to Bishop David's blog. Here you can find news, information, articles and pictures about the Church of England Diocese in Europe. We have over 300 congregations or worship centres serving Anglican and (mostly) English-speaking people in Europe, Morocco, Turkey, Russia and some central Asian countries.

For official diocesan information please click the diocesan logo on the right.

Thursday, 30 January 2020

A testimony from Hamburg: "it means love, grace, forgiveness, peace and promise"

Candidates remind themselves of their baptism
In the rite of confirmation there is a moment when testimonies can be shared by the candidates, as to why they have decided to receive this sacrament. It is always a moving time. At a recent confirmation in the Church of St Thomas à Becket in Hamburg, one testimony from a young candidate was particularly inspiring. I share her words here:
"When I decided to get confirmed, I was thinking of confirmation as a way of continuing in faith. But it’s so much more than that. During our confirmation lessons we learned about what it all really means; it means dedicating ourselves to the Christian belief and to the Lord. It means not only acknowledging the faith within ourselves, but with all of the Church. It means love, grace and forgiveness. It means peace, it means promise, and true and meaningful trust in the Lord our God".
The parish has existed since 1612. It describes itself as "a welcoming, active and inclusive church, growing in our relationship with God and with the community". That was certainly my experience at the confirmation mass.

Monday, 27 January 2020

23 from across Europe, from Russia to Malta, gather to explore vocation to Holy Orders

Canon William Gulliford reported on our recent Enquirers' Weekend which is held annualy for those at an early stage of exploring Holy Orders in the Church of England. This year there were 24 enquirers, equal numbers of men and women, from across the diocese. The breakdown of nationalities speaks of the international reach of this Church of England diocese in Europe:

Italian 1
French 1
Dutch 1
Belgian 3
Maltese 1
UK 4
German 2
Norwegian 1
Finnish 1
Kenyan 1
Russian 2
Latvian 1

Together the enquirers explored what would be ahead of them as they journey along the discernment path, whether to distinctive diaconate, priesthood or even the religious life. Former candidates from the diocese now serving elsewhere in the Church of England, Frs Ian Gallagher and Alaric Lewis were on hand to speak of their experience. Vocations Advisors, Fr Douglas Emmott and Ms Sonia Taylor spoke on ministry and spiritual direction respectively. Some individuals currently in training for the ministry gave input as well as a member of the staff of ERMC, one of the theological training centres used by the diocese. 

Fr William Gulliford noted that in the week which ended the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and just one week before the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union, the presence of this group of European postulants in London was significant, not least for the parishes the groups visited on Sunday 26 January.

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Fr David Waller begins his ministry as Archdeacon

The Archdeaconry of Gibraltar (which comprises Gibraltar, Spain, Portugal, Andorra, Morocco and the Balearic and Canary Islands) and the Archdeaconry of Italy and Malta have a new archdeacon. The Venerable David Waller took up office officially on Wednesday 15 January. He has a long experience in this diocese, as Chaplain of Palma de Mallorca and Area Dean of Catalunya and the Balearics.

It is an exciting new chapter for these two archdeaconries, and we welcome Archdeacon David to this post and pledge our support for him in his new responsibilities. There are about 75 congregations to look after!

Archdeacon David will preside over the synod of the Archdeaconry of Gibraltar which begins this Tuesday.

Saturday, 18 January 2020

If you are looking for a Lent Course this year, check this one out!

Opening the Scriptures: Setting our hearts on fire. This is the title of this year's Lent Course sponsored by the Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI). 

I know that members of the Diocese in Europe might wonder why I point towards a CTBI resource, but we are part of the Church of England which is a member of CTBI, along with the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Churches, Free Churches and Pentecostal/New Churches, among others. In fact, I am a trustee of this ecumenical body, in the last year of my 5 year term representing the Church of England.

But most important to note is that this year's Lenten study is written by our very own Dr Clare Amos, the Director of Lay Discipleship of this diocese! 

Dr Clare Amos
Clare, as the readers of this blog may know, is a world-class lay theologian, specialising in biblical studies (as well as interfaith relations, among other things). She studied at the École Biblique et Archéologique Française in Jerusalem, one of the foremost centres for scriptural studies in the Roman Catholic Church. Before she joined the staff of this diocese, her last position was as Director of the Intereligious Department at the World Council of Churches. Her many responsibilities in the Diocesan Ministry Team include the work on the Rule of Life, the lectionary blog, and directing the MES (Ministry Experience Scheme) for interns in the diocese. She is a member of Holy Trinity, Geneva.

Opening the Scriptures: Setting our hearts on fire, as the title suggests is a study which explores ways to discover the Bible with our hearts as well as our minds. I commend it most warmly to groups in this diocese as well as individuals. I know that it will be found to be a stimulating course for this upcoming Lent.

It can be downloaded from the CTBI website here: