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.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Plan for new congregations in NW Germany

Plans continue for new congregations to be planted in Northwest Germany. The project has been spearheaded by the Area Dean of Germany, the Revd Canon Ken Dimmick.

Fr Dimmick reports on a recent meeting to further this development, held at the home of Archdeacon of Germany and Northern Europe, the Venerable Colin Williams:
"Our big dream is for the development of quite a number of smaller worship communities, similar to house churches, ....perhaps focused on lay-led Bible Study.  From time to time we see these house groups gathering with other house groups for a more liturgical worship service, and when  priest is available, for the celebration of the Holy Eucharist."
Fr Ken intends that local worship leaders be trained to lead services of the word, between priestly visits. He appeals to the 10 or so Anglican priests in Germany to assist, perhaps coming once or twice a year to spend a couple of days, visiting and celebrating the Eucharist.

An "executive committee" for the area mission is made up of the Archdeacon, the Area Dean, Mr. John Batty, and Army Chaplain Richard Downes. A good core of the new congregations will be the number of persons attached to the British military community who will be staying on in Germany after the British Forces are fully withdrawn.
"The area is vast and the sheep may be scattered", says Fr Ken, "but we are hoping to develop groups in these towns and cities:  Bremen, Osnabrueck, Muenster, Dortmund, Bielefeld, Hameln, Paderborn, Hannover, Braunschweig/Wolfsburg, Detmold, Guetersloh, Luebbecke, Bergen-Belsen, Goettingen, and Kassel. We do not yet have contact people in each of these towns, but they all seem like possible places for the building up of an English language worship community.  Time and growth will show in the long run where congregations might be viable.  We, at this point, are only scattering the seeds.  May God give the growth."
Fr Ken wrote to the clergy in Germany whom he is inviting to assist in the years to come,
"You may want to think of yourselves as "Methodist Circuit riders" in the wild west, or like the itinerant Celtic missionaries of St. Columba.  May the examples of Boniface, Willibrord, Kilian, and all those who have done similar things in ages past, surround and encourage us."
Fr Ken leaves Germany shortly as he is taking his retirement, He intends to continue active connection to this mission project, however. We join with him and the executive committee in praying for the Holy Spirit's guidance, strength and direction.

Fr Ken Dimmick in his own parish of St Catherine's Stuttgart

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Holy Trinity Madeira launches bicentennial appeal

Canon Blair addressed the Madeira supporters
Lord Patrick Cormack hosted a dinner on Thursday 8 June in the House of Lords, to launch the bicentenary appeal and programme for Holy Trinity Church Madeira. The Church n this Portuguese Island off the coast of Morocco was first opened for worship in 1822. The appeal is for €200,000 for necessary repairs and refurbishment to secure the life of the Church into its third century!

Although the electoral roll in Holy Trinity is quite modest, the Church is almost always full due to the many visitors to the island, as well as the "swallows". The building is also used virtually every day of the week as a venue for concerts.

The Revd Canon John Blair is the present chaplain. At the dinner he shared with the guests something of the life of this extraordinary and vibrant parish.

It felt odd gathering in the House of Lords on election night in the UK. But the 70 or so who gathered for the dinner were not distracted by the politics outside, but were united in our commitment to Holy Trinity, Madeira! The bicentennial events continue up until the anniversary in 2022.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

English-looking Church but a family from around the world at St Alban's Copenhagen.

Passers-by and tourists on the way to visit the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen, are often surprised when they come across what looks like a traditional English parish church, St Alban's. Although designed in the English Gothic Revival style by the great architect Sir Arthur Blomfield, visitors and tourists will, on closer inspection, see that this beautiful building is much more than an English Church, but the home to a wonderfully diverse and international Christian community. 225 persons are on the electoral roll, and they hail from more than 30 different countries around the world.

St Alban's ministry to tourists is impressive. About 50 volunteers who welcome huge numbers of visitors each day from spring to autumn, with guide-notes to the Church available in over a dozen languages. Literally thousands of persons each year, who might not otherwise enter a Church building, are given a warm and friendly word from one of the volunteers, and invited to enjoy a moment of peace in the tranquil beauty of the building.

On Trinity Sunday confirmations were celebrated, with the Church filled to capacity. The candidates each came from different backgrounds: Danish, Dutch, Ugandan, Californian, Australian, Nigerian and British (via several places in the Middle East!). Trinity Sunday was an excellent feast to celebrate our baptism into the Threefold Name. The candidates reminded themselves of their own baptism by signing themselves with the sign of the cross at the font, acknowledging that even with their diverse backgrounds, they are one in Christ.

