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Showing posts from October, 2016

Growth, faith, and good wine in St Pargoire

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I have been to Church Council meetings in many different places, but none quite so unusual as this one during my recent visit to the English Church at St Pargoire, in France. The meeting was in a warehouse belonging to a parishioner, Simon Caulshaw, who happens also to be a vintner, producing excellent vins du terroir , in this part of deepest Languedoc ( Domaine des Trinit├ęs , if you're interested!) The meeting ended with a little sampling of Simon's excellent range. The highlight of the parish visit was the confirmation of Alice, Simon and Monica's daughter. It was a joyful gathering of parishioners and friends. The Revd Roger Smith has nurtured this congregation for the past three years from a small group to a parish with close to 70 on the electoral roll. Alice was supported by her close friends for the ceremony, who accompanied her through the rite, including gathering with her at the baptismal font for the renewal of vows. The morning concluded with the customary sump

An unusual "concelebration"

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The blessing of pets and animals is often celebrated on October 4, the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, or on a Sunday near that date. This coincides with the end of "Creationtide", originally an Eastern Orthodox initiative, which has spread to other Churches. Our Director of Ordinands, the Revd Canon William Gulliford, is also the vicar of St Mark's Regent's Park in London. The London Zoo happens to be in his parish so obviously St Francis Day has to be celebrated in style. On 2 October, he gathered with one of our diocesan curates, the Revd Doreen Cage, and about 100 parishioners at the Zoo, for a service before the penguin pool. Mother Doreen is a great animal lover, and in addition to her priestly duties runs a home for dogs in the hills above Malaga city, where is an assistant curate in St George's. There are two remarkable things about the photo above. One is to observe Fr William engaging in an action song! The other is the penguin in the bottom le

Fr Amos's refugee ministry is back on the road again!

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Fr Amos in his new (second-hand, that is) vehicle Fr Amos is mobile again! Thanks to a generous grant from USPG , matched by funds from the Diocesan Board of Finance, the Revd Amos Manga is back on the road ministering to refugees in Finland. Fr  Amos is himself a refugee from South Sudan. He is the priest-in-charge of what we call the White Nile congregations in Finland. This is a remarkable ministry among the many refugees who have been resettled in Finland, from Sudan and South Sudan. This pastoral work requires extensive travel across this vast country to where the refugees have been resettled. A vehicle is an absolutely essential tool for this work. A while back, his former, very old car, simply died. Since then, Fr Amos has been limited in the scope of his work which requires him to travel to very scattered communities in this vast country. According to Fr Amos, in recent months, several hundred new families have arrived and are now settled around mainly Northern Fi

Diocese in Europe, accompanied by our Anglican Communion and Ecumenical partners, consult on refugee issues in Europe

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The Revd Dr Rachel Carnegie of the Anglican Alliance leads discussions on the Church's engagement Representatives from our Diocese in  Europe, together with representatives from the congregations of the Episcopal Church in Europe came together for a 24 hour consultation in Cologne, Germany this week, to consider the matter of refugees and migrants in Europe. The consultation was sponsored by the Anglican Alliance, USPG, and the Weidenfeld Foundation,  We were joined by representatives from the Church in Wales, the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East’s Diocese of Cyprus and the Gulf, and the Diocese of Canterbury. Ecumenical partners included the Roman Catholic Community of Sant’Egidio, the Jesuit Refugee Service, the Lutheran World Federation, the Swiss Evangelical Alliance, the UNHCR, and the Church Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME). There was a rich sharing of experiences and a realisation that there is a wealth of good practice, models, partnerships, and wisdo

Gift to St Nicolas Ankara from Iranian parishioners

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In our parish of St Nicolas, Ankara, there are a number of members from Iran. These members have often faced great hardship because of their religion. The priests and people of St Nicholas offer pastoral care, counsel, and fellowship in a warm Christian community in this parish situated at the crossroads between East and West. Three Iranian women parishioners recently painted a mural for St Nicolas, as a gift to the community which has welcomed them and supported them. The mural which depicts the Resurrection in Eastern style is pictured above. The women have written this comment about their work: We are three Iranian sisters who live in Cankiri, a city in Turkey. We are interested in art and painting. We used to paint portraits and landscapes, but were always searching for our own style. On the day we were born again and received Jesus as our Lord and Saviour, we knew that we were to paint the word of God . We believe that people can turn to God through painting, just as w

IARCCUM summit concludes and a new chapter in Anglican-Roman Catholic official relations begins

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IARCCUM Bishops exchange the peace with the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury The IARCCUM summit meeting of 36 bishops chosen as official representatives by their Churches from around the world for a momentous pilgrimage together to both Canterbury and Rome, has now drawn to an end. The summit marks the beginning of a new chapter of the official relations between the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church. IARCCUM stands for the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission. I have the great privilege of being the Anglican co-chairman of the commission; my Roman Catholic counterpart is Archbishop-designate of Regina, Canada, the Most Revd Donald Bolen. Dr Anna Rowlands accompanies the bishops on their (theological) journey It was a packed week with significant times for prayer and worship in such places as Canterbury Cathedral, St Peter's Basilica and St Paul's Outside the Walls in Rome. Much hard work was done in plenary and

IARCCUM bishops have begun their work in Canterbury

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The Bishops process into Canterbury Cathedral After more than a year in planning, the summit of IARCCUM bishops is now underway. IARCCUM stands for the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission for Unity and Mission. Since 2012 I have been the Anglican Co-chairman of this Commission. The Roman Catholic Co-chairman is Bishop Donald Bolen of Saskatoon, Canada. (Bishop Bolen is soon to be the Archbishop of Regina). The summit has together pairs of bishops, Anglican and Roman Catholic, from 19 regions of the world, for prayer, study, and preparation for joint witness and action. The summit is called "New Steps on an Ancient Pilgrimage: Walking Together from Canterbury to Rome". IARCCUM was established by the Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church as an official component of our international dialogue, working in parallel with the theological commission known as ARCIC. IARCCUM’s purpose is: to facilitate the development of strategies for translating the degree