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WELCOME...

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.



Saturday, 23 May 2020

USPG's world-wide partners pray for us

Canon Sabry (Casablanca), retired Archdeacon Geoff Johnston, and Rebecca Boardman

USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) is one the oldest mission agencies in the Anglican Communion. Founded in 1701, it has been a partner to Churches and communities world-wide, including the Diocese in Europe. It sees its partnership as a way to "enliven faith, strengthen relationships, unlock potential and champion justice". It is a little known fact that over half of the communities in the Diocese in Europe owe their origin to USPG (or SPG as it was known then) support and sponsorship. Today, USPG supports our work with migrants and refugees in France, Germany, Greece and Morocco.

The Mission and Public Affairs Unit of the Diocese, chaired by Archdeacon Leslie Nathaniel, has a member from USPG on the unit. Rebecca Boardman has been a close collaborator, particularly on migration and refugee issues, for over 5 years.  

At a recent meeting of the MPA unit Rebecca in her report told us that USPG has received many expressions of  support from world-wide partners who are aware that Europe is one of the regions of the world where coronavirus has had a most devastating effect, with hundreds of thousands dead and widespread disruption. Rebecca wanted the people of our diocese to know that we are "woven into the prayers of so many partners across the world". 

We thank our world-wide friends for heir love and prayerful support. 

Monday, 18 May 2020

Protocol with Italian Government permits C of E public services to resume

Abp Ian with PM Conte to his right
At Palazzo Chigi, Abp Ian Ernest with Prime Minister Conte to his right

Slowly, slowly, in some parts of the Diocese, steps are being taken to return to public worship in our church buildings.

For instance, today 18 May, a special Protocol which was signed last Friday by the Italian Prime Minister, Professor Avv. Guiseppe Conte and Archbishop Ian Ernest, the Director of the Anglican Centre in Rome (acting on behalf of the Association of the Church of England in Italy) came into effect. The Protocol is detailed and provides instructions to be followed in liturgical celebrations and includes measures to be observed around social distancing, compulsory use of facemasks and other forms of protection, and the disinfection of church premises.

The signing ceremony at the Palazzo Chigi was also attended by Dr Wendy Wyver, First Political Counsellor of the United Kingdom Embassy in Italy (and a member of All Saints in Rome).

Incidentally, this Protocol is a fruit of the fact that the Church of England is now a recognised religious body in Italy.

Lord  our God, in your Son risen from the dead, all creation sees the pledge of things to come. Hear the sigh that goes up from all the world and remember the suffering of all humanity, so that out of its pain may come newness of life. You who reign for ever and ever.

Wednesday, 13 May 2020

Day of prayer for people of every faith

Tomorrow, 14 May, is an international, interreligious day of prayer to ask God to lift this pandemic from the world, and to inspire scientists to find a cure for the disease.

The inspiration for this comes from the "Higher Committee for Human Fraternity" which was set up when Pope Francis visited Abu Dhabi last year. The initiative transcends religious boundaries and invites all religious people to appeal to God, in accordance with their own faith and teachings. 

Pope Francis has released a video which I post here to motivate us all. In it he calls on all believers, adherents of all religions to pray, fast and perform works of charity tomorrow.



Dr Clare Amos, our Director of Lay Discipleship, was previously the Interfaith Director at the World  Council of Churches. She has composed this prayer which I commend for use:

God of life, Creator of all, 
Your reach stretches beyond the farthest stars that we can see, 
Yet you are nearer to us than our own soul.  
In this time of crisis may your love draw human beings together,
Bridging the distance of place, of nationality, of ideology and religion.
Unite us as one in prayer to face together this enemy, the virus.
Free us from fear, grant us courage and compassion, make us generous in acts of charity,
And bring to effect our longing for the healing of this world. Amen