Lorgues with Fayence in the Var

Part of the Anglican Mission of the Diocese in Europe

Sunday Matters Archive

A Rushing Mighty Wind


Sunday 15th June in Le Pradon Callian at 11.00am as usual, shared lunch to follow, all welcome.

Traditional interpretation holds that the Descent of the Holy Spirit took place in the Upper Room,  while Jerusalem celebrated the day of Pentecost (Shavuot). As with all the other significant events, this  mirrored the Jewish calendar and this time it was the feast of Shavuot which celebrated the coming of the Torah. The Torah, if you remember, was the Jewish Law given to Moses on Mt Sinai, which he brought down the mountain and gave to the Jewish people. This Upper Room had also been the location of the Last Supper and the institution of our Holy Communion.

The next mention of an Upper Room by Luke is where the tells us in Acts 2 that the disciples and women waited there, giving themselves up to constant prayer. Jesus had told them to wait, but they must have had no idea what to expect; Imagine their surprise when according to Luke in the book of Acts " And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.", "They" refers to the all the disciples, and it includes the women.

It is possible that "the house" mentioned was in fact the Jewish House of God, . There were Judeans from all over the world in the Temple proper. These people saw and heard the disciples receiving the gift of spiritual birth of the Holy Spirit. The location of the Upper Room did not allow women, so it is possible that The Temple proper among all the people present could have been the location of the out pouring of the holy spirit.

As with many bible texts, we can get bogged down on discussing the detail and miss the point. The first point on that first Pentecost Sunday was that Jesus returned in the Power of His Spirit and touched each one of those that believed in Him, and the second important point is that these men and women were changed and empowered to go out and share with others who this man Jesus was and what he had done for them; that He had died to take on the burden of sin for everyone and had overcome that death by his resurrection. Later that day when Peter preached to the crowd  3000 WERE SAVED AND ADDED TO THE CHURCH !

And so the whole Easter story is complete.  All the pieces are in place for the First Church to be planted in Jerusalem and the gospel to be preached and shared and our (co)mission is to continue that process today. Lorgues with Fayence is living proof that the church is alive and growing and we should be both proud and grateful for the Grace of God in allowing us to be part of this miracle that started on that first Pentecost.

And now what...well that is up to us wanting to continue to be part of the whole Body of Christ, His Church, and to share the Good News with others as He directs and guide us.  I'm up for it...are you?


Read the Pentecost story in Acts below.image

Acts 2:1-21

2When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.”

But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’



" Do we really need the Holy Spirit? "

This Sunday is TRINITY SUNDAY and as we missed Pentecost last week we will bring these two things together this week.  But the reality and the truth is that they are indivisible anyway; as the song goes, " You can't have one without the other " or to be more accurate, the other TWO!

imageSadly, this is often how we try to live, to go it alone thinking that is fine and works very well as we busy ourselves with trying to make things work, trying to pay the bills and let's be honest, not really succeeding.  It was once cynically said that the Church welcomed the Holy Spirit at Pentecost because it kick-started the church, but after that we could manage quite nicely on our own...So how do we get that right, what do we need to do to bring Jesus through His Spirit into our lives and into the Church and into the lives of those around us who need Him?

Answers on a postcard please!!  And bring them on Sunday so we can talk it though, and at the same time invite the Holy Spirit  to do what He is able to do....to inspire....to lead....to advise...to comfort....to give us the truth.  After all,  it's the least we can do.


Graham Kendrick, The Spirit of the Lord is Upon me now

Ride on Ride on in Majesty

imageWe hope you have Sunday pencilled in to be with us at  Arc-en-Provence for "Palm Sunday", two words that begin one of the most significant weeks that the world has ever known.  How could something that showed so much promise at the beginning of the week turn into such a tragedy just a few days later.  This week as we meet several times we will be looking at just that and how the influence of human nature on events steered Jesus to the cross and our salvation.

Our Advent Commitment


  imageAs a disciple of Christ will you continue

   in the Apostles teaching and fellowship

                in the breaking of bread

                        and in prayer?

            With the help of God I will

                 Will you proclaim the Good News ?

         by word and deed serving Christ in all people

                    With the help of God I will

               Will you work for justice and peace

                   honouring God in all creation

                   With the help of God I will.





imageIn telling this story, Matthew describes the extraordinary event of Jesus being changed form his human form into an expression of His divine Glory.  Jesus only takes Peter, James and John to be part of this experience, an indication that He is not ready to share this with all the disciples and those who are following Him.  His journey to the cross and his eventual resurrection must be the message to the world of who He is and what we must accept as Christians.  The Transfiguration must have had a profound effect on the three disciples, confirming what they had come to believe, yet even this was not enough for Peter who denied Jesus when he was arrested and only John was at the foot of the cross to be part of this devastating event. I wonder did he think of that time on the mountain when Jesus shone in glory and His divinity was apparent. And for us, do we hold onto the mountain top experiences when we are in the depths of the valley of despair? ........more on Sunday.

The reading from Matthew is ch 17: verses 1-9

Hillsongs Church sing about this extraordinary event in their powerful song TRANSFIGURATION.(skip the ad)  do listen to I, the music may not be your "cup of tea" but follow the words that helps us understand what the Transfiguration was all about.

See you Sunday,     Peter

Strictly Come Singing


On Wednesday  December 17th in St Antonin at 5.00pm we are holding the Carol Service for our Lorgues congregation and everyone is welcome to join us for that.   And  then on the following Sunday the 21st Dec, we do it all again for the congregation and local communities in the Montauroux, Callian and Fayence areas.  Our service is at the new venue in the Presbytery in Montauroux at 11am.  Again, everyone is welcome to join us.  At both our Carol Services there will be suitable festive fayre to help sustain you on your journey home.

...and don't forget to bring a friend.   And what's it all about?    Listen to "Born in Me"

Directions can be found here

HERE IS THE LAMB . . . . Epiphany 3

Sunday 22nd January 2017

Officially called "The Epiphany of the Lord," this season celebrates the epiphany (manifestation) of Christ to the Gentiles, symbolized by Christ being revealed to the Magi (Wise Men). The feast was originally more closely connected to Jesus' baptism, the primary theme of the feast in Eastern Churches to this day. In addition, other manifestations of Christ were often commemorated during Epiphany, including the miracle at the wedding at Cana.

imageListen to O Lamb of God

On this second Sunday of Epiphany we see how the first disciples are drawn to Jesus through the words of John the Baptist, " Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world " and want to find out more. Once again we are reminded what our worship is really about encountering Jesus, coming into His presence, receiving Him and allowing ourselves to be changed.

