The Archdeaconry of France is vast, and the St John’s Chaplaincy just one of eighty-three chaplaincies and places of worship within it.
The Anglican Church in Menton was established almost 150 years ago to provide a place of worship and pastoral care for the large British population that visited regularly to enjoy the sunshine along the Cote d'Azur. Over a period of time, that visiting community became an established community, and the "English Church" became a thriving centre within the beautiful town of Menton.
Times have changed. While the Cote d'Azur continues to draw thousands of visitors to its cities, towns and villages each year, few of those visitors choose to remain permanently. Instead, there is now an increasingly "mobile community" of those who spend several months in Menton each year, returning to homes in other parts of the world. The "English Church" is now a wonderful diversity of several nationalities, and languages, a church firmly within the world-wide Anglican Communion.
The Anglican Church in Menton rejoices in being part of the Diocese in Europe, with our Bishop based in Brussels. No longer parochially "English," we celebrate our rich heritage in being the Church of England in Europe, sharing the beautiful traditions of our Mother Church, while being excited and challenged through exposure to the diversity of our surroundings.
St John's is learning to adapt to this changing understanding of ministry, and our small but active congregation is beginning to work more intentionally with our sisters and brothers in other Anglican Chaplaincies along the Cote d'Azur to help us embrace that change. We are also reaching out to, and being welcomed by our ecumenical friends, who are facing similar challenges.
We are confident and hopeful for our future ministry. It will be different from that exercised by our faithful forebears, of that we can be certain. But its goal will be the same: To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God, supporting and equipping women and men to embrace a variety of ministries, "So that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2.10,11)
Photos from our community.