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Friday, 8 June 2018

Ecumenical colleagues in Rome bid fond farewell to Canon Jonathan Boardman

On 30 June the Revd Canon Jonathan Boardman takes leave of his post as Chaplain of All Saints Anglican Church in Rome to assume a new position as Vicar of St Paul’s Clapham. Fr Jonathan has been serving in Rome for 19 years. In addition to his parochial responsibilities, he has been a key player in the rich ecumenical environment in the Italian capital. He has also served as Archdeacon of Italy and Malta for 9 years and guided Anglican life in the Archdeaconry through some major developments, including the legal recognition in Italy of the Church of England. He has also in the past as senior tutor for courses at the Anglican Centre in Rome, for 10 years. It has indeed been a rich ministry in Rome. 

On 6 June Fr Jonathan’s colleagues from many churches hosted a service of evensong to thank him for his ecumenical leadership in Rome. The service was in the Roman Catholic Church of St Francesco Saverio (St Francis Xavier) del Caravitaa 17th-century baroque oratory in Rome, home to an English language Roman Catholic community, and itself place of significant Anglican-RC encounter. The director of the community of Caravita is the Revd Professor Keith Pecklers SJ, a professor of Liturgy in Rome, a close friend of Anglicans and a valued ecumenical partner. 

Oratorio del Caravita
I was privileged to preside at the ecumenical vespers. Along with other ecumenical colleagues, Fr Tony Currer from the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and the Revd Tim Macquiban, Director of the Methodist Ecumenical Office in Rome, representing the Churches Together in Rome, I give a word of thanks to Fr Jonathan for his work, parochial, archidiaconal and ecumenical. Fr Jonathan preached the homily, which on the feast of Blessed Ini Kopuria, the Founder of the Melanesian Brotherhood, was particularly apt as Ini Kopuria’s community has produced martyrs who are honoured, uniquely as Anglicans, in the Roman Catholic Basilica of St Bartholomew on Tiber Island, along with other modern martyrs of the Church. Fittingly, on the morning of 6 June, Fr Jonathan was greeted at the  General Audience by Pope Francis. Fr Jonathan asked for the Pope's prayers as he takes up his new post. In turn the Pope as Fr Jonathan for his prayers. 

Canon Boardman will remain an honorary canon of the Diocese in Europe, and we pray his rich ecumenical and cross-cultural experience will now enhance his ministry in Clapham.

Fr Jonathan, Fr Tony Currer (Pontifical Council for Christian Unity), Prof. Fr Keith Peckers SJ, the Revd Tim Macquiban (Director of the Methodist Ecumenical Office in Rome), the Revd Prof. Prof. Eric Noffke (Waldensian Theological Faculty) 

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