Reading Genesis ch 22 verses 1-8

Reading John 1:29-42


The start of the Christmas season 

O Come O Come Emmanuel  folk version.

imageAdvent is the period preceding the  Christmas season. It begins on the Sunday nearest November 30, the feast day of St. Andrew the Apostle, and covers four Sundays. Because the day it begins changes from year to year, so does the length of each season. In 2014, Advent begins November 30.

The word , from Latin, means “the coming.” For centuries, Advent has been a time of spiritual reflection as well as cheer and anticipation. Even as the Christmas season has become more secular-with advertisers urging holiday gift-givers to buy and buy some more-Advent still brings joy and the observance of ancient customs. Christian families find quiet moments lighting candles in the Advent wreath, and children use Advent calendars to count the days until Christmas.

The History of Advent

Advent has probably been observed since the fourth century. Originally, it was a time when converts to Christianity readied themselves for baptism.

Advent became associated with preparation for the Second Coming. In early days Advent lasted from November 11, the feast of St. Martin, until Christmas Day. Advent was considered a pre-Christmas season of Lent when Christians devoted themselves to prayer and fasting, so there's a challenge !!

Many Christians still view Advent as a season to prepare for the Second Coming of Jesus. In the last fifty years, however, it has also come to be thought of as a time of anticipating all that Christmas Day heralds.

Sunday Matters

Ist June at Le Pradon  11.00am

We welcome back Bernadette Daly who will be leading the service on Sunday.  She will also be looking at this  special time of forgiveness on the beach when Jesus fulfilled his previous promise that ....



Peter is restored and Forgiven.

When you look at the extent and impact of the Christian Church in the world today, it is hard to believe that Jesus placed the responsibility of establishing it into the hands and heart of one impetuous fisherman who had actually let him down in the worst possible way. The memory of his denial of Jesus three times and the echo of the cock crowing, must have been an almost intolerable burden for Peter over those three days of that first Easter.

When I was confirmed back in 1966, my Godfather gave me the well known picture " the Lord turned and looked upon Peter, and Peter remembered".  It captures all the emotion of the moment and certainly caused me to reflect on what I would have done in that situation, and still does. But it is only one side of the coin, the other being the scene of Jesus preparing breakfast for the disciples on the beach and then quietly taking Peter to one side.

This Sunday, we hear how Peter was forgiven and restored to the place of leadership that Jesus had prepared him for, commissioning Peter for the task ahead.  It was a time of healing, as the burden of shame was lifted from Peter's shoulders and replaced by the burden of responsibility, to feed Jesus's lambs and to feed his sheep when He has left them and ascended to his Father. However, there is a cost ...

We find this story in John's gospel which is copied below;  John ch 21: verses 15-19image

Jesus and Peter

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.”  A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.”  He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.  Very truly, I tell you, when you were younger, you used to fasten your own belt and to go wherever you wished. But when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will fasten a belt around you and take you where you do not wish to go.”  (He said this to indicate the kind of death by which he would glorify God.) After this he said to him, “Follow me.

Sunday 23rd November at Lorgues

When we read the Corinthian letters, we tend to think of Paul as writing to one congregation. Most likely several house churches were established in Corinth. Taking into account these different communities and their make up can help us to understand some of the background for the conflicts they experienced.

The development of "church" can not be understood without understanding house churches. The house church was in many ways a training ground for the Christian leaders who were to build the church after the loss of  the oversight and guidance of the Apostles. It both reflected the cultural context from which it emerged and challenged it which often resulted in a reaction from the establishment !! 

Since Corinth was a Roman colony, the Corinthian house church culture was predominantly Roman, not Greek. and the organization of their homes was Roman in styleimage.  

Characteristics of Early Church Communities

In the early church communities, one or more households (families) formed a single house church, according to practicalities such as size of the household and the home where they gathered. Congregations met in the homes of more affluent members because they owned larger houses. Everything in such a situation favored the emergence of the host as the most prominent and influential member of the group. Eventually the strong leader of one house church might assume leadership throughout a city or section.

A Roman household could be quite large because it was not just a nuclear family. In addition to persons related by kinship, a household could include slaves, freed persons, hired workers, tenants, and crafts or tradespeople. Family was "defined not first by kinship but by the relationship of dependence and subordination." Usually the head of a Roman household was the paterfamilias (patriarch of the family). However some of the early Christian households were headed by women; at least one household by a couple, the artisans Prisca and Aquilla. Prisca and Aquila established good-sized households in three cities, Rome, Corinth, and Ephesus

So we can begin to see the emergence of a structure and pattern for early Christian communities, and one that carries right up to this day in the organisation of many English Parishes which are based on Roman Manors and land ownership. So we can never really separate the existence of Christian Community from the context in which it was created and there is also a need to adjust the character of that community as its cultural context alters. To fail to do so risks not only the steady decline and ultimate loss both of that Christian group but more importantly the loss of the opportunity to share the Good News of the gospel, and at the end of the day the church really is about the people and their collective encounter with God.         Peterimage

Jan 6th, Not just the end of Christmas!

Epiphany History

imageEpiphany celebrates the day that the three wise men, or kings, reached the site of Jesus' birth in Nazareth.  They followed a bright star that foretold the birth of a new king, and brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh (Matthew 2:1-3, 7-12).  This holiday is celebrated in Western Roman Catholic and Protestant churches.

Epiphany is the last day in the Christian season of Christmas.  In Western churches, it is celebrated on January 6.  It is the 12th day of Christmas.

Epiphany Facts & Quotes
  • Frankincense, a perfume, and myrrh, anointing oil, were traditional gifts for kings during the time of Christ.  Bodies were also prepared for burial with these items.  These were the gifts that the wise men brought to the baby Jesus.
  • Sometimes the three wise men are referred to as Magi, which some believe were astronomers.  Although they aren't named in Scripture, the men received names in the early church: Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthazar.
  • In some churches, Epiphany is the annual blessing of homes.  A priest or pastor will bless chalk that worshipers take home and use to write on their doors.  The marking on the door includes the year, along with the letters CMB, which are the initials of the names traditionally attributed the wise men.  CMB also stands for Christos Mansion Benedict.  Latin for "Christ, bless this house".
  • In Latin American culture, Epiphany, which means 'manifestation', is celebrated with plays and special songs that celebrate the coming of the three kings, or magi.  Children place boxes of hay under their beds for the magi' camels, and in return they receive gifts.
  • For many Orthodox Christians, Epiphany is a super holiday.  It includes the celebration of Jesus' birth, recognition of the wise men, Christ's circumcision and introduction to the temple, ending with his baptism in the River Jordan.