The Christian life is lived not primarily in the church, but in the world, loving our neighbour, and seeking peace and justice. The newly confirmed carried candles through the Church out into the world to symbolise their commitment to building the Kingdom of God in Copenhagen and beyond.  

Following the Eucharist, the Church Council chaired by Chaplain, the Revd Darrin McCallilg, met with me to explore together some general features of parish life. We had a lively discussion about where the many Church activities were thought to be "adding value" to the kingdom of God, and where there was yet some untapped, latent resources to call upon from among the members to further extend St Alban's ministry and mission. Already St Alban's has the largest average Sunday attendance of any Church in the Danish capital.

We had just heard the news of Bishop Geoffrey's death that morning, and we said prayers for the repose of his soul at the meeting.

All photos are courtesy of Mia Enns

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Bishop Geoffrey Rowell RIP

Our dear Bishop Geoffrey Rowell, third Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe, died peacefully this morning. He had been struggling bravely with cancer, a struggle he kept very quiet as he did not want people to be alarmed or to make a fuss. We mourn the passing of a great and wise teacher of the Catholic faith, an extraordinary ecumenist, a warm pastor, one of the world's best networkers, and a beloved friend. May he rest in peace.


Saturday, 10 June 2017

Archbishop Ntatohuri will move from being a Governor of the Anglican Centre in Rome to the Director in October

The Board of Governors of the Anglican Centre in Rome on which I serve recently had a meeting in Chicago, hosted by the Episcopal Bishop of Chicago, the Rt Revd Jeff Lee. It was the last meeting of the Board during the time of the current Director, the Most Revd Sir David Moxon, who will be stepping down at the end of June after almost 5 years in post. It was a chance for US friends and supporters of the Centre to express their gratitude to Archbishop David for his outstanding achievements in Anglican-RC relations during his time as Director.

(Incidentally, the Diocese in Europe Board of Finance makes a small annual grant to the Anglican Centre. Canon Ann Turner is our Diocesan Representative).

Evensong at St James's Cathedral, Chicago

Christ Church Winnetka Illinois
I had the privilege of preaching and presiding at one of the many flourishing parishes in the Diocese of Chicago, Christ Church, Winnetka, Illinois. There are over 50 in the choir at Christ Church, and 110 young people involved in activities during each week.

Archbishop Ntahoturi with Anglican Centre Governor Bp Cate Waynick
Archbishop David's successor as Director, Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi, who takes over in September, was present at the meeting, as he is currently a Governor. Archbishop Bernard has extensive ecumenical experience, having served as a member of the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches since 1998, and co-moderator of the Permanent Committee on Collaboration and Consensus which brings together representatives of the Orthodox, Anglicans and Reformed Churches. He has also served on the Executive Committee of ACT (Action of Churches Together) International and participated in the creation of the new ACT Alliance which is the ecumenical branch of the WCC for Relief and Development. He has been active in seeking peace in war-torn native Burundi, where he is vice chair of the Burundi Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He also chairs the Inter-Anglican Standing Committee on Unity, Faith and Order (IASCUFO). Archbishop Bernard speaks French, English, Kirundi and Swahili and is looking forward to learning Italian! I have had the privilege of many years of friendship with Archbishop Bernard, having worked with him when I staffed the Primates' Meetings of the Communion.

Archbishop Bernard will be formally installed as the Director of the Anglican Centre in October, but he was recently informally introduced to the Pope by Archbishop Sir David Moxon.

Archbishop Moxon introduces Archbishop Ntahoturi to His Holiness

Friday, 9 June 2017

Lay Ministers in Europe commit to move to the frontier as part of Jesus's plan

The conference theme was taken from closing words in the Eucharist
On the frontier of Church and world. This sums up the ministry of our Licensed Lay Ministers (a.k.a Readers).

From 19 to 22 May in Cologne, Readers and those in training for this ministry from across the diocese gathered for a conference to consider the challenge of frontier ministry. Licensed Lay Ministers are in the position of having a listening ear in two camps: the Church and the world that the Church is called to serve. "Double listening" is how this was summed this up in one of our sessions. Listening to the Word and listening to the world: this is the ministry of the Reader and it is a key role in our diocese.

