We don’t usually devote a whole post to church events, even though we are heavily involved in Holy Trinity Church Cannes, but this week is the exception. Why? Well first, Chris was officially licensed as a lay reader last Sunday. He started the official course (Certificate in Christian Studies), at the beginning of 2016, and completed it in almost exactly two years. It involved a lot of studying and essay writing, but we’re happy to say that he received top marks for all the essays. In addition, he had to show he could preach, lead services and prayers and help at communion. Well he’s been doing that for thirty years…
As always with these things, there was paperwork to complete, but finally it was all done. Our chaplain Giles is the area dean for the Anglican churches in this part of France, so he was able to conduct the licensing. Chris agreed to uphold the faith and sound teaching, the congregation promised to pray for and support him, and Giles presented him with a copy of the New Testament, and a Reader’s scarf. For those of you not in the Anglican tradition, this is something that’s worn over a surplice for those church which wear robes. As we don’t we aren’t sure how often it will be used, but it’s nice.
The second event was an Ascension Day service. Ascension Day is a public holiday in France, and the various Anglican churches along the Cote d’Azur take advantage of this by holding a joint service. As in other years, this was held at the home of the chaplain for the very small Lorgues fellowship, about 20 minutes drive from where we live.
Watching the weather forecast we were all rather apprehensive of a sudden torrential downpour, since the service and the following bring-and-share lunch had to be outside. But though there was cloud, there was also sun (in fact it did pour with rain but, almost miraculously, only when most people had gone and we were just finishing putting the final chairs and tables away).
The service brought together just over 60 people representing churches from Menton Marseilles, with Monaco, Cannes, and St Raphael in between, a contingent from Grenoble, and not forgetting Lorgues. We had a retired bishop (Michael Marshall) and about four vicars. For some reason Chris was asked to lead the service. An unusual distraction (at least compared to Cannes) was the sound of Golden Orioles and Turtle Doves in the background.