Healing Hands but whose Power?

imageOn Sunday we hear about a woman we meet in the Bible. She doesn’t have a name but we know she was a widow from Nain (A village located 14 kilometers south of Nazareth) whose only son had died. Death had taken away her only source of hope, strength as well as protection. There was nothing she could do about it but weep bitterly. But then something unexpected happened. A stranger she met told her not to weep.

Readings below

imageCertain problems in life make us feel just like this poor widow because similar to death these problems are beyond our control. However this miracle shows us that nothing, not even death is beyond the control of Jesus. It gives us convincing reasons to take our crippling problems to Jesus and lay them at the foot of the cross.

Old Testament reading   1 Kings ch 17 verses 17-24

Psalm 146 verses 1-10

Gospel reading Luke ch 7 verses 11-17


imageI place my gifts on my altar this Christmas: Gifts that are mine, as the years are mine. The quiet hopes that flood the earnest cargo of my dreams The best of all good things for those I love. A fresh new trust for all whose faith is dim. The love of life, a most precious gift in reach of us all: Seeing in the acts of each day, the seeds of tomorrow. Finding in the struggle, the strength for renewal, Seeking in each person, the face of kinship.

I place these gifts on my altar this Christmas Gifts that are mine, as the years are mine…. Amidst all of its whirl and activity, may this Christmas bring you To your heart’s altar; there to receive a sustaining grace; the gifts of renewal and healing, the gift of stillness, and peace … Before you set out again to follow your star….Howard Thurman

John Rutter, What Sweeter Music , Kings College

O ye of little Faith !!

What exactly is Faith ?   Sunday 21st August                 

imageOn Sunday we will be hearing one of Paul’s better known passages from his letter to the Hebrews.  It is one of his passions, the whole subject of faith, what exactly it is and what it means.  It is tempting for us to say,  “Well it’s alright for Paul, he had the Road to Damascus experience”, pretty convincing stuff giving him a good platform of faith to stand on; but God knew he would need that faith for the task ahead, namely, taking the Gospel to the non-Jewish people all around the mediterranean and all the trials ahead.  What about us ?

Some questions to ponder before Sunday:-

1. How much faith do I have ?

2. Is it the same for all of us ?

3. How do I get it ?

4. Can I lose it ?

And if you have answers to those questions, maybe you are able to answer the question heading this piece, What exactly is faith?

Differences of Opinion!

In our introduction to,


 the words were used, "it was not all plain sailing".  Last time we met for church, we travelled with Saul/Paul,  Barnabus, who was the leader of the mission, and Barnabus' nephew, John Mark who was probably Mark in the gospels. If you remember, they went to Cyprus, which was Barnabus' home territory so he probably had plenty of contacts there which is a valuable asset in missionary work. It was here that the leadership of the mission was handed over to Paul as they went on to Turkey. imageIt was also here that a difference of opinion arose about John Mark. Paul wanted to re-trace their steps and check on the churches they had started, but he did not want to take John Mark feeling he was unreliable.  Barnabus disagreed and eventually he and John Mark went back to Jerusalem and left Paul with a man called Silas to go home the long way.  This dispute was long running, though references in Paul's letters much later show that they were reconciled.

So where was God in all this, after all surely He was underpinning this mission, guiding, protecting and encouraging the work of the early church, what could have been the problem. As is so often the case, you would have needed to be a fly on the wall to get the full picture, but the indications are there of human nature intervening and personality conflicts causing real problems.  There was nothing wrong with the message, Jesus lived, suffered for us all, died to take the burden of all our sin and overcame death to defeat evil. He then gave His Holy Spirit to live amongst us and within us that we might encounter the Kingdom of Heaven.  All very straightforward yet deeply profound and requiring us to accept and believe; which is not so simple!

The problems often arise when disagreements develop over the method of delivering the Message.  I have always been wary of people who say " I am right and you are wrong, I have the real truth " Perhaps we all may have a bit of the truth and if we listen to each other might gain a fuller understanding...just a thought!  Wikipedia states that there are between 30 and 40,000 different Christian churches, so Unity has someway to travel and might even be going backwards.  Women Bishops, this weeks top story, emphasises how, even within our own denomination, disputes and differences can arise;  dogma, doctrine, biblical interpretation all have the risk of encouraging us into blinkered corners. 

"In all things God works to the good"  Paul writes to the church in Rome many years later; perhaps speaking from both experience and learned wisdom.  Paul also repeatedly referred to God's enriching Grace so maybe the simplest answer at this stage of our journey is in the familiar words of the Grace;image 

Listen as well to Amazing Grace, my chains fell off

Listen to the same song (live performance)


Reading for Sunday Acts ch 15 verses 36-41

Disagreement Between Paul and Barnabas

Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord. He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.


Paul, Apostle, Missioner and Servant

imageAs we learned last week, on his way to Damascus to find and imprison more Christians, Paul met the Lord. He repented, turning in faith to Jesus Christ. After this experience, he attempted to persuade Jews and Christians about his life-changing conversion. Many doubted and shunned him. Christians such as Barnabas, however, accepted and spoke up for him and subsequently Paul and Barnabas became missionary partners travelling together to spread the good news.
On at least three separate missionary journeys—each several years in length—Paul preached the gospel of Jesus in many coastal cities and trade route towns.  He planted many churches and wrote numerous letters to them over many years, encouraging them, correcting them and reminding them of the way they should be living as servants and disciples of Jesus.  Fourteen of those letters are included in the New Testament of our bibles, and hardly a Sunday goes by without us hearing from Paul.

His particular call was to the non-Jewish communities, or Gentiles as they were known, and Paul had a lot of trouble convincing the Christian leaders in Jerusalem about this. But  God intervened in a strange dream that Peter had which made it clear that the Good news of Jesus' saving grace was for everyone.

The Holy Spirit guides us all in many different ways and we need to have our spiritual antennae in "ON" mode and pointed in the right direction if we are going to get it right.  Those of us struggling to get BBC TV in the last few months have learned that fact of life as satellite dishes have been changed and equipment upgraded to re-connect with the signal being transmitted. imageThe lesson for us is that Paul's experience  is no different for us today as we seek God's will and guidance for the way forward for our church.  It is never easy and Paul's epistles demonstrate the opposition and trouble he constantly experienced, but he never gave up and the only thing he eventually gave up was his life for the Lord he loved.

Read about Peter's strange dream below that cleared the way for Paul's ministry and his missionary journey's

Acts 10:9-16

New International Version (NIV)

Peter’s Vision  Acts 10 verses 9-16

imageAbout noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”

“Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”

The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”

This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.

