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.

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Sunday, 19 December 2021

Some things can't be done by Zoom: liturgical training, for example


Clergy ordained in the Church of England are required to complete, following ordination, 3 years of further training called IME 2. In our diocese this post ordination programme is run by our Director of Ministerial Development, the Revd Canon Ulla Monberg. Over the past couple of years, due to the pandemic, the teaching and courses have been held virtually, using Zoom. However, there is at least one important module for which Zoom has severe limitations: liturgical theory and practice.

So from 30 November to 3 December 17 of our curates in training posts gathered safely for the first face to face IME 2 sessions since the beginning of the pandemic. Canon Monberg chose as the venue Kardinal Schulte Haus in Cologne, well known to many in the diocese from other gatherings there such as Diocesan Synod. It has suitable space for safe gatherings, and excellent transportation links, a vital consideration since our curates come from Norway to Milan, and from Madrid to Moscow!

Unfortunately, one key resource person, the Revd Canon Peter Moger, had to cancel his attendance at the last minute due to COVID testing measures which were imposed suddenly in the UK. (Canon Moger lives on the Isle of Lewis and the logistics of testing and quarantine were going to limit other pastoral commitments). However, Peter was able to deliver several lectures by Zoom.  I was able to rearrange a quick turn around from Spain (via London) to get to Cologne to lead some sessions but most importantly to do what is not possible by Zoom: some practical work on liturgical practice, style, and presidency at the eucharist.

The syllabus for this IME 2 session included the history of liturgy and its reform in the Church of England, resources for the seasons of the Church Year; the lectionaries; the rites of initiation and pastoral services; and liturgy and the law.

Saturday, 18 December 2021

Holy Spirit Chaplaincy, Costa Blanca, celebrates 50 years

The chapel where the first services were held, 50 years ago

The Chaplaincy of the Holy Spirit Costa Blanca in Spain is among the largest in the Diocese in terms of numbers of congregations (8), the geograhical spread (about the size of Wales), the number of clergy who serve it (5) and the electoral roll. It is also celebrating its golden jubilee anniversary this year. 

On the weekend of Advent Sunday, several events marked this milestone, including a confirmation service, with 11 candidates, of all ages. A splendid festive Evensong was held in the church where the first services were held 50 years ago. 

Canon Marcus Ronchetti

Fr Marcus Ronchetti, the Senior Chaplain of Costa Blanca, recently became an honorary canon of our Cathedral, and will be installed in Gibraltar in January. His stall will be that of St James, who is, of course, the patron saint of Spain.


Fr Nicolas Razafindratsima, Assistant Chaplain at St George's Paris

Joy filled St George's Paris on Saturday 13 November, when their Assistant Curate became their Assistant Chaplain. Fr Nicolas Razafindratsima, having successfully completed the requisite three year programme of Post Ordination Training was licensed at the request of the Chaplain of St George's Fr Mark Osborne, and Fr Nicolas, already well known and loved in the congregation, now joins the team of priests in this new capacity. 

Fr Nicolas also has a day job: he is a statistical engineer/analist with the French Institute of Demographic Studies!  

Among the duties of Fr Nicolas, which he shares with his colleagues, is ministry among the large number of Malagasy members at St George's. There are large numbers of Anglicans, organised in 6 dioceses, on the island of Madagascar. They belong to the Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean. 

The licensing service was largely in French, with Malagasy used for the hymns and many parts of the mass. Fr Nicolas himself originally comes from Madagascar.

We wish him every blessing in this new phase of his ministry.