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Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Archdeacon Ian Naylor announces his retirement to the French Synod

Archdeacon Ian Naylor opens the French Synod
The French Archdeaconry Synod is one of the largest in the diocese. There are over 60 congregations of the Church of England in France, grouped in approximately 30 parishes or chaplaincies, served by about 30 clergy and about 30 licensed lay ministers (Readers).

Archdeacon Ian Naylor has been the Archdeacon of France (and Monaco) for the past 4 years. In the past two years he has been working full-time (but without a stipend!) in this position, after he retired from his parochial duties at St Andrew's Pau. Archdeacon Ian announced to the Synod on the last evening that he would be stepping down on 30 September. The members of the Synod were very saddened indeed by this news. Several times the assembled clergy and laity broke into applause for Fr Ian, expressing their thanks for the support and leadership he has given to the churches of the Archdeaconry, and their appreciation for his pastoral care. Area Deans Debbie Flach and Andrew Hawken voiced the feelings of all present when they paid tribute to Ian for his Archidiaconal ministry. It is clear that Fr Ian will be sorely missed, and his successor will have very large shoes to fill indeed.

Pastor Christian Krieger of the Union of Protestant Churches in Alsace and Lorraine with Pauline Dif from St Alban's Strasbourg
Ecumenical life shared by our churches in France continues to be rich and fruitful. The Synod heard from ecumenical partners such as Fr Emmanuel Gougard (Ecumenical Secretary of the French RC Bishops' Conference), Pastor Jane Strantz of the French Protestant Federation, and Pastor Christian Krieger from the Union of Protestant Churches in Alsace and Lorraine. Reports were heard from the French Anglican-Roman Catholic dialogue and from the Reuilly Contact Group (which supports the ecumenical relations between the Anglican Churches in Britain and Ireland and the Protestant Churches in France and in Alsace-Lorraine). Our faithful in France and Monaco continue to be excellent ambassadors for our Anglican tradition and our ecumenical commitment.

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