To work or not to work? hmmm

imageSunday 28th August

To work or not to work, that was the question.  Or was it more a question of attitude and priority?  From the outset Jesus seemed determined to challenge the established Jewish leaders.  He did it in subtle ways as the gospel reading from Luke indicates, and he also challenged them more directly verbally.  No leadership likes to be confronted with the integrity of their motives and quite often leadership will take extreme actions to put a stop to a challenge before it gets out of hand.  Once public sentiment gets behind the rebel the acts  of those who are being challenged becomes more desperate.  Sounds familiar?  For Jesus it all ended up on the cross, but that was his Mission and his Vocation, his Father’s commission.  WHAT IS OURS?

Oh, and PS  how does it square with the passage from Exodus?   Find out on Sunday.

Luke ch 13 verses 10 - 17   Jesus challenges the leader of the synagogue.

Jeremiah ch 1 verses 4 -10     Jeremiah is given a job to do.


.Happy Birthday Church


Sunday is Pentecost Sunday, the churches birthday. We will be celebrating this at both ends of the Chaplaincy but on different Sundays as it is too important to ignore. Pentecost always follows, quite literally on the heels of Ascension which we celebrated in Lorgues with most of the other chaplaincies a week ago. Pentecost marks the day that the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples and changed them from a frightened confused group of Jesus's closest followers to people empowered to tell the story of the gospel. They witnessed to who Jesus was and in effect, kick-started the church with an amazing demonstration of the work of the Holy Spirit when "3,000 were added to their number."
Was that all for then or how does that work today? How can we be sure that God still changes, empowers and uses the lives of those who choose to follow Him? Well, come along to find out on, This Sunday, 15th May,11.00 am At Sandie and Geoff Docherty's home in Montauroux and the following Sunday 22nd May at 11.30 in the chapel at Notre Dames in Lorgues. Shared lunch to follow in both places as usual.
The readings we will be using are below and will be clickable links on our website a bit later today so do have a quick (or slow) read through them to prepare for Sunday.
Thank you for all your support on Ascension Thursday last week. It was a great day, great worship, super lunch and warm and sunny as well. There have been many supportive and encouraging comments so I guess we will be asked to do this again next year. Some pictures on the website,

imageEvery blessing,   Peter


Sunday Nov 1st, exceptionally there is no service.

Instead here is a prayer for All Hallows Eve (Oct 31st) and All Hallows/Saints day (Nov1st)

Sanctify, O Lord, our souls, minds, and bodies.
Touch our minds and search out our consciences.
Cast out from us every evil thought,
Every impure idea, every base desire and memory,
Every unseemly word, all envy, pride and hypocrisy,
Every lie, every deceit, every worldly temptation,
All greed, all vainglory, all wickedness, all wrath,
All anger, all malice, all blasphemy, and all sloth,
Every movement of flesh and spirit
That is alien to the will of your holiness.
And enable us to turn to You,
Master, Lord who loves humankind
To call upon you with boldness and without condemnation,
With a pure heart, a contrite soul,
a face unashamed, and with lips that are sanctified.
Liturgy of St James

I Bind Unto Myself Today.

imageIt is with just a little bias I have chosen to focus on St Patrick  this Sunday.  Nothing to do with having an Irish wife and four Irish sons I am sure you realise, nor anything to do with Ireland heading for the Triple Crown in the 6 Nations Rugby.!  St Patrick probably has links with three of the countries. He was possibly born in Somerset or Scotland in the 5th century and kidnapped in Wales to be taken as a slave by Irish pirates to Ireland.  All this before the age of 16; God indeed moves in mysterious ways.  Patrick's father was a deacon and his grandfather a priest so Patrick must have grown up in a family whose faith was foundational in their lives and the seeds undoubtedly sown for his vocation as a missionary.  There is too much to write about him here so do go to this link to read more about this fascinating and committed man but no reflection on him is complete without reading his prayer,  I bind Unto Myself today. Words and music.

On Sunday we will look, not so much at the man, but what inspired him and the lessons we can learn from his life and ministry.  Do join us on Sunday, you will be very welcome.  


imageMatthew 25:21

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

A Song for Trinity

This I Believe (The Creed)


Our Father everlasting
The all creating One
God Almighty

Through Your Holy Spirit
Conceiving Christ the Son
Jesus our Saviour

I believe in God our Father
I believe in Christ the Son
I believe in the Holy Spirit
Our God is three in one
I believe in the resurrection
That we will rise again
For I believe in the name of Jesus


Our Judge and our Defender
Suffered and crucified
Forgiveness is in You

Descended into darkness
You rose in glorious life
Forever seated high 


I believe in You
I believe You rose again
I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord
I believe

imageI believe in life eternal
I believe in the virgin birth
I believe in the saints' communion
And in Your holy Church
I believe in the resurrection
When Jesus comes again
For I believe, in the name of Jesus

The Journeys Begin

imageAs mission partners in the Intercontinental Church Society, we share a small inheritance of the Apostle Paul's  first missionary journey. There is an ICS Anglican chaplaincy on the island of Cyprus, and in 46 A.D.), Saul, the newly converted Christian, set sail on his first journey stopping first at Cyprus. This was the shortest, in time and distance of his three recorded journeys, and was  a very significant development in the history of the new Christian church. It established Paul as a leader in the spreading of The Word of God.  Paul knew he was being guided by the Holy Spirit and set off with his friend Barnabus who was at that time the leader of the mission. They proclaimed the Word of God in the synagogues, rebuked evil, converted many to Christianity, most importantly a man called Sergius Paulus, the Roman proconsul. 

It was at that point that Paul effectively became the leader. He was from then on called Paul, rather than his former name, Saul.

The geography in many ways is less important than the lessons we will learn about Paul, the man, the missionary and what it was that drove him on, often against immense challenges and threats. You can see the route and major incidents on this very short video, click here and do have a look at and get the picture for yourselves. All along this route Paul and Barnabus planted churches, and then significantly, re-traced their steps to see how these churches were doing and to affirm and appoint leaders who would keep things focused and faithful. (Acts 14:23). Finally they sailed back home to Antioch, where they had began 2 years before. "On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported all that God had done through them and how He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles." (Acts 14:27).

Read below how the journey started.

Acts 13 New International Version (NIV)

13 Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.

On Cyprus

The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit, went down to Seleucia and sailed from there to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the Jewish synagogues. John was with them as their helper.


A Church is ...

imageWelcoming and friendly, Family and Inclusive, Worshipping, Praying, Faithful and believing, Caring and Supportive, Loving, Thanking, Mission minded and Outgoing (Evangelizing), Spiritual,Teaching, Learning, Hoping, Encouraging, non-judgemental and Forgiving, Humble, Sharing and Giving, Committed to meeting regularly, YOUR LIST NOT MINE remember!

