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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.



Tuesday, 18 April 2023

The southernmost Cathedral in the Church of England

Good Friday at St Paul's

The Diocese in Europe is blessed with three cathedrals: The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity, Gibraltar, Holy Trinity Pro-Cathedral in Brussels, and St Paul's Pro-Cathedral in Valletta, Malta. It was a joy to be at one of them, St Paul's, for the sacred Triduum, leading the congregation through the mystery of the passion of Our Lord, and then sharing in their festive mass of the Resurrection on Easter Day at which parishioners also attended from the daughter congregation of Our Lady and St George, on the island of Gozo. 



St Paul's is the southernmost cathedral in the Church of England, with its spire (now under renovation) an iconic feature of the skyline of this Mediterranean island.


Fund-raising continues for the spire restoration. Donations can be made here:

https://www.stpaulspromalta.org/restoration/donate/





 

Wednesday, 5 April 2023

Chrism masses: renewing ministerial commitment and blessing the oils for the sacraments

St George's Madrid

The Chrism Mass is a key moment each year when the unity of those engaged in public ministry is manifested and renewed, and when the sacred oils of baptism, the sick and chrism are blessed for distribution across the diocese. 

St James the Apostle refers to anointing the sick with oil, and the prayer of blessing asks that the Lord may free those anointed from pain and illness and made well again in body, mind and soul. In blessing the oil of the catechumens we pray that those anointed in preparation for their baptism will be given a deeper understanding of the gospel and strength for the challenge of Christian living. The sacred chrism, a mixture of olive oil and fragrant and aromatic essences, is blessed by the bishop and priests together, and is used after baptisms, at confirmations and ordinations, as a sign of the outpouring of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. A translation of an ancient (sixth century) hymn O Redemptor sume carmen is sung as the oils are processed to the altar. It contains a verse looks forward to the passion and resurrection about to be celebrated in our churches: 
Lord Christ, the Father's only Son 
Who took our flesh in Mary's womb
give light to your anointed ones
and break the power of death's dark tomb.  

This year I presided at a Chrism Mass on Monday in Holy Week, in St George's Madrid. Clergy and Readers from across Spain, Portugal and even Switzerland joined together for this celebration. Deacon Justo from the partner Diocese of Peru, was our special and honoured guest.

Deacon Justo

On Tuesday in Holy Week clergy and Readers from Italy, France and the Netherlands came together in All Saints Rome. At that celebration, recognising the rich ecumenical life in the city of Rome, we were joined by clergy from the Roman Catholic Church, the Methodist Church, and the Church of Scotland. It was moving to commit ourselves as ecumenical partners to live, work and pray as one body in Christ.

All Saints Rome

In our scattered diocese, the Chrism masses also provide an occasion for isolated clergy and people to renew their links of companionship. Both St George's, Madrid, and All Saints, Rome, provided a community lunch for us following the services.