News Heard on Grapevine

Here one will find articles on the wider christian community as well as postings of a more GENERAL nature

Read Rt. Revd. Dr. Robert Innes, the Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe thoughts on the recent Synod.

On my way home, at the end of the Synod, and re-entering the public life of Britain, I bought a copy of the Times. One article spoke of the ‘collapse of business confidence’. Another article predicted significant falls in living standards as the country is now living above its means. Picking up a copy of the London Evening Standard, the front page carried a warning from the Royal College of Radiologists about the supply of cancer treating radioactive materials once Britain leaves the relevant EU authorising body.

These are hugely challenging times for the United Kingdom. The Church of England in England has a particular vocation to bring the message and love of Christ to the nation, to challenge unjust structures and to help rebuild a sense of national destiny.

Click the blue button to read more

CSF-Languedoc’s Walk for Life 2017

The 2017 CSF-Languedoc’s seventh Walk for Life, will be held on Sunday, 17 September at Domaine de la Clapiere, Montagnac. For more information and to pre-book lunch email csf.languedoc@gmail.com. Back by popular demand, will be freshly cooked British fish and chips. New for this year will be healthy options provided by Chillis and Spice

Please remember to book your lunch well in advance!

From an article in the Church Times .   Macron must tackle France’s problems, say RC bishops. IF THE President-elect of France, Emmanuel Macron, does not succeed, the consequences will be “catastrophic”, the president of the Roman Catholic Bishops’ Conference of France has said.

The Archbishop of Marseille, the Most Revd Georges Pontier, told Vatican Radio that French RCs were as divided as the rest of France, but that it was imperative Mr Macron was able to govern effectively. “We must hope he succeeds for the good of our country, otherwise it will be catastrophic,” he said.............

A new library at Lambeth Palace will house the biggest collection of religious works outside the Vatican after planning permission was granted for the first new building at the historic site for 200 years. The collection of historic manuscripts and books dating back to the ninth century will be stored in highly advanced archives.

“There are maps and books, even a book on mathematics written by one archbishop. It covers periods of great religious turmoil across Europe and really important parts of this country’s history.”  The only surviving copy of the execution warrant of Mary, Queen of Scots by Elizabeth I in 1587....... Click blue button for further information

New Ordinations within the Diocese in Europe

Message from Bishop David - With great joy I announce the following persons are to be ordained this Petertide (God willing): Sacred Order of Priest - The Revd Nicolas Razafindratsima and Guy Diakiese into the Sacred Order of Deacon.

Click on the blue button to read the full notice

Towards a post BREXIT DioceseSeventeen volunteer delegates joined Bishop Robert in late January at a meeting facilitated by the UK Ambassador to Belgium. After the meeting, Bishop Robert said

"We were taken very seriously by the staff at the UK Representation in Brussels, and it is staff in this building who will be conducting the actual negotiations, so I do feel we have been properly listened to, and by the right people. The event brought home to me the sheer range and complexity of the issues that the government will have to sort out". To read full article click the blue buttons

The initial Papers for the February Church of England General Synod meeting have been published published online.

To view the list of papers to be discussed at the Synod, click the blue button.

An article written by the Anglican Communion News Service concerning the upcoming Synod can be read by clicking HERE

Ahead of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2017, which starts tomorrow, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have issued a joint statement on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.  Archbishop Justin Welby and Archbishop Dr John Sentamu said today: 

"This year, churches around the world will be marking the great significance of the 500th anniversary of the beginning of the Reformation in Europe, dated from Martin Luther's 95 Theses protesting against the practice of indulgences, on 31 October 1517 at Wittenberg. The Church of England will be participating in various ways, including sharing in events with Protestant church partners from Continental Europe.... Click the button to view the full statement.

Les fêtes Publique Français 2017

Apart from the list of dates covering the 2017 public holidays in France, the page also contains a few French morsel's of information about each of the days.

Reflections From the Dean of Southwark on reconciliation and diversity

When I was asked whether I would consider hosting the swearing in of the London Mayor ceremony, normally conducted in City Hall, in the Cathedral I didn’t hesitate for long. Of course! Why not? It wasn’t about being party political, it wasn’t about taking sides, it was about London, it was about community and it was about trying to do that work of reconciliation that needed to take place after so many dirty tactics by some in the campaign and especially around the issues of race and religion.........

The Way of Saint James, also known as El Camino de Santiago, is the ancient pilgrimage route to the remains of Saint James in Santiago de Compostela, one of the three most important pilgrimage routes in medieval times, after Rome and Jerusalem.

In October 2014 and May 2015, three parishioners from 'All Saints, Hérault' walked some 175 kilometres from Palas de Rai to Finisterre, via Santiago de Compostela. Their various experiences encountered whilst walking the Camino can be read by clicking on the blue button. Practical information about the Camino is also available to read on the website, again via the blue button, together with  a brief history of the Camino. 

Depending on where you are in the world, Saint James the Greater is celebrated on either 30th April or 25th July.

Nothing is known of St. James the Greater's early life, though it has been established that he is the son of Zebedee and Salome and brother of John the disciple. The title "the Greater" was added to St. James' name to help distinguish him from the Apostle James "the Less," who is believed to have been shorter than James "the Greater."

Saint James the Greater was one of Jesus' first disciples. Later, James was one of only three called by Jesus to..............

April 23rd is Saint George's day. But who was Saint George?

St George is the patron saint of England and among the most famous of Christian figures. But of the man himself, nothing is certainly known. Our earliest source, Eusebius of Caesarea, writing c. 322, tells of a soldier of noble birth who was put to death under Diocletian at Nicomedia on 23 April, 303, but makes no mention of his name, his country or his place of burial. According to the apocryphal Acts of St George..........

READ THE CURRENT EDITION OF THE DIOCESE IN EUROPE TIMES BY CLICKING ON THE FILE LINK to THE LEFT

Extreme poverty: Can it become a thing of the past?

The countdown has already begun towards the number one goal of the ambitious international development agenda set by global leaders last September. Amid the fanfare of the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals at the UN, the leaders pledged that by 2030 nobody anywhere in the world would live in extreme poverty - currently measured as living on less than $1.25 (88p) a day.

The key aim of the Millennium Development Goals - replaced by the SDGs at the turn of the year - was that extreme poverty would be halved. That happened during the lifetime of the MDGs and it was no mean achievement. But it was largely because of progress in the world's two most populous nations - China and India. Development experts say the challenge now of finishing the job in just 15 years will be even more .................

Is there such a thing as Christian Unity?

Christian Unity Week. The week from 18-25 January is Christian Unity week, but we're always a bit late here in the Midi, so we are holding the Saint-Pargoire event on 31 January!  It starts with a service at 10.30 am, in our usual place, the Temple, shared between the three churches (Église Protestant, the Catholics and us).  

Copyright Getty Images

Jesus 'not a real person' many believe

Forty percent of people in England do not believe Jesus was a real person, a survey suggests.  However, 43% of the people asked said they did believe in the resurrection - although many did not think it happened as described in the Bible.

The figures also found while 57% classified themselves as Christian, fewer than 10% actually go to church. The survey of over 4,000 people for the Church of England will be discussed at its next General Synod in November.

Many scholars agree that Jesus.................

Harvest at All Saints

Remember those harvest suppers we used to have, with excellent food, bring-and-buy stall, silly competitions etc? On 11 October, after our Harvest Festival service, we had our own version and Barbara has written a report about it:

This fund-raising event, the brain-child of Roger and Trish Armson, was such a success last year that we decided to do it again. Apart from an amazing raffle, we had a bring and buy stall, produce stall, and a novelty guessing game ...

All Saints Hérault - Donation to Support the Refugee crisis in Hungary.

The Chaplaincy Council members decided to donate funds to support the the refugee crisis in Hungary. 

The following article has been taken from the Facebook page of Saint Margaret’s Anglican Episcopal Church. It should be noted that since this article was first written, the attitude of the Hungarian Government has hardened against the influx of refugees, mainly from Syria. NGO support is even more critical than before.

A personal view of the refugee situation in Calais.

The migrant crisis has dominated the news headlines and affected many communities across Europe. Juliet Kilpin, who is a co-ordinator at BMS partner Urban Expression, went with a group to Calais in August to help and was shocked by what she saw.

“I was very surprised at the conditions of the camp,” she says. “I've been to various slum communities around the world and it was fairly comparable to some of those, in terms of living conditions. If I walked into a community like that in Africa or in Asia, I would perhaps not be too surprised. But to walk into a community like that in Calais, it kind of did my head in a little bit.

Concentration Camp Memorial at Rivesaltes Now Completed.

