priests with Permission to Officiate who will work under the priest-in-charge. Services are in English.

The priest's residence is a spacious four‐room apartment, centrally located and well served by trams and buses. This is an ideal post for someone with vision to grow a parish, harnessing the enthusiasm of a committed congregation, and to be part of the most exciting diocese in the Anglican Communion!

For more information about this post, please contact our Appointments Secretary, Catherine Jackson.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Sea Sunday 14 July 2013

Sea Sunday is 14 July this year, and the Mission to Seafarers has prepared resources that will be useful for our parishes who wish to mark this day.

The Mission to Seafarers is one of the mission agencies of the Church of England which is active in this Diocese in Europe. There are port chaplains based in Gibraltar, Antwerp, Vlissingen, Rotterdam, Odessa and Dunkirk and honorary chaplains and ecumenical cooperation with other seafarers missions  in many other places in addition. The Mission around the world serves the over 1.3 million seafarers, whose work is hard, often dangerous and involves long periods of isolation from their families.

The Sea Sunday pack is available for download from the Mission to Seafarers website. There are resources for liturgically use on 14 July, sermon notes and material suitable for children. The pack is available here: