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Thursday, 26 May 2016

French Synod life: bible study, liturgy, ministry and the occasional blind challenge!

Dr Richard Briggs leads Bible Study
Worship and bible study are integral to the life of the Synod of the French Archdeaconry. Yes, there is business to be done, finances to be agreed, and reports to be received. But there is also daily prayer, eucharist and engagement with scripture which under-girds its work.

This year, at the Synod in St Jacut de la Mer in Brittany, the Bible studies were led by the Revd Dr Richard Briggs. Dr Briggs is the Lecturer in Old Testament and Director of Biblical Studies at Cranmer Hall in Durham. He is a specialist on the Pentateuch and is about to publish a study of the Book of Numbers. His studies at the synod were stimulating explorations of the Book of Jonah and the Book of Daniel.

Patrick Sturges (3rd from left) admitted as a Reader
During one of the daily Eucharists at the Synod, Mr Patrick Sturges was admitted to the office of Reader and authorised to carry out this ministry in the parish of Aquitaine. The theological, liturgical and pastoral formation of Readers (also called Licensed Lay Ministers) takes on average three years. The service was on the Feast of St Alcuin of York, a fitting day, as Alcuin, a deacon, was himself a theologian, preacher, teacher and scholar of the liturgy. To celebrate this joyous occasion, some of the Readers present at the Synod robed and accompanied Patrick as he was admitted.

The Synod reps enjoy being together "after hours" for fellowship and relaxation. This takes various forms from convivial conversation, to quieter one-on-one challenges!

The Revd Andrew Biggs (St George's Paris) challenges the Revd Olaf Eriksson (Holy Trinity Maisons-Laffitte) to blind chess! 

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