This project on the site of the concentration camp used over the years to incarcerate republican Spaniards, foreign Jews and gypsies, German POW’s and prisoners from the Algerian war, has now been handed over to the local authorities.

Reminders of man’s inhumanity to man are being preserved at Rivesaltes. Under the shadow of a wind-farm, behind an industrial estate, desolate ruined huts and latrines bear witness to man’s inhumanity to man. Camp Joffre opened in 1938 and closed in 1970. Its history is horrific. In that first year it changed from housing for the troops to housing for “Undesirables”. Soon refugees from the Spanish Civil War, Jews and Gipsies joined the “Undesirables”. So handy for the railway. Destination: Auschwitz, via Drancy. 

We need to play ‘full part’ in aiding refugees, says Archbishop Welby. 

SHOCK and distress after the publication of photographs of a three-year-old Syrian refugee’s dead body washed ashore in Greece have prompted responses from Christian leaders, and the Prime Minister.

The Archbishop of Canterbury said that any attempt to tackle the migration crisis had to begin with “compassion, and the dignity of the human being”.

“No one can say ‘These people aren’t our problem.’ The number of refugees taken by Turkey, by Egypt, countries far poorer than we are, exceeds two million people. We need to reach out, as we have done historically over the centuries, and do more than we have done.

Whitby religious community marks 100 years. 

An order of religious sisters from Whitby is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. In 1915 Margaret Cope was inspired to found the Order of the Holy Paraclete, a community dedicated to the Holy Spirit, at Sneaton Castle, with the mission of education and monastic prayer.  

Sister Janet Elizabeth of the Order of the Holy Paraclete says, “The First World War had barely begun when a small group of strangely dressed ladies came to Whitby looking for a large building to rent.  I’m sure people must have wondered if they were enemy spies!

The Bishop of London announced, on the first day of the Ashes Test at Lord’s, that 16 July is to become a Holy Day in London to mark the commemoration of the three Studd Brothers – whose family name is inscribed on the Ashes urn.

Charles Thomas Studd (‘CT’), George Brown Studd (‘GB’) and Sir John Edward Kynaston Studd (‘JEK’) were not only renowned cricketers, two of whom were involved at the birth of the Ashes itself, but also highly committed evangelical Christians. CT and GB became missionaries and JEK President of the Marylebone Cricket Club

Listed Churches all over England are installing solar panels.

St Michael with St Mary parish church in Melbourne, Derbyshire, is a fine example of 12th-century Norman ecclesiastical architecture, but one part of the building is distinctly modern. The sunshine that illuminates the church’s stained-glass windows is also shrinking its carbon footprint thanks to a 42-panel, 10kw array of solar panels on the roof. The church envisages recouping about £54,000 over 25 years, although the supplier of the panels has put the figure at £80,000. Considering the weekly cost of “essential maintenance, ministry and outreach” is running at more than £1,000, the cash is much needed.

THE ANCIENT tradition of 'clipping' has been upheld at a Guiseley church.

The entire congregation of St Oswald's took part in the event, to mark the feast of St Oswald, last Sunday, July 5. During the morning service all those assembled were led outside by the choir, churchwardens and clergy to encircle - 'clip' - the church while singing the Ballad of St Oswald.

They then shouted "God bless our church!" and, after turning to face outwards, "God bless our town!" St Oswald's is one of only a handful of churches in the UK to still hold the ceremony

Greece Bailout Explained

It is a slow day in a little Greek Village. The rain is beating down and the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit.

On this particular day a rich German tourist is driving through the village, stops at the local hotel and lays a €100 note on the desk, telling the hotel owner he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one to spend the night. The owner gives him some keys and, as soon as the visitor has walked upstairs, the hotelier grabs the €100 note and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher.

200 Christian refugees moved from Aleppo to Belgium

The operation took place over two months and amid great secrecy. More than 200 people, mainly Christians, have reportedly been rescued from Syria’s second city Aleppo and taken to Belgium.

‘In the spirit of the Kindertransport we want to extend a warm welcome to Syria’s refugees’

So far Britain has only taken in 187 refugees from Syria. But across the country there are many who are eager to open their homes and communities, explains Rabbi Goldsmith. Last week I travelled on a minibus from north London with a group of elderly members of our synagogue to the Houses of Parliament to meet their local MP, Mike Freer, and discuss the refugee crisis in Syria.

