As we indicated in our last blog, we have had a very busy two weeks. The main reason has been that the centre at Courmettes has been hosting a group connected with Regent College, Vancouver, on a course “God, the Bible and creation care”.
We’ve been involved in several ways: Chris has done a sizable slab of lectures (about 6 hours’ worth) on culture, creation and Christianity – that sort of thing. It’s some time since he has been teaching at university level and he really rather enjoyed it, particularly as they were a lively and stimulating group. We had hoped for at least a dozen students but in the end had far fewer. However we like to think we made up in quality what we lacked in quantity. They certainly seemed to have enjoyed Courmettes.
It wasn’t all classroom stuff, the course included walks round the estate, a look at some of the science including bird ringing, and various trips. A central part of the fortnight was a two-day trip down to the coast and Monaco, which required some delicate logistical juggling with three vehicles.
There was some snorkelling, looking at marine life on Eze beach, and then in total contrast to the quiet expanses of nature at Courmettes, a walk around Monaco, the second most densely populated country in the world and probably one of the noisiest.
We were very grateful to the kindness of Father Walter Raymond, the chaplain at St Paul’s Anglican church who somehow managed to host us all on Saturday night.
Sunday morning saw Chris preaching in the church in Monte Carlo, which seemed to go very well. Although having to preach on a) the Queen and b) the environment from set texts wasn’t easy. He got a good review on the church website (you can hear the sermon if you so wish).
After the morning service, coffee and talking with the congregation, we pulled off a rather clever trick. We drove eastward to Menton, at the very edge of France, and had the first course of lunch at a restaurant on the edge of the beach, then drove into Italy for dessert: fabulous, genuine Italian ice cream.