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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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Thursday, 14 September 2017

Susan Boyd is admitted and licensed as a Reader to serve in Trondheim

The Revd April Almaas presents Susan to be admitted to the office of Reader
At one of the eucharists at the Nordic and Baltic Deanery synod, I admitted Susan Boyd to the office of Reader and licensed her for that ministry in the Anglican Church in Norway. Her ministry will be exercised mostly in Trondheim where she lives. The Revd April Almaas, our priest in Trondeim presented Susan for admission to this lay ministerial office.


Susan now joins a colleague Reader in Trondheim, Priscilla Beck, who works together with Mtr April in caring for our congregation there. The Revd Darren McCallig will soon become the Senior Chaplain of the Anglican Church in Norway, and will be based in Oslo. He will oversee the clergy and people in the daughter congregations of Stavanger, Bergen and Trondheim.

(L to R) The Revds Darrem McCallig, April Almaas, Nick Howe, Kirk Weisz and Archdeacon Colin Williams with new Reader Susan Boyd
It was a splendid occasion as the service was held in the ancient Stavanger Cathedral, with music provided by the cathedral girls' choir.

Synod members after the licensing eucharist

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Children and the Kingdom: Theme of Nordic and Baltic Deanery Synod

Area Dean for the Nordic and Baltic Deanery, the Revd Nick Howe
Extending from Iceland to Estonia, the Nordic/Baltic deanery must be one of the most extensive in the Anglican world. Its synod, over which Area Dean Nick Howe presided, was recently held in Stavanger in SW Norway. Besides the usual business of deanery synod, this year the members looked at aspects of children's ministry. Technology enabled the synod members to hear a presentation on this subject by Professor Haddon Willmer of the Child Theology Movement, and Tony Cook, the Head of Youth and Children's Work for the Diocese of Bath and Wells.

The Revd Peter Hogarth introduces Professor Willmer who joined the synod by Skype
One of the synod eucharists was celebrated in St Swithun's Cathedral. The bishopric of Stavanger was founded in 1125 by a missionary from Winchester, who brought with him relics from that city's most famous saint, St Swithun. The cathedral has been in continuous use for 900 years.

The Revd Bjarni Thor Bjarnason (of Iceland) in front of Stavanger Cathedral
The synod has a good representation of members of our church who are of minority ethnic background (that includes me, of course!). We decided to have a picture together after the mass in the Cathedral to demonstrate just how colourful the Church of England is!


Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Trondheim Anglicans (and a bishop) at the consecration of the new Bishop of Nidaros


On Sunday 10th September., in the ancient Cathedral of Nidaros, in the presence of HM King Harald of Norway and a packed congregation of over 1000, Herborg Oline Finnset was consecrated bishop of Nidaros (Trondheim).

I was among the bishops invited from the Porvoo Communion of Churches, along with colleague bishops from Sweden, Iceland, Finland, and of course Norway itself. The Presiding Bishop of the Church of Norway, Helga Haugland Byfuglien, was the chief consecrator. The service was in Norwegian of course, but with prayers, readings and hymns in South Sami, Swedish and English.

Presiding Bishop Helga places the pectoral cross on Bishop Herborg (photo by Ole Martin Wold) 
One distinctive feature of episcopal consecrations in many Nordic countries including Norway, is that the new bishop must preach the sermon at the consecration mass! Quite daunting as the first task, not least in front of the King and 1000 people in the Cathedral. Bishop Herborg spoke of grace, that the Church's role is to extend God's grace to all, grace which allow us to live for God and in service to each other.

King Harald greets Bishop Herborg after the Mass (photo by Ole Martin Wold)
Our Anglican congregation at the Høymesse (literally High Mass) for the consecration was represented by the Revd April Almaas, the priest, and Mrs Priscilla Beck, the Reader. The Anglican services are held each week, either in the Cathedral, or in the nearby Church of Our Lady, which is connected to the Cathedral.

Nidaros Cathedral is built over the burial site of Saint Olav, the king of Norway in the 11th century. It was completed sometime in the 13th century.


The procession out (Photo by Eivind Almaas)

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Fr William Lister re-licensed for Florence and Siena


Normally in our diocese the issuing of a licence happens in a priest's own congregation. Given the scattered nature of our diocese, however, this sometimes has to take place elsewhere, depending on the diary of a bishop or archdeacon who normally must preside at this brief, largely, legal rite.

As the Chaplain of St Mark's Florence (with St Peter's Siena), the Revd Fr William Lister, needed to have his license renewed for a further term, a recent visit to Rome provided the opportunity for me to invite him to journey south for this ceremony. This was able to be done before the icon of Christ the Light of the World in All Saints Church which was consecrated by Pope Francis when he visited our Anglican chaplaincy in Rome last February.

Fr Lister is also Area Dean of Italy and an Assistant Director of Ordinands in the diocese.

Monday, 4 September 2017

6 young adults placed in Diocese in Europe parishes to test their vocation


For the third year running, our Diocese in Europe is participating in the "Church of England Ministry Experience Scheme" (CEMES) which offers year long placements for young adults (under 30) wishing to test their vocation to the sacred ministry. This year 6 persons will be placed in our parishes in Lyon, Leuven, Brussels, La Côte (near Geneva), Ostend with Brugge and Vienna. They will be given practical experience in ministry, some time of theological reflection and exposure to the challenges of Anglican life on the continent of Europe.


Our Director of Ordinands, Canon William Gulliford, oversees the CEMES programme in our diocese, and works with a team of volunteer priests and laity in the supervision of the participants. A special orientation session for this year's cohort was held on 31 August to 1 September in Rome, hosted by All Saints Church.  

The scheme is part of the Church's effort to encourage more young people to consider Holy Orders.