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Tuesday, 24 December 2019

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

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 twenty seven. These gatherings are not limited to students but are open to any adult within the same age range. Nor are any conditions imposed such as attendance at Church or being Christian.
On the evening of Friday 13th December a Christmas party was held at St George’s for these students. It was truly international and inter-faith. Young adults from Nigeria, Kenya, Mongolia, Ethiopia, Romania, the United States, India and elsewhere shared the occasion. Some were from different Christian denominations; others were from non-Christian traditions. Members of the Chaplaincy Council helped with hosting this occasion. It was truly a time of fun, lively conversation and an ease of relationships. Towards the end of the evening the students presented Gilly with a bunch of yellow roses and a gift expressing their thanks for the monthly meetings - for the laughter they enjoy, the sharing of difficulties whilst abroad and the taste of some home cooking."

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