Churchwarden Jan Rainer from Sittingbourne completes tandem charity parachute jump at Headcorn Aerodrome

A churchwarden faced her fear of heights and jumped out of a plane at 12,000 feet to raise money for charity.

One for your Patricia/Nigel - It is for a good cause!

Old Fashioned Couche Chaude Reaps Vast Tomato Crops Grown Without a Drop of Water

Pascal Poot is a French farmer unlike few others. On the stony, arid and seemingly infertile slopes of his farm near Lodève (Hérault) he grows highly prized tomatoes in abundance without water, fertiliser, pastoral care or pesticide.

If I had to run a marathon – and having done three, I would think seriously about it first – I would look for one that met certain conditions. Firstly, none of that urban rushing around city streets, like London, Paris, Berlin and Boston.  

No, it would have to be through the most pleasant countryside, ripe with birdsong, the skies filled with the soft baggy furniture of clouds, trees gently swaying in a cooling breeze and the heady scents of Nature wafting me along my way.

Meteorite spotted in western France

MANY people have reported seening what was probably a meteorite over the west of France last night. Images of the actual sighting are few and not of good quality in media and social media this morning (ours shows a previous one), however people have spoken of seeing a coloured light in the sky between about midnight and 1.00 today.

Interesting Background of Newly Ordained Ministers.

Around 1000 men and women will be ordained into the Church of England this summer to minister in communities across the country and to mark the occasion the CofE has published new video and audio faith stories.

The new to be Ministers come from a wide range of backgrounds and include a former professional wrestler and a steam engine driver. 

IN 20 February 2013, a man in his mid-twenties, housebound, with anxiety and agoraphobia, typed into Google in a fit of desperation: "God I'm depressed."

From the search results, he ended up at a website he had never seen before: www.christianity.org.uk. On it, he saw a link that would begin an email conversation with a Christian. At the other end of the email was an evangelist with the Church Army, Peter Graystone. Gradually, the man's story become clear: a bullying incident at school had left him with deep anxiety, and, almost a decade later, he rarely felt able to leave his home.

Liberté, egalité, Fraternité, those marvelous three words that define France. They’re fairly representative, not entirely, but generally speaking and compared to some countries (like North Korea) they’re applicable.

Except when you are in a queue.

I am British – we queue. In fact we are a nation of queuers. What happens in France goes against all our British instincts as queuers. French people push in.

It’s not the religion that creates terrorists, it’s the politics.

The word “radical” has always been an overly capacious term, easily filled with whatever meaning the speaker wants to pour into it. There is the radical right, the radical left, even the radical centre, whatever that means.

How did the Turin Shroud get its image?

On Sunday, Pope Francis will "venerate" the famous Shroud of Turin, which is thought by some to be the burial wrapping of Jesus Christ - and by others to be a medieval fake. Whatever it is, it's a mystery how the cloth came to bear the image of a man. Science writer Philip Ball discusses the theories.

Religion does cause violence, but also heals, argues Sacks.

THE cure to the religious violence that is the "fundamental challenge of the 21st century" lies in theology, Rabbi Lord Sacks argues in a new book that offers scriptural exe­gesis instead of political solutions. In Not in God's Name, published this week, Lord Sacks, the former Chief Rabbi, argues that the West's contemptuous and ill-informed ap­­proach to religion has deprived it of religion's capacity to heal.

The Church’s central role in Magna Carta has been airbrushed out of history.

The freedoms contained in the 1215 document originate 'with the Christian Church and Christian theology'. The Christian intellectual tradition that led to the lasting ideas within Magna Carta are ignored today. The eradication of the Church’s influence on Magna Carta is part of a wider cultural amnesia in which the Christian origins of so many ideas we now assume to be universal have been forgotten. In that sense Christianity has rather been a victim of its own success.

‘Text neck’ is becoming an ‘epidemic’ and could wreck your spine

The human head weighs about a dozen pounds. But as the neck bends forward and down, the weight on the cervical spine begins to increase. At a 15-degree angle, this weight is about 27 pounds, at 30 degrees it’s 40 pounds, at 45 degrees it’s 49 pounds, and at 60 degrees it’s 60 pounds. Can’t grasp the significance of 60 pounds? Imagine carrying an 8-year-old around your neck several hours per day. Smartphone users spend an average of two to four hours per day hunched over, reading e-mails, sending texts or checking social media sites.