Our Diocese

St. Andrews Anglican Church and Centre is part of the Diocese of Europe of the Church of England. The Diocese in Europe is made up of churches and congregations spread across 42 countries on three continents, and covering one sixth of the earth’s land surface.

Our bishop, The Right Reverend Dr. Robert Innes, is based in Gibraltar.

Here is the latest news from our diocese:

Diocese of Europe

Trinity 2015

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Trinity Sunday is the hinge point of the Christian year. The Creator whom we worship at Harvest; the Son whose birth, life, death and resurrection we celebrate from Christmas to Easter; the Holy Spirit whose presence and power we rejoice in at Pentecost: all three persons are worshipped together in their unity and diversity on Trinity Sunday. We now enter the period of ‘Sundays after Trinity’ in which the emphasis is on the shape of our human response to the Triune God. It is a response which begins with baptism in the name of the Trinity, continues with a long period of growth, and concludes in looking forward at Advent to the coming of God and the consummation of all things.

At the beginning of the Trinity Season, I have a few things to bring to your attention and some information I want to share with you.

Diocesan Prayer Diary

Holding one another across the Diocese before God in prayer each day is one of the many aspects of our common life which unites us in witness and service. This is helped by the Diocesan Prayer Diary which not only invites us to pray for a particular chaplaincy each day, but unites our prayers with those of the world-wide Anglican Communion, too.

NB from the Chaplain. – There is a link to the prayer diary from our website. I encourage everyone to include this in your daily prayers.

Full-Time, Free-Standing Archdeacon of the East, Germany and Northern Europe

We had a strong field of candidates for this post, and I am delighted to say that we have been able to offer it to the Venerable Colin Williams, a priest who has extensive European, archidiaconal and parochial experience. Colin will live in Frankfurt which is an ideal ‘hub’ for travelling to the many chaplaincies in the two archdeaconries where he will serve.

This also gives me what, I am sure, will be the first of many opportunities in the coming months, to pay tribute to the wisdom, generosity and energy of Patrick Curran who has served the Eastern Archdeaconry with dedication and faithfulness for the past 13 years. I am pleased to say that Patrick will continue to serve as Chaplain in Vienna. I have no doubt that his considerable experience will continue to inform and guide us in the future.

Ordinations

Earlier this month, I ordained Ros Wilkinson to the Diaconate in Istanbul. At the end of this month, I will ordain Mat Phipps, Jean-Luc Sargent and Mike Waltner to the Diaconate in Madrid, and Bishop David will ordain Charlotte Sullivan to the Diaconate in Aquitaine. Please pray for them as they begin new ministries among us, and for the communities they will serve.

Resolutions on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests

The Standing Committee to the House of Bishops thought that it would be helpful for Church Councils and others if a short document was available signposting the various texts issued in connection with the House of Bishops’ Declaration on the Ministry of Bishops and Priests. You can find it at the following link:

https://www.churchofengland.org/media/2239739/pcc%20resolutions%20on%20the%20ministry%20of%20bishops%20and%20priests(2)%20(2).pdf

Travels: Recent and Forthcoming

Towards the end of April I spent three unforgettable days in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, for the centennial commemorations of the atrocities suffered by Armenians under the Ottoman Empire. At the beginning of May, during my visit to ordain and confirm both in Christ Church and the Church of the Resurrection in Istanbul, I had a very fruitful meeting with the Armenian Patriarch of Constantinople, Mesrob II. A couple of days later, I made my first visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople for a delightful meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew. I have also enjoyed recent visits to Vienna, Voorschoten, Tervuren, Luxembourg and Montreux. These visits are big occasions, and thank you to all who prepared so carefully for them.

Over the coming weeks, I am visiting Dusseldorf, Berlin and Maisons-Laffitte. I also have an Anglican/Old Catholics Bishops meeting in Prague, General Synod in York and the 200th anniversary events of a famous battle that took place in my home town of Waterloo, here in Belgium.

Women’s Conference

The Diocesan-sponsored Conference ‘Empowering Women’ took place in May at the delightful Domaine Lyon St Joseph with Hilary Cotton (chair of Watch) speaking, and Clare Amos (from WCC) leading the Bible Studies. Thanks are due to Hilary Jones for her organisation of an event which was deeply appreciated by the women who attended. I was personally moved by many of the individual stories I heard of women whose path through life and ministry has been hard.

Reform & Renewal

Many of you will be aware of this wide-ranging programme being rolled-out across the Church of England – accompanied by a lively debate in the church media and the blogosphere! At the Bishop’s Staff Meeting at the end of April, we explored the recent report ‘From Anecdote to Evidence’ and some of the strategic thinking that it generated with the help of staff from Church House and the Archbishops’ Council.

At the Diocesan Synod, meeting next week in Cologne, we will be exploring the proposals for Developing Discipleship, which are one of the fundamental building blocks in the process, and will be led in this area by +Tim Thornton, Bishop of Truro.

More details can be found on the Church of England website by clicking the ‘Reform & Renewal’ tab.

For many of us the summer time has its own rhythm, and we can look forward to the continental holiday season. I continue to be deeply impressed by the excellent work being done locally by our clergy in very different circumstances. I do hope that you get a refreshing, relaxing and well-earned break over the summer.

With every blessing at this Trinity season and the assurance of my prayers,

Yours in Christ,

+Robert Gibraltar in Europe