The conference was bracketed by two liturgical moments: We began as scattered individuals around the edges of St Edith Stein chapel at Kardinal Schulte House, symbolising our dispersal across the islands and continent we serve. We came together to form community around the Word and Sacrament. At the conclusion of the event we carried lit candles and scattered out to the edges of the chapel again, to mark our journey as disciples back to the world where we live and serve.

The Conference Design Team
During the meeting we sat at the feet of 4 resource persons who formed us into a learning and listening community.

Fr Nicholas King SJ
Fr Nicholas King SJ, led bible studies on Church and Politics in the Old Testament and New Testament. Fr Nicholas currently teaches at Heythrop College in the University of London, and has recently completed his own translation of the Greek Scriptures, Septuagint and New Testament.

Dr Kathy Galloway (l) is introduced by Victoria Wadsworth-Hansen
The Revd Kathy Galloway, a former Leader of the Iona Community and was until recently the Head of Christian Aid Scotland reflected with us on the demands of life in a community which serves those at the margins and those excluded.

Prof. David Wilkinson
The Revd Professor Dr David Wilkinson is the Principal of St John's College Durham. He holds PhDs in both theoretical astrophysics and systematic theology. He inspired the participants with his insights into the beauty and vastness of creation and helped us consider how we can let this awe and wonder point us and those with whom we engage, to the excessive, generous creative love of God.

Stefan McNally
Stefan McNally is responsible for growing the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity's work with churches across the UK, helping them to link the Christian faith to contemporary culture. He addressed the issue of whole-life discipleship and encouraged the participants to identify their "front-lines" for ministry.

The 4 resource persons for the conference
As is normal at such conferences, there were moments for fun together, building networks and new friendships. The enthusiasm of the participants was palpable. Together they affirmed that their vocation is to make sure that the Church is not to be like Lot's wife, looking back, frozen, but looking forward in hope, with a prophetic vision, an Easter people, led into the world by our Risen Lord.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

An international and cross-cultural event: laying the foundation stone of St John's Casablanca development project

The Compound of St John's
Foundation stones of the St John the Evangelist Development Project were laid last Wednesday 17 May in Casablanca. It was a joyful international gathering convened by the Revd Canon Dr Medhat Sabry, the Chaplain of St John's.

The Church has been serving the English-speaking expatriate Christian community in the city since 1906. The time has come to expand the facilities in the Church compound, including a renovation of the Church itself, and the construction of rooms for community and educational use. As St John's is part of the historic architectural patrimony of the city, some complicated permissions and approvals had to be obtained from several government departments.

HE the Wali signs the guest book
His Excellency, Khalid Safir, the Wali of Casablanca and Settat, has been very supportive of the project and we were honoured by his presence at the ceremony on the 17th. (The Wali is the representative of the King, in an administrative region of Morocco).

His Excellency with Canon Medhat

His Excellency joined me and several others - Archdeacon Geoff Johnston, UK Consul Mr David Harries, US Chargé d'Affairs, Mrs Stephanie Miley, and Churchwardens John Peterson and Angie Bermudez - in laying the ceremonial stones. The Wali spoke of the important place St John's has within the diverse, international, multicultural city of Casablanca. The support we have received from the Moroccan authorities has been very encouraging, and we are thankful for His Majesty King Mohammed VI's commitment to helping foreign religious communities such as ours, flourish in his country.

The Churchwardens, the Architect and the Archdeacon enjoy the moment
Members of St John's, who themselves come from around the world were in attendance, as were representatives of St Andrew's Tangiers, the other historic Church of England congregation in the country.

One of the interesting pieces of St John's history is that US General George S. Paton regularly attended services during WWII. The General, in fact, donated the oak pulpit to the Church in memory of troops who died in the defence of the city.

Canon Medhat with US diplomats

Canon Medhat with UK diplomats
This whole development project is a result of the vision of the Chaplain, Fr Medhat. It was fitting and joyful coincidence that the foundation stone ceremony was on the eve of the 30th anniversary of his ordination as a priest. The Diocese is supporting the project through last year's Advent Appeal.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Liturgical formation for curates at Post Ordination Training

Canon Monberg (centre) with our curates
All newly ordained clergy or curates in the Church of England must complete what is known as IME 4 - 7, a period of 3 - 4 years when further training is given. This is also known as Post Ordination Training or POT. The Revd Canon Ulla Monberg, the Diocesan Director of Ministerial Development, is the staff person responsible for our own IME 4 - 7 programme in this Diocese in Europe.