So after several months looking at this,  how do we measure up? Is the clipart to the left a true image of us or is the jury still out?

This week we come back to the foundation...Just who is God and what is he like? On Sunday we will sing The Churches one foundation is Jesus Christ the Lord ( listen here ) Thee wheel has gone full circle, now we must put our money and our hearts where our mouths are and live it out.  As we move into the autumn there will be several opportunities to do that as we move on together sharing the gospel and growing our faith here in Var...don't miss them.




From our Intercessions last Sunday, thank you Yvonne.


This was found written on the wall in Mother Theresa's home for children in Calcutta : 

              People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.

            If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.

            If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.  Succeed anyway.

           If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.  Be honest and sincere anyway.

            What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway.

            If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.

            The good you do today, will often be forgotten.  Do good anyway.

         Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.  Give your best anyway.

         In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.

From Sundays Prayers.

imageThis litany was also used in Lorgues last Sunday as we remembered those in Ukraine and Palestine caught up in the violence, thank you Hilary :-

A Litany of Peace

Let us pray for all who suffer as a result of conflict, and ask that God may give us peace:  for the service men and women who have died in the violence of war, each one remembered by and known to God;  

May God give peace               God give peace

for those who love them in death as in life, offering the distress of our grief and the sadness of our loss;  

May God give peace               God give peace

for all members of the armed forces who are in danger this day, remembering family, friends and all who pray for their safe return; 

May God give peace               God give peace

for civilian women, children and men whose lives are disfigured by war or terror, calling to mind in penitence the anger and hatreds of humanity; 

May God give peace               God give peace

for peace-makers and peace-keepers, who seek to keep this world secure and free; 

May God give peace               God give peace

for all who bear the burden and privilege of leadership, political, military and religious; asking for gifts of wisdom and resolve in the search for reconciliation and peace. 

May God give peace               God give peace

O God of truth and justice, we hold before you those whose memory we cherish, and those whose names we will never know.

Help us to lift our eyes above the torment of this broken world, and grant us the grace to pray for those who wish us harm. As we honour the past, may we put our faith in your future; for you are the source of life and hope, now and for ever.  Amen.

Susan Boyle sings "Make me a Channel of Your Peace"

Sunday Nov 15th, Remembrance  

Fayence congregation at Montauroux 11.00


On Sunday we will focus on the word REMEMBER, not just in relation to those whom we have loved and lost but in what the bible teaches us about the act of remembering that helps us understand our relationship with God and with Jesus in particular.  As we gather to remember on Sunday and to break bread together we will hear the words during the Eucharistic prayer, "Do this in remembrance of Me" twice.  It is why we come together in fellowship and worship and everything else spills out of that.   There are two readings for Sunday and you can click on the links below to read them.    See you Sunday.    Peter

Old Testament reading,
Genesis ch 9 verses 1-17God's promise to Noah and reminding Noah to remember it.  click here for the reading

New Testament Reading;  2 Timothy ch 2  verses  1-13  Paul is writing to his faithful friend and fellow missionary Timothy, to encourage him and to remember what Jesus has done for him. click here for the reading

Over the last few services we have been seeing what happened after the resurrection. During the weeks after Easter several people had encounters with the risen Jesus.  Each encounter was unique and with a purpose that was entirely personal. 
imageWe often hear the question " Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?"  and if we ask that question or profess that relationship there is a risk that we are misunderstood.  It is not a question of how far we are up the Christian scale but simply a question of how that relationship with Jesus is expressed and worked out in our lives and we are all unique in that respect.  Ultimately though we all have to ask ourselves, "Has the resurrection and the fact that Jesus is alive changed me?".... only we know the answer to that!
The first person we meet is a woman called Mary, the first person to meet her risen Lord.  There is much in this story for us to learn and we will explore this on both the 10th and17th April.  Gospel Reading for Sunday


The Collect Prayer for V.J Day

imageGod our Father, in the dying and rising of your Son Jesus Christ, you have brought life and salvation out of cruelty and death. We mark Victory in Japan in gratitude for the courage of the Allied forces. who suffered for freedom in the Far East campaign and in sorrow for all that hinders the coming of your kingdom of peace. Give us wisdom to learn from the bitter memories of war, and hearts that long for the unity of all nations. We ask all this in the name of Jesus, in whom there is no east or west, no north or south, but one fellowship of love across the whole earth. Amen. The rest of Sundays's intercessions can be found here

A Life Changed


A funny thing

happened on the

Road to Damascus

Sunday 22nd June in Notre Dame Lorgues at 11.30am as usual, shared lunch to follow, all welcome

You often hear the expression, it was a Damascan experience, and that phrase comes from the story of Saul's conversion as he travelled towards Damascus to persecute the Christians there.  Saul was passionate about God and about his work but all that emotion and energy was focused in the wrong direction. Saul was also a zealous Jew and followed the law to the letter even training for a time to become a Rabbi. The Law was everything to Saul and as Christianity took root and the influence of this new "sect" took hold, it was seen to be a threat, and extremism and fanaticism to stamp it out began to take hold and Saul became one of the leaders of this violent persecution. Much of Jesus' teaching seemed to undermine all that Saul believed in and he had quite simply missed the point.  That Jesus could be the promised Messiah seemed not just impossible, but blasphemous and those that followed this new religion must be dealt with severely and Christianity eradicated. We see these tactics time and time again in political and religious conflicts; manipulate, segregate, illiminate to achieve your own ends and from such attitudes wars and hatred evolve and thrive.

If you have a look at Jack's page for this week, (sometimes I sits and thinks) he challenges us to think about faith and doubt, and it would seem to me that at some point, the question mark began to grow in Saul's mind about the motives and integrity of these Christians, the stoning of Stephen perhaps being some sort of tipping point.(acts ch 7 verses 54-60). Could it be possible that Saul was beginning to have doubts about his obsession to persecute the early church and that what took place on the Road to Damascus was of God's timing and that Saul was now ready for Jesus to intervene in his life when he least expected it.

imageAs a nurseryman, I learned very quickly that a seed will not germinate in the ground until all the conditions are right;  light, moisture, warmth and of course, someone to sow the seed. It is an analogy that reflects my own late coming to faith and awareness of the living person of Jesus Christ waiting for the right conditions to intervene...things were never to be the same again. Damascan experience?  quite possibly, and the story of Saul's own Damascan experience and his conversion from passionate persecutor to impassioned missionary never ceases to fascinate me.  Many years later, as Saul, now PAUL, wrote to the church in Rome, he urged them to "be transformed", truly he spoke from personal experience.     Peter.

Read the story of the Road to Damascus below and David Brock is going to share some thoughts on it with us next Sunday at Notre Dame in Lorgues.

