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Showing posts from 2019

A joyful Christmas to all!

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San Ignazio, Rome I wish all the clergy and faithful of the Diocese in Europe and all readers of this blog a joyful and blessed Christmas!

St George's Venice: a welcoming home for students and young adults

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Fr Malcolm Bradshaw reports from St George's Venice, as he observes rising waters covering the ground floor of his flat again, that a month of high tides and flooding is beginning to be quite tedious. Nevertheless the parish is in good heart and attendance strong.  In the past year, pews were removed from St George's, replaced by movable seating which has greatly enhanced the use of this wonderful Church building in the heart of  La Serenissima.  Fr Malcolm writes about one such opportunity, reaching out to students and young adults in this city: "Over the past twelve months international students from the University of Ca’ Foscari, Venice, and similar establishments have attended worship at St George’s, Venice. Mrs Gilly Wiscarson, a member of the Chaplaincy Council, took the initiative to invite these students to a meeting accompanied by a plate of food which she herself prepared. As a result a monthly gathering has emerged and numbers have increased to tw

Fr Geoff Johnston: 50 years a priest!

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Surrounded by 9 priests, 1 deacon, 2 archdeacons and 2 bishops, the Revd Canon Geoff Johnston celebrated his golden jubilee of priesthood on Sunday 22 December. Christ Church Belper was filled for the anniversary mass. Archdeacon Geoff was joined by his wife Carol, members of his family, parishioners, and friends and former colleagues from around the UK and the continent. Fr Geoff has served the Church in many roles over these past 50 years: parish priest, industrial missioner, lecturer, ecumenical officer, area dean, assistant director of ordinands, and acting Archdeacon of Gibraltar, and acting Archdeacon of Italy and Malta. It was a joyful and moving occasion indeed, particularly at the heart of the service when Fr Geoff recited in the eucharistic prayer "we thank you for counting us worthy to stand in your presence and serve you". Ad multos annos!

A new deacon ordained on St Lucy's Day

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The home of our Chuch of England congregation in Bergen Norway is the 12 century  Mariakirken (St Mary's Church). It is not only the oldest Church but the oldest building in the city, dating from some time between 1130 and 1170.   This ancient Church was the venue for the ordination of the newest deacon in our diocese, the Revd Kirk Weisz. On St Lucy's Day, (Friday 13 December), the congregation gathered to celebrate this joyful step in Kirk's journey towards priesthood.  Archdeacon Leslie presents the ordinand Kirk has for many years been a minister of the Presbyterian Church, USA. His discernment to embrace Anglican orders, supported by our Director of Ordinands and the Candidate's Panel of the Church of England's Ministry Division, is in direct continuity with his flourishing pastoral ministry, as was pointed out by the preacher at the service, the Revd Jules Cave-Berquist. Mother Jules emphasised that God does not set aside what is good and fruitfu

Lay ministers (Readers) gather for in depth theological exploration of the Anglican heritage

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The Diocese in Europe has been described as "the Anglican Communion in miniature". Not a bad description, given that 40 of the 165 countries of the Anglican world are in this diocese! Not a bad description since in most of our congregations there are over a dozen nationalities at worship. Not a bad description given that our present licensed clergy come from about 20 different countries around the world. It often surprises folk who come to know our diocese that migrants from the UK are no longer the majority in so many of our congregations. Our diaspora communities are made up of migrants from all around the world! Canon Paul Wignall, Director of Reader Ministry If we are "the Anglican Communion in miniature" it follows that our Licensed Lay Ministers (Readers), as preachers and teachers of the faith, need to be very familiar with the essentials of Anglican ecclesiology, the nature of the Anglican Communion and the fruits and challenges of Anglican ecumeni

St Paul's Pro Cathedral Valletta celebrates 175th anniversary of consecration

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The spire of St Paul's Pro Cathedral on the Valletta skyline Dowager Queen Adelaide was the Royal Benefactor who wished to establish a "Collegiate Church in the Anglican Tradition" in Malta. St Paul's, Valletta, is now one of the two Pro-Cathedrals in the Diocese (the other is in Brussels) which together with our Cathedral in Gibraltar make us rather well endowed as far as cathedrals go! The Main Entrance to St Paul's, by night 2 - 3 November was a busy weekend for the Pro-Cathedral. Over the course of the two days, several events were held to mark the 175th anniversary of the consecration of the building.  When consecrated by the then Bishop of Gibraltar on All Saints day 1844 it was dedication to St Paul who holds great significance for the Maltese. He was the first Christian missionary to the island when he was shipwrecked there around AD 59/60, thus was the Apostolic founder of the Church there.  For this reason, t he Chancellor of the Pro-Cathedr

