Soirée Recreative Malgache le 17 mars

On 5 January a cyclone  hit the east coast of Madagascar, causing extensive damage in many places, especially in the settlement of Foulpointe which had already been devastated by a hurricane and fire the year before. Our church with its charitable associations  ACAS and ACAMA is involved in supporting  the Anglican community in Foulpointe so that the church building may be reconstructed, and homes built for the many church members who have literally lost the roofs over their heads.  Foulpointe is the site where Anglican missionaries first set foot in Madagascar in 1863.
Worship Leader Voahangy Ramananjatovo writes:
“Nous sommes rentrés (de Madagascar) avec beaucoup de peine en laissant la famille et les malagasy là bas. Mais encouragés,  car ils vivent avec beaucoup de difficultés: pollution manque d’hygiène, d’eau, malnourris, pauvreté extrême… et nous ici avons la chance de pouvoir partager, de prier pour que les malagasy vivent avec décence.”
On 17 March at 16.00h ACAMA, the charitable association of the Malgache Anglicans, is organising a Soirée Recreative at the Salle de Fêtes of the Muensterhof, 9 rue des Juifs, Strasbourg.  All are invited to come and enjoy the company, music and good food of our Malgache church members and to give generously to support the community in Foulpointe.

Last year St. Alban’s charitable organisation, ACAS, was able to donate €500 to enable rebuilding of the Anglican church at Foulpointe to continue.  These recent photos show what progress has been made – and how much still needs to be done.




Madagascar sous le cyclone une fois de plus Cyclone hits Madagascar

Our prayers are asked for all those affected by the cyclone which hit the east coast of Madagascar on Friday, yet again damaging the settlement of Foulpointe, already devastated by a hurricane a year ago. The charitable associations  ACAS and ACAMA are both involved in supporting  the church in Foulpointe.

Worship Leader Voahangy Ramananjatovo writes:

Vents forts et pluies diluviennes à Madagascar: vendredi 5 janvier vers 13h le cyclone Ava a touché la côte est du pays. Il a génèré des vents moyens de 150 km avec des rafales allant jusqu’à 205km/h.

Un bilan du Bureau national de gestion des risques et des catastrophes lundi fait état de 27 morts et 13.000 sinistrés. Le cyclone Ava a fait de nombreux dégâts, notamment dans les districts de Fenerive Est, Soanierana Ivongo et Tamatave, dont Foulpointe;  routes coupées, arbres déracinés, toitures envolées, cases détruites, inondations.

« Les bas quartiers sont inondés. Il n’y a plus d’eau et plus d’électricité. Certains câbles électriques sont tombés », raconte un habitant du quartier d’Andranomadio, à Tamatave.  Dans cette ville, les refuges comme le gymnase et les établissements publics accueillent 170 sinistrés.

En tout, cinq écoles ont été détruites par le cyclone. Les cours ont d’ailleurs été suspendus dans les régions de l’est, mais aussi à Antananarivo. La capitale n’est pas épargnée par les pluies diluviennes. Près de 350 personnes ont été évacuées dans la capitale à cause des inondations.

Les gens n’étaient pas informés, sauf ceux qui ont l’habitude d’aller sur Internet car ils ne sont pas informés par les canaux de communication conventionnels comme les radios et les télés. Ils n’étaient donc pas du tout préparés.

L’information est générale. Nous attendons des nouvelles des correspondants à Foulpointe.

Beaucoup de prières.

A Day of Celebration: Institution of St. Alban’s new Priest-in-Charge.

Flanked by an impressive array of robed clergy from near and far, on Sunday 10 December the Revd. Mark Barwick was formally licensed as Priest-in-Charge of St. Alban’s Strasbourg by the Rt. Revd. Robert Innes, Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe, to give him his full title.  It was Bishop Robert’s first visit to the Strasbourg church and the occasion could not have been more joyful.  After a long vacancy of 4 years St. Alban’s at last has a new Priest-in-Charge.  The Revd. Mark Barwick, his wife Corinna and their two children Madeleine and Elias, moved to Strasbourg  from Brussels in September and have been warmly welcomed by the congregation.  With the official institution Mark is now officially “en poste” for at least the next three years.

As the Bishop pointed out, in many ways Mark’s previous career has almost predestined him for the post of Priest in Strasbourg. He was ordained into the Episcopal Church and previously  was  assistant priest  in Waterloo, Belgium. He speaks French and German, has worked with political institutions in Brussels and for many years was involved  in conflict resolution with the Pax Christi organisation. During the instititution he was asked to affirm his loyalty to the Church of England and presented with a licence bearing an impressive red seal.

    Bishop Robert, right, reading out the licence, to Mark Barwick, right, and Archdeacon Meurig Williams, centre.

Among the visiting clergy were Jean-Georges Boeglin, Ecumenical officer of the Diocese of Strasbourg , Frère Hervé, Prior of our hosts the Dominicans, Philippe Aviron-Violet, curé of St Maurice and St Bernard,  two representatives of the President and Vice-President of the Union des Eglises Protestantes d’Alsace et de Lorraine, Pastor Daniel Rivaud, representing the Entente Evangélique de Strasbourg and David Fieldsend, Reader from the Pro-Cathedral in Brussels. Mary Talbot from All Saints’ Geneva represented our former Priest-in-Charge,  Alex  Gordon, and his wife Geraldine.  Their presence was an indication of the importance Mark  attaches to tending the ecumenical relations already established by previous priests at St. Alban’s.  The congregation turned out in force;  the Malgache Chorale sang a Gloria, and the last hymn, “We are marching”, was accompanied by an enthusiastic  group of  drummers and singers.

  The Malgache Chorale, led by Worship Leader Voahangy Ramananjatovo

In true and traditional Strasbourg fashion the institution was followed by one of St. Alban’s unforgettable feasts – conjured up by Victoria Jacobs, Anny Samuels and their helpers. It was a wonderful day with plenty of nourishment for mind, body and soul.

The Feast (or at least part of it!) Frère Hervé of the Dominicans on the right of Mark Barwick as he says grace.

The Bishop of Europe was as enthusiastic as the congregation was: here is what he wrote in his blog.




La Peste en Madagascar / Plague in Madagascar: update. Visit of Princess Anne.

According to the latest WHO report, so far 127 people have died during the  recent outbreak of plague in Madagascar.  Over 1800 cases of infection have been reported, and it is feared that this number may increase, as the plague season normally lasts until April.  Plague is endemic in certain parts of the country, but the worrying thing about this outbreak is that now major cities and other non-endemic areas have been affected.

More information:

See also:

From 23 to 25 October Princess Anne paid a visit to Madagascar.  She attended a Service of Thanksgiving to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship between the United Kingdom and Madagascar at Saint Laurent Anglican Cathedral in Antananarivo, and visited charities and organisations of which she has close connections to, including Save The Children and conservation projects.