Acts ch 9 verses 1-19

The Conversion of Saul

Meanwhile Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest  and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any who belonged to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.  Now as he was going along and approaching Damascus, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him.  He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”  He asked, “Who are you, Lord?” The reply came, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.  But get up and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do.”  The men who were traveling with him stood speechless because they heard the voice but saw no one.  Saul got up from the ground, and though his eyes were open, he could see nothing; so they led him by the hand and brought him into Damascus.  For three days he was without sight, and neither ate nor drank.

Now there was a disciple in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord said to him in a vision, “Ananias.” He answered, “Here I am, Lord.”  The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight, and at the house of Judas look for a man of Tarsus named Saul. At this moment he is praying,  and he has seen in a visiona man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him so that he might regain his sight.”  But Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much evil he has done to your saints in Jerusalem;  and here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who invoke your name.”  But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is an instrument whom I have chosen to bring my name before Gentiles and kings and before the people of Israel;  I myself will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”  So Ananias went and entered the house. He laid his hands on Sauland said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on your way here, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”  And immediately something like scales fell from his eyes, and his sight was restored. Then he got up and was baptized,  and after taking some food, he regained his strength.

Paul's first "Fresh Expression" Church

imageWe have a little experience of doing things differently in our church, so it is encouraging to see that Paul was not against preaching the gospel in an unconventional location. And just as with the story last week, someone is baptised!

Paul has a vision and preaches the Gospel in Philippi

Last Sundays story of Paul and Silas and the Jailer took place at Philippi and was not the first conversion in this city. They had been guided there by the Holy Spirit and when they got there Paul did not follow his usual pattern of first going to the Jewish synagogue. Philippi had no synagogue, and it is assumed the Jewish population was small. Also, there are no Old Testament quotes in Philippians. For whatever reason, the Jews and "God-fearers" (those who honored the Jewish beliefs but were not full converts, i.e., circumcised) of Philippi chose to meet outside the city near the river. One of the more memorable incidents of Paul's second missionary journey took place outside the Philippi city walls: "On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. "If you consider me a believer in the Lord," she said, "come and stay at my house." And she persuaded us" . The full text for Sunday is below as usual.

Today, the baptism of Lydia from Thyatira (in Turkey; one of the Seven Cities of Revelation), the first baptism on European soil, is commemorated on the banks of the Gangites river, beyond the Krenides Gate and about 3/4 mile west of the ancient city centre.

Paul’s Vision of the Man of Macedonia  Acts ch 16: v 6-10

And they went through the region of Phry′gia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.  And when they had come opposite My′sia, they attempted to go into Bithyn′ia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them;  passing by My′sia, they went down to Tro′as.  And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedo′nia was standing beseeching him and saying, “Come over to Macedo′nia and help us.”  And when he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedo′nia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

The Conversion of Lydia  Acts ch 16: v 10-15

Setting sail therefore from Tro′as, we made a direct voyage to Sam′othrace, and the following day to Ne-ap′olis,  and from there to Philippi, which is the leading city of the districtof Macedo′nia, and a Roman colony. We remained in this city some days; and on the sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together.  One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyati′ra, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to give heed to what was said by Paul.  And when she was baptized, with her household, she besought us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.


Sunday's Reading Sep 14, Luke 11: 1-13

imageLuke 11 Good News Translation (GNT)

Jesus' Teaching on Prayer

11 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

Jesus said to them, “When you pray, say this:

    May your holy name be honored;
    may your Kingdom come.
Give us day by day the food we need.
Forgive us our sins,
    for we forgive everyone who does us wrong.
    And do not bring us to hard testing.’”

And Jesus said to his disciples, “Suppose one of you should go to a friend's house at midnight and say, ‘Friend, let me borrow three loaves of bread. A friend of mine who is on a trip has just come to my house, and I don't have any food for him!’ And suppose your friend should answer from inside, ‘Don't bother me! The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can't get up and give you anything.’ Well, what then? I tell you that even if he will not get up and give you the bread because you are his friend, yet he will get up and give you everything you need because you are not ashamed to keep on asking. And so I say to you: Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For those who ask will receive, and those who seek will find, and the door will be opened to anyone who knocks. Would any of you who are fathers give your son a snake when he asks for fish? Or would you give him a scorpion when he asks for an egg? As bad as you are, you know how to give good things to your children. How much more, then, will the Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”



Perhaps one of the best worship songs.... Draw Me Close to You.. Michael W Smith

Psalm 107 verses 29-30

He caused the storm to be still, So that the waves of the sea were hushed. Then they were glad because they were quiet, So He guided them to their desired haven.

Praise You in this Storm  by Casting Crowns

Sunday March 1st ... Be Happy!

imageThe Sermon on the Mount,  or was it on  The Plain ( another one for the biblical boys to discuss)  sets out the way to live a fulfilled life and " Be Happy" or Blessed, to use a term that we might be a bit more familiar with. It comes at the beginning of quite a long discourse by Jesus as he sets out the stall of what his mission and ministry are about and how through this we can find the Kingdom of Heaven. It is in effect Jesus's response to the ten commandments in the context of the New Covenant that He makes with the world and with us and challenges us to live a different way.  The term used for this part of the sermon is the Beatitudes,  or as is often described in more user-friendly terms,  the " Happy Attitudes " though the "Joyful Attitudes " would be a better phrase as it has a deeper less self-focused connotation.  The key to all of this is in the word Attitude;  how do we perceive ourselves and how do we perceive others, and a superficial glance at the Christian Church might lead us to some not very " happy " conclusions.  But we would be wise not to focus on some of the more depressing headlines, but to focus on the fact that we are people of Hope and that hope is not just for ourselves but for the world as a whole.  Can we make a difference,  well perhaps not in Syria or Ukraine, but we could try starting with our " neighbour" not to mention ourselves!  So watch or read and .....  Be Happy , by living as Jesus calls us to live.


The reading this week is Matt ch 5 verses 1-12.  Here it is in the The Message translation which helped me get to grips with it.  Not everyone's cup of tea, but see what you think.

You’re Blessed

5 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.

“You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.

“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

“Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

Listen to ... Cherchez D'abord, ( Seek Ye first ) Matt 6:33


Sunday 15th Feb ... " Where's Jesus ?"

imageWhy doesn't Jesus always heal is one of the top ten questions asked by both Christians and non-Christians and one we have to try and get an understanding of before we can cope with some of the deeper questions our faith throws up to challenge us. If you are suffering or have a loved one who is seriously ill, the response might be that there is nothing "deeper" to understand, we are told Jesus heals, we read the stories in the gospels, and we are told " ask and you shall receive".  And still all of us can re-count times of desperate prayer which on the face of it have failed. " Where is Jesus?" we ask," why has my prayer not been heard? " 

On Sunday we will look at this important question and how we should approach it.  We hear the story of Peter's mother in law being healed and how she then got up to serve and there are lessons for us to learn from this bible reading.  I expect we may have more questions by the end of Sunday service, but perhaps they will be different questions which will take us forward in our faith.

