Locum Priest update

Since our last Priest-in-Charge left in February 2013, we have been blest with a succession of locums, that is, priests who come for anything between 3 weeks and 3 months, lead our worship, inspire us with their sermons, care for those in need and generally make an important contribution to the spiritual life of St. Alban’s .
We are very grateful to our resident clergy, the Revd John Murray and the Revd Christine Bloomfield, who undertake locum duties themselves and, very importantly, support those locums who are new to St. Alban’s. Our Reader, David Cowley, is another pillar of strength and leads the Early Call Prayer Breakfasts on the third Sunday of the month. And we always appreciate the ministry of Bishop Venuste whenever his arduous work schedule makes that possible.

Christine Bloomfield has generously agreed to act as locum from January through Easter 2016.

Roger Wikeley will be with us again (for the fourth time!) from the 1st of April through May 22.

John Murray will take the service on May 29th.

Christopher Martin, who used to be priest in Lyon, will be with us for all of June and July.

John Murray will again cover August and September.

We’re very grateful to all our priests and hope very much that by the fall we may welcome a new priest in charge.

Provence Praise, 9-16 July 2016

Dear Colleagues
I write to commend an inspiring venture for personal renewal whose planning and prayer has come to fruition in “Provence Praise.” It is to take place from 9th – 16th July in The Var next year. May I ask you to have a look at the flyer at provencepraise.eu and bring it to the attention of members of your churches. It is open to people beyond France but will provide an excellent opportunity for members of the churches in the Archdeaconry of France to gather there too.
With all good wishes
Ian
Archdeacon

See the website for more information: http://provencepraise.eu

Dorlisheim Brocante

This year the Dorlisheim brocante will be a record year, judging from the mountain of things stored in a member’s garage.

Three cars did 2 return trips to Dorlisheim this morning (June 7) and the garage is still half full (or half empty, depending !! 😉

Just to say that we would very much welcome any help in carrying and transporting on Saturday morning for the rest of the load.

  • 9.30 am onwards
  • NB if we are lucky and there are enough cars, we should finish the “shipping” part by midday, then there will be a lot of sorting out to do during the day.

Again spread the word if anybody is interested, we sure could do with a lot of help.

bonne semaine à tous et toutes

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Liebfrauenberg Sleepover, May 30-31

Take the opportunity to relax, have fun as well as good fellowship and worship times in the wonderful surroundings of the Liebfrauenberg Centre in the Northern Vosges. Lots of free time to chill out but also to join in interesting activities together and get to know people better. Everyone is welcome but especially young people and families.

When ? Saturday afternoon, May 30, depart Strasbourg to arrive at Liebfrauenberg around 16h00 ; leave around 16h00 on Sunday afternoon for the return to Strasbourg ( about 45 min by car )

What will happen during the weekend ? Flexible programme of activities and relaxation in beautiful grounds high above the Rhine valley : adventure trails, fun and challenging games ; workshops ; quiet reflection, reading and informal Christian worship ; great conversations over delicious meals and drinks.

What is provided ?

Saturday evening meal, self-service breakfast and BBQ lunch on Sunday.

Sleeping accommodation in rooms/dormitories ( 10 in total, so families and/or children can be in one room ; singles will probably have to share a room with others of the same sex ) Travel needs – see booking slip below.

What do I need to bring ?

Soap, towels, a sleeping bag or sheet ( blankets, pillows provided )

Comfortable clothes and footwear suitable for walks etc

How much will it cost ?

Because it is self-catering and shared, but not cheap, accommodation, the cost is kept very low and great value. As a guide only, for the whole sleepover we ask :

20 Euro for adults over 18 earning a wage or on a grant ; 10 Euro for young people 10 – 18 yrs or unwaged adults ; 5 Euro for children under 10 yrs   In the case of families the total cost will be 50 Euro maximum.

If you have genuine difficulties, the prices above should not put you off coming on this weekend together – have a word with either David Cowley or Anny Samuels.

Please download and fill out this linked registration form.

Stairs

Soiree Solidarité Madagascar

Come support our local Malagasy community in a fundraising event for victims of natural disasters in Madagascar:

AFFICHE

Bonjour à toutes et à tous,

Un proverbe Malgache dit: ” Raha revom-potaka dia rano no manala, raha revon-teny dia vava no manadio, raha revon’alahelo dia ny havana no idododoana, satria ny firaisan-kina no hery, ary izay mitambatra vato, fa izay misaraka fasika“. Ce que l’on pourrait traduire par:”L’eau nous libère de la vase, la bouche libère nos paroles, nos amis et nos proches nous libèrent de nos angoisses, parce que la solidarité est une force. Unis, nous sommes le roc et, séparés, nous sommes le sable“.

Le dernier bilan fait état d’une centaine de décès, d’une quarantaine de blessés, sans compter les disparus. Il y aurait plus de 200 000 sinistrés, 45 000 déplacés sur l’ensemble de Madagascar. Les maisons détruites se comptent par milliers, y compris des bâtiments administratifs. Des dizaines de routes sont coupées, des ponts et des radiers sont endommagés. Des hectares de rizières sont totalement détruites et des milliers de têtes de zébu sont portés disparus.

Pendant que le Nord de l’île patauge dans la boue, une centaine de milliers de personnes, dans le Sud, font face à une sècheresse sans précédent depuis le début du mois de novembre 2014. Plus aucune activité ne fonctionne et la nourriture se fait de plus en plus rare. Les champs sont secs et on ne mange plus que du manioc une fois par jour. Les prix flambent et bon nombre d’habitants optent désormais pour les fruits du cactus (raketa).

