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Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Thanksgiving offered for 55 years of service to the Church

On 8 July I was privileged to be part of a memorial service for Janet Anderson, one time organist, music director and long time member of the Church of the Ascension Cadenabbia, who had served this congregation for 55 years - a remarkable stretch of voluntary service to the Church. 

The late Janet Anderson with a visiting organist
Janet was a tireless worker for this parish and in particular was keen to keep its profile visible which she did through bringing musicians and choirs to perform in the beautiful building, which also has a remarkable acoustic.

The Church of the Ascension in Cadenabbia is a gem of a church building, on the edge of Lake Como, in the beautiful area of the Italian Lake District. Worship and community fellowship has been offered to English-speaking visitors and residents since the 1880s. The Ven. Vickie Sims, the Chaplain of Milan, gives general oversight to the congregation, but its day to day life during the "season" which lasts from Easter to the end of October, is provided by locum clergy. The present locum priest, Fr Roger Williams, has been gently guiding the regular members towards a new and confident future, through helping to organise a local church council, supporting the local churchwardens, and working with them in planning the programme of worship and community life over the season. Fr Roger and his wife Enid come from Australia. The parishioners are looking forward to their first parish retreat scheduled for this October.

Besides the memorial service for Janet I was able to preside and preach at the regular Sunday eucharist, which is well attended by the many visitors to the lakes. The Church of the Ascension has an important ministry welcoming people from around the world, offering them a place of spiritual nurture and providing a time of refreshment (some wine and soft drinks are always available after the Sunday mass), conversation and friendship.

Fr Roger greets visitors after the Sunday eucharist
Two mosaics from the church exterior

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