Our curates recently participated in a POT seminar focussing on the Church's liturgy. At the end of the years of curacy our priests and deacons are required to demonstrate solid rootedness in the liturgical traditions and practices of the Church of England, and to use their gifts and abilities in leading public worship in a variety of settings. In addition the curates are to show an understanding of the insights and practices of the liturgies and traditions of ecumenical partners.

Canon Monberg was assisted in this recent IME session by the Revd Canon William Gulliford, the Director of Ordinands; the Revd Dr Ben Gordon-Taylor, our Diocesan Liturgical Advisor and Dean of Chapel and Lecturer in Liturgy at the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield;  the Revd Canon Dr Julie Gittoes, a residentiary canon at Guildford Cathedral; and the Revd Steve Beak, a parish priest who teaches worship for curates in the Guildford Diocese and for the Arrow Leadership Course.

Dr Ben Gordon-Taylor (4th from rt) with Canon Monberg and curates
Practical liturgical skills were shared at the seminar, such as how to conduct weddings. Fr William "presided" at a typical marriage service, with model bride and groom the Revds April Almaas and Mike Waltner, (Canon Monberg was a bridesmaid!)

On the Sunday the IME group was warmly welcomed from the pulpit of Guildford Cathedral where they attended the Eucharist. Our current curates are serving in Paris, Aquitaine, Vienna, Trondheim, Athens and Istanbul. 

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Diocese in Europe well represented on Nikaean Club Executive

The Nikaean Club was established at the 1600 anniversary of the Council of Nicaea, in 1925. It exists primarily to support the ecumenical ministry of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Its members offer hospitality on behalf of the Archbishop to representatives of other Churches who visit Lambeth Palace or other institutions of the Church of England. It also gives small grants to assist theological students from ecumenical partner Churches who are studying in England.

The Club’s affairs are managed by an Executive Committee and at the recent Annual General Meeting of the Club, two of its members from the Diocese in Europe were elected to the executive, Lay Canon Ann Turner from St Boniface, Antwerp and Deacon Frances Hiller from my office. The 400 members clearly appreciate the ecumenical work of our diocese and her members, and thus have chosen Ann and Frances to help in the governance of this venerable ecumenical Club.

A Club Dinner at the Great Hall of Lambeth Palace


Wednesday, 3 May 2017

CEMES. Church of England Ministry Experience Scheme

Are you under the age of 30? Are you interested in exploring a possible vocation to ministry in the Church of England? If so, there are still a couple of places left for participants in the CEMES programme for 2017-2018 in the Diocese in Europe.

CEMES, the Church of England Ministry Experience Scheme, is intended for young adults to provide a way to help with the discernment of possible vocation in the Church of England. Information on the entire scheme is available on the Church of England's "Call Waiting" website, here. Essentially the scheme offers an opportunity to:

  • Explore and deepen faith
  • Discern where and to what God might be calling you
  • Spend a year learning about yourself and your faith tradition with a caring support structure
  • Acquire life-long life-skills and formative experiences which will enrich your life and your Christian discipleship and faith.

The CEMES programme in the Diocese in Europe consists of three basic elements:

  • Practical experience in an Anglican church on the continent, filling three quarters of a participant’s time and comprising a breadth of ministry opportunities working within the church and the wider community including some leadership responsibility.
  • Personal development through regular meetings with a mentor/pastoral advisor
  • A tailor-made theological programme under a theological supervisor based at the University of Leuven

The participating churches for 2017-2018 year are:

  • Holy Trinity Pro-Cathedral, Brussels 
  • St Michael's, Paris 
  • Christ Church, Vienna 
  • St Martha and St Mary, Leuven
  • The Anglican Church in Lyon  
  • Holy Trinity Geneva
  • La Côte, (a suburb of Geneva) 

In the Diocese in Europe CEMES scheme participants will:

  • be plunged right into the middle of the current debates about the future of the Christian Churches in the 21st century
  • receive close, gentle and committed supervision from experienced international clergy and laity
  • expand linguistic and cultural skills
  • spend time in Canterbury, Jerusalem and Rome on the educational and ministerial trips organise for our interns
  • enjoy an unforgettable and formative year in the best diocese in the Church of England!

If you are a young adult, under the age of 30, and are interested in exploring a possible vocation to ministry in the Church of England, come and see how the C of E lives, prays, thinks and talks... abroad!

For further details and an application form, contact:

The Revd Canon William Gulliford (DDO Diocese in Europe)
14 Tufton Street
London SW1P 3QZ
Telephone: 07957 451419

2016 - 2017 CEMES Interns and Mentors