Les rares points de distribution d’eau sont taris. Le nombre exact des victimes de KERE (famine) n’est pas connu, mais OUI, les malgaches meurent de faim.

Il ne s’agit pas de verser dans le misérabilisme, mais de relater les faits. Pour un pays comme Madagascar, c’est une catastrophe car les assurances sont aux abonnés absents. La population ne peut compter que sur elle-même, autant dire sur rien, et sur l’aide humanitaire, c’est-à-dire sur nous.

Je vous remercie de l’aide, quelle qu’elle soit, que vous apporterez dans la construction de ce projet. Notre objectif est de faire en sorte qu’il y aie du monde au Préo, le 9 mai. N’hésitez pas à diffuser l’information. Je reste à votre disposition.

Anglican Ecumenism in France

An interview with Walter Raymond, Bishop Robert Innes, and Patrick Keppel. Have a listen!

“Anglicanisme et œcuménisme à Monaco. À l’occasion des 90 ans de l’église anglicane de Monaco, rencontre avec Walter Raymond, recteur de l’église, Robert Innes, évêque de Gibraltar en Europe et Patrick Keppel, délégué œcuménique du Diocèse Catholique.”

Link to Interview

Bishop’s Easter Message, 2015

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

“We are an Easter People and Hallelujah is our Song!”

The great St. Augustine of Hippo wrote these words 1600 years ago and they have spoken to people through the ages down to our own time. Being an Easter people means that resurrection is part of our life experience. Easter celebrates how Jesus dies and rises in each of us – in our personal lives and in the community of the church. Easter celebrates how Jesus is present in our daily work, our relationships, the joys and sorrows of the world.

We are an Easter people, in a Good Friday world. Within Europe, many countries continue to live with the grinding effects of austerity. In the South of the continent, we have a whole generation of young people growing up without work. Eastern Ukraine has faced the misery and devastation of armed struggle. This is in addition to the conflicts in the wider world – in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, Syria and Iraq – with their tragic humanitarian consequences.

In this kind of world, it could seem that the only God in whom we might believe, or refuse to believe, would be a deist god – that is, a god who may have created the world back in the mists of time but has since then left it alone to run down by itself. Whilst philosophers might find it interesting to debate whether or not such a god exists, the deist god would not make any practical difference to the way the world is.

By contrast, the Christian Easter insists that God is not a god who is far off, but one who in Jesus draws very near. In Jesus, God himself comes among us. As the Church Fathers insisted, “what God has created, only God can redeem”. In his bursting from the tomb on Easter Day, God releases new energy into the world. Far from allowing his world to decay, according to a relentless law of entropy, God in Christ initiates a programme of renewal. Beginning with the first disciples a new community is created that exhibits a remarkable degree of joy, hope, and love. 2000 years later, the Easter people is still growing rapidly in number, especially in Africa, in China and in some other Asian countries.

Unfortunately, in the old continent of Europe, the churches (or at least the traditional churches) are generally not enjoying numerical growth. Our own Church of England has been declining at the rate of about 1% per year for many years. On top of this, the average age of our church has increased so that it is now much higher than the average age of the UK population. This means that, even if we manage to replace all those who leave the church, we will still decline as a large proportion of our current membership comes to the end of their lives. Moreover, a bulge in the clergy age distribution means 40% of our clergy are due to retire in the next 10 years.

Faced with this reality, one approach would be to dig our heads in the sand and either pretend that decline wasn’t happening or that it doesn’t matter. If our God was a God who had simply left the world to decline in its own way, than that might be permissible. But as an Easter people we simply daren’t do this!

Aware of the great challenge facing the church, the General Synod at its meeting in February approved a range of reports that constitute an ambitious programme of ‘Reform and Renewal’. At the heart of these is a renewed commitment to personal discipleship across all dioceses. There are plans to alter the way in which central church funds are distributed so that the church particularly addresses areas of deprivation and possibilities for growth, plans to increase the number of candidates for ordained ministry by 50%, proposals to simplify the process of church planting, all backed by a significant investment programme from the Church Commissioners.

The February General Synod was a gathering of some historic significance, and it left me with a real sense of hope in the future of our church. But all of us are aware that ‘renewal’ is not something that can be programmed or managed centrally. Renewal happens personally and locally. It is in our local congregations that lives are touched by the love of Jesus. It is through personal friendship and invitation that people come to know and follow the Lord. It is in the gathering for worship of our local communities that minds are challenged and hearts transformed.

This Holy Week, I will be spending Palm Sunday in Naples and Easter Sunday in Florence. I am deeply thankful to all our clergy and lay people who will be involved in the preparation and conduct of worship for Holy Week and Easter. I pray especially for those who will be endeavouring to communicate the Easter message in ways that will connect with regular churchgoers and visitors alike. I hope there will be an expectancy that people will come to faith in Jesus through the welcome and worship we offer. We have a great story to tell and a wonderful song to sing!

I wish you a blessed and joyful Easter,

+Robert

Gibraltar in Europe

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Diocese in Europe

Rue Capitaine Crespel 47 box 49, 1050 Brussels, Belgium

Tel: +3222137480;   E-Mail: bishop.europe@churchofengland.org,

Diocesan web site: www.europe.anglican.org/

Charity Commission registration number: 250186