Read the story here in Mark's Gospel

Archbishop Sentamu's prayers for Mosul

imagePrayers for the People of Mosul used last Sunday.

Holy God, your Holy family was driven into exile and many holy innocent boys were massacred, we hold before you today the suffering people of Mosul. Amen

Hold in your loving arms, all those who have been caught up in this conflict. We pray for those forced to flee their homes, all who have lost friends, family and possessions and who now face an uncertain future. Bless our Christian brothers and sisters who have seen the destruction of their churches and communities and for our Muslim neighbours who have also experienced destruction and suffering. Amen

Lord, in this city where Christians and Muslims have lived together for over 1400 years, we pray for healing, peace and restoration. Bring light out of this present darkness and hope from despair that guided by your Holy Spirit, all your children may find a new way forward together based on your love for us all. Amen

Advent Calendar previous Days

The Character of God

imageHaving spent a couple of months trying to work out just what "church" should look like (and be), during August we thumbed through the Bible to see what we could learn about the character of God.  After all, that is the point of our worship, though let's be honest, the focus can slip from time to time to ourselves !!

So here is what we discovered.

God speaks directly to us and wants a  relationship.  He is compassionate, makes and keeps promises, abounds in love and is Love, patient, jealous, faithful, sets parameters, comforts, heals, protects, is gracious and righteous, bears our burdens, forgiving and saves through Jesus, is Spirit and gives us His Spirit, has no beginning and no end, treats us equally, is light and truth, powerful yet gentle,  generous....and no doubt many others.

So two thoughts to close;

1) Jesus was as much of the character of God as it was possible to place in one man,  and

2) He calls us to become like Him.

imagenow maybe read the list again.....

The Church God calls us to be ...

Step 1 - The Journey Ahead.


Over the next few months we will re-visit the question of what is church and how many boxes are we able to tick in assessing that.  Is it challenging?  of course it is as there is always the risk that in our busy lives we become complacent or "comfortable". Jesus' ministry was from being comfortable and discipleship is not an easy ride to heaven but a learning journey at all stages of life to both live and share the gospel in the communities we live in.

So how do we measure up?  "The Church God calls us to be" is an opportunity for us to reflect on that through the summer months and look at our strengths and our weaknesses and we need your input to this please.....see you Sunday for Step 1... The Journey Ahead.    


Read here first about Moses and the The Tent of Meeting

And now in the New Testament  Hebrews ch 10 verse 19.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

From Last Sundays Prayers

The Transfiguration Mk 9: 2-13

imageThis  Wednesday we celebrated the Transfiguration of Christ. This was a special event in which God allowed Peter and John  to have a privileged spiritual experience that was meant to strengthen their faith for the challenges they would later endure. But it was only a temporary event. It was not meant to be permanent. In the same way, at certain times in this life, God may give us a special experiences of his grace that strengthens our faith. We should welcome these experiences for the graces they are, but we should not expect them to continue indefinitely, nor should we concerned when they cease.

They may have been meant only as momentary glimpses of the joy of heaven to sustain us as we face the challenges of this life.

We pray that we may be given the opportunity to experience the Grace of God and to face the challenges in life.

God have Mercy      Lord have Mercy

The tragedies of war continue around us.  The terrible sufferings in Gaza and Syria where the innocent suffer greatly, the terrible tragedy of the Malaysian Airliner with so many innocent deaths,  families rent apart and little children traumatised.  Let us pray for the peace of the world;

God have Mercy      Lord have Mercy

The Season of Advent

imageJesus is coming and some might say, "about time too". When we turn on the news or open the paper it is sometimes difficult to understand the pain and violence in the world, man's inhumanity to man, so callously demonstrated in Paris last Friday in the supposed name of God and religion. It is tempting to point the finger elsewhere yet our own Christian history is blemished by crusades and periods of religious abuse and violence in the name of Jesus. " Not everyone that calls me Lord will enter the Kingdom of Heaven " scripture warns us and forces us to look into the mirror of our own attitudes and profession of faith. Jesus constantly challenges us as to just how we feel about Him and how we express that.  He takes us out of our comfort zones yet at the same time, comforts us.


Advent is a time of preparation, and I don't mean Christmas puddings and snowy cards with robins, but a time to reflect as we move from darkness to light in the four weeks leading up to Christmas and the celebration of the birth of Jesus.  This is not just an annual church calendar period leading up to Christmas, but an opportunity for each one of to take a little time each day to prepare ourselves for an encounter with Jesus. To help with this you will find our own Advent online calendar in the News column starting on Advent Sunday Nov 29th.


Readings for our service this week

St Bernard of Clairvaux

imageFrom Sunday's Intercessions for Sunday 17 of August

Intercessory prayer is not the same as prayers for ourselves,

Intercession is not just praying for someone else's needs. but praying with the real hope and real intent that God would step in and act for the needs of others. It is trusting God to act, even if it's not in the manner or timing we seek. God wants us to ask, even urgently. It is casting our weakness before God's strength, and having a bit of God's passion burn in us.

This week we celebrate the life of St. Bernard of Clairvaux who lived from 1070-1153 and was a dynamic force for Christianity. Today his prayers are still used by many and his teachings are still fresh after a thousand years.  As he said  “Prayer is a wine which makes glad the heart of man”?..’ 

Persecution, Predjudice and Politics

imageSo far in following Paul's journey's we have seen missionary vision, anointing by the Holy Spirit, guidance and provision, all good positives things to encourage us here in the Var. However, last week we saw disagreement, division and separation as Paul and Barnabus fell out over John Mark and his suitability for the second missionary journey...not so encouraging!

But another real problem from the very start of the early church was persecution. The test of persecution, however subtle, is always close for all of us. But for some it is life-threatening and tests their faith to the absolute limit and is probably at its worst today than ever before for the Christian church. Places such as Syria, Egypt, and now Iraq are experiencing exactly what Paul experienced as he attempted to share the gospel of Jesus Christ in places where the opposition, particularly from the authorities, was both violent and testing.