Interns in Rome: from pub with the vicar to verging the Archbishop of Canterbury

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MES interns Edoardo (with the cross) and Ksenia (with the candle) serving at All Saints, Rome The Ministry Experience Scheme (MES) of the Church of England offers young adults aged 18 to 30 the opportunity to serve in a parish as part of the discernment of a possible call to the ministry.  We have three MES interns in the Diocese in Europe serving on the scheme this year (it is the 5th year we have participated and we were among the first dioceses to do so) and two of them are assigned to All Saints Rome. One of the Rome interns, Ksenia Smykova, is a native of Russia. The other, Edoardo Fanfani, is an Italian-American. Typical of our international diocese! Both appear to be having a very enriching time, working along Fr Rob Warren, the Chaplain of All Saints, and supporting in a diverse range of ways the life and ministry of the Chaplaincy. As Ksenia said recently, "MES enables me to engage full time in the service that I love. I don't know where I will be when t

Patriarch of Venice visits St George's

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Fr Malcolm, Chaplain of St George's, the Patriarch and Fr Andrea, the priest responsible for the Gesuati parish  On Wednesday 23 rd October, the Patriarch of Venice, His Beatitude Francesco Moraglia, made a visit to St George’s Anglican Church in the city. He had dedicated the greater part of a whole week to a pastoral visit to the Roman Catholic parish of Gesuati in which St George’s is situated. This parish is composed of various significant churches to which are attached schools and institutions. Within his heavy schedule he had expressed a wish to visit St George’s, meet with the community and there hold a brief moment of prayer. After the prayers he spoke of both Churches standing under the Cross. He also mentioned that whenever he travelled up the Grand Canal and passed St. George’s he offered a prayer for its ministry.  This is not the first visit of a Patriarch of Venice to St George’s. Nevertheless, it speaks of the warmth of relationship and mutual respect that

St John Henry Newman: uniting Roman Catholics and Anglicans

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A vigil for John Henry Newman in Sta Maria Maggiore Basilica on the eve of the canonisation John Henry Newman, the key figure in the Oxford Movement in the Church of England who converted to Roman Catholicism in 1845, was canonised by Pope Francis yesterday in Rome. His conversion was highly controvesial in the middle of the nineteenth century and at the time was felt by many to be a setback for the Oxford Movement itself. Nevertheless, we Anglicans owe much to Newman for his teaching and influence which restored to the Church of England a renewed understanding its rootedness in the Catholic Church of Christ.   Pope Francis receiving the offertory gifts at the mass I have a particular admiration for the way that Newman taught both Anglicans and Roman Catholics about how doctrine in the life of the Church can develop, through such doctrine being rooted implictly in Holy Scripture, attested to by the Tradition of the Church (through Patristic and other theologians), and under

Archbishop of Palermo at Italy / Malta Synod, a historic moment

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Archbishop Lorefice with some of the Archdeaconry clergy The Italy/Malta Synod was held from 25-28 September in Palermo, Sicily. The theme, "Welcoming, Invitation and Hospitality" was explored through bible studies, plenary sessions and through chaplaincies sharing highlights from their community life. One of the features of this archdeaconry is the fact that some churches are located in places with large numbers of visitors and pilgrims (such as Venice, Florence and Rome). We also recognised that a common feature across the Archdeaconry (and the diocese) is that by and large our members are migrants; that is to say that most of our members come from "somewhere else". Many of our churches in Italy and Malta are exploring how their communities can be a home and a place of welcome for newer waves of migrants who are settling in these countries, from places other than the UK. There is a special charism in being a migrant church.   During the synod a presentatio

The sound of the conch being blown, ancient pre Columbian languages, mariachi and tightrope - all part of a Mexican consecration

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The Caracol is blown to call the people to prayer In the Church of England, the Archbishop (of York or Canterbury) when consecrating a new bishop lays out the duties of a bishop including "joining together in the ordination of bishops". P articipating in the ordination of new bishops takes place, for me, most frequently in the Church of England. However, I was asked recently to be a co-consecrator for a new bishop in Mexico, and to preach at the consecration mass. It was a great privilege to do so, as the new bishop was an old friend, Fr Julio  C├ęsar  Martin Trejo, now the Coadjutor Bishop of South East Mexico. I have known Fr (now Bishop) Julio for 30 years. He was still in seminary when we first met. The consecration was in the Anglican Centre in Tuxtepec, in Oaxaca state. (The diocesan centre is in Xalapa, while the largest city in the diocese is Veracruz). Bishops from Mexico, the USA and Spain were present for the service on St Matthew's day, as well as c