On Paul and Silas' second journey they come to Thessalonica and for three weeks, preach and interpret the scriptures in the Synagogue. Eventually the leaders of the city, started accusing the missionaries:"'The whole city is in an uproar because of these Jews!' they shouted. 'They are teaching the people to do things that are against Roman customs'."(Acts,16:20-21) "A mob quickly formed against Paul and Silas, and the city officials ordered them stripped and beaten with wooden rods. They were badly beaten, and then they were thrown into prison." (Acts,16:22-23)

They are miraculously saved by the Lord, and they have the chance of Evangelizing the jailer of the prison and his household
"Then Paul and Silas shared the word of the Lord with the jailer and all who lived in his household. That same hour the jailer washed their wounds, and he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized. Then he brought them into his house and set a meal before them. He and his entire household rejoiced because they all believed in God." (Acts, 16:32-34)  Wow...quite a story and on Sunday we will hear how it finishes. There were many more instances of these early missionaries suffering persecution and some gave their lives for the gospel and eventually Paul was one of these.

See you Sunday       Peter

Sundays reading below as usual:  Acts ch 16 verses 16-40

Paul and Silas in Prison

Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the way to be saved.” She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I command you to come out of her!” At that moment the spirit left her.

When her owners realized that their hope of making moneybefowas gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities.They brought them re the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”

The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. 

About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!”

The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household.

When it was daylight, the magistrates sent their officers to the jailer with the order: “Release those men.” The jailer told Paul, “The magistrates have ordered that you and Silas be released. Now you can leave. Go in peace.”

But Paul said to the officers: “They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens, and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and escort us out.”

The officers reported this to the magistrates, and when they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were alarmed. They came to appease them and escorted them from the prison, requesting them to leave the city. After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia’s house, where they met with the brothers and sisters and encouraged them. Then they left.


Ascension, a shared experience

imageOnce again the Chaplaincies of the Riviera gathered at the home of Peter and Shirley Massey in Lorgues to celebrate the Ascension and to share an enjoyable picnic together in the garden. The Chaplaincy of Lorgues with Fayence hosted the day and Holy Communion was celebrated in the garden Chapel.  Peter looked at the separation and emotion of the Ascension as possibly  experienced by both Jesus and the disciples as he left them for the second time. 

The recent VE celebrations prompted this reflection on the human aspect of the Ascension  and  we did this through the eyes and personal stories of children and parents separated through evacuation during World War two.  Confusion and apprehension mixed with hope and expectation was to be the precursor to reunion. Pentecost,  with its promise of spiritual power and its challenge of being Jesus’s witnesses.

Fellowship and food followed in the balmy sunshine with a shared picnic and the opportunity to meet with members of other chaplaincies.   An enjoyable day once again with the serious risk of a “tradition” being established.  (Service pictured above)

In Christ Alone

imageOn his second missionary journey, Paul took an enthusiastic young man along with him called Timothy. Timothy became a great support to Paul and later played an important role in the church in Ephesus. Many years later, Paul wrote to Timothy to encourage him and in his first letter he wrote " We have put our HOPE in the living God who is the saviour of all men".

We will be singing about this again on Sunday, listen here to IN CHRIST ALONE to remind yourselves of the words and tune.

And Sundays topic is ...... the three P's  see below.

Sunday 1st February Jesus Baptism

imageWatch a video of Jesus's baptism here.

Sunday  1st February

Sundays Gospel Reading is here Luke 3:1-22

So just what does Epiphany Mean

  • Epiphany means 'to show', 'to make known' or 'to reveal'
  • The Christian feast of Epiphany commemorates the mysterious visitors who came to the Christ child. Their gifts revealed Jesus as Lord and King for the whole world, not just the Jewish nation
  • The story of the visitors is only found in Matthew's Gospel (Chapter 2:1-12). It doesn't tell us how many there were!
  • The word used for the visitors has been translated as Magi, wise men, kings or astrologers
  • The visitors brought gifts which symbolised Jesus' identity: precious gold, linked with kingship; frankincense, a fragrant resin linked with divinity and holiness; myrrh - another resin with a bitter perfume, associated with suffering and mourning
  • The western church celebrates Epiphany on 6th January, 12 days after Christmas
  • The colours of Epiphany are white and gold
  • The Lectionary readings for the Sundays after Epiphany explore the themes of:
    • The revelation of Christ to all nations
    • Jesus' baptism in the River Jordan
    • Christ as the light of the world
    • The public ministry of Jesus Christ, including Jesus' first miracle of turning water into wine at the wedding at Cana
    • Growth in a Christian's baptized identity

Baptisms still take place in the River Jordan today



I don't believe it

imageA phrase much associated with Victor Meldrew who constantly seemed to find himself in impossible situations and was confronted by the circumstances and reacted accordingly.  For the disciples the truth of Jesus's resurrection came to them in different ways and they were forced to confront the truth.  Their reactions were very different depending on how they learned the news and perhaps more importantly, on their own human nature. On Sunday we will look at just two such stories;  the un-named disciples trudging back to Emmaus devastated by what they had seen and heard on Good Friday and poor old Thomas, forever remembered as being the doubter.  This is definitely an unfair label, he just needed to come to terms with the risen Jesus in the way that was right for him so that he could stand on that truth in faith.   Are we any different?  I suspect not....what is your story?   Readings below.

The Road to Emmaus Luke 24 verses 13-35

Doubting Thomas John 20 verses 19-31

Sunday 14th December

Perhaps the Bible could be considered to be like a journey, not just through the many books contained in it, but a reflection of our own lives. When I was training for the ministry, the prospect of studying the Old Testament was daunting to say the least, but as we got into it, I slowly became aware that this was my journey as well. Gradually I was exposed to a generous God, a disobedient life, a patient God slowly leading me to Jesus and informing me of all the hope and promise through the prophets. Through the psalms I realised that I was not alone on this journey as every conceivable emotion, fear and praise were expressed  and gradually the journey all moved towards a watershed, or a crescendo if you are a musician ..... the arrival of Jesus at Bethlehem and into the lives of those seeking Him.

imageThe Advent readings on Sunday focus on this journey, this expectation, this promise shortly to be revealed through the humility of the stable and the crib.  Isaiah speaks of the Glory of a comforting God  and the psalm speaks of a faithful, steadfast and loving God. In the New Testament reading Peter  underpins all this by saying our God never changes, "one day is like a thousand years", yet warns us to be ready for the day of reckoning. And in the Gospel,  Mark, who starts his story with John the Baptist and not the Nativity story, and takes right up to minute with John the Baptist "crying in the wilderness" warning of one who is to come imminently and how we need to be immersed in the Holy Spirit of Jesus by Jesus Himsel,f in order that we may be fulfilled and live to serve Him. Do take 10 minutes to read and reflect on these readings for Sunday here. 

So the clock is ticking,  13 worship days left before Christmas at the time of writing and carols and Advent reflections in the top left hand corner of this webpage ....do use that.


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