Cross Border Newsletter, Summer 2024


New Feature on the website

It is now possible to read the Sunday sermons, given by our chaplain

The Rev'd Chris each week, on the church website:
To download the sermon, click HERE

Reflection from our chaplain The Rev'd Chris ................
Grace or Graft

I recently had a conversation with a friend who knows a guitar teacher well. The guitar teacher had been bemoaning the fact he had two pupils who, if only their skills were combined in one person, would make for an extraordinary, top-performing guitarist. One of the pupils had an immense natural ability, but was not that committed to practice. The other worked hard practicing, day in, day out, but lacked somehow that final 'giftedness'. They were both great guitarists; but would have been oh so amazing if they were combined into one person.
As I write this, England's Football team has just qualified for the next round in the European Football Championships. Even so, the English Media is being scathing about their performances. The team performance looks laboured and lacking in panache, yet here are 11 highly gifted players who excel week in, week out in their football clubs. What's the problem? Some say it is lack of practice together; others say they are not using their natural gifts as well as they could.
Then after a recent sermon in which we were exploring how the Kingdom of God comes about (the parable of the mustard seed – Mark 4. 26-34), someone questioned my closing comment. I had summarised the Kingdom of God will come about 'depending on what we trust, depending on how we orientate our life, depending on our ability to imagine. Yes, all these things. But thank God, that at the end of the day, it doesn't depend on me or you!' We had a great discussion reflecting on the fact that yes – we cannot take it all on ourselves to bring about the Kingdom of God – but somehow also, we are called to act and work for God's kingdom.
This all calls me to reflect on the following tension: we live, we exist by the grace of God alone and need to learn to live into that truth; at the same time we are called to be people who work towards the realisation of God's kingdom on earth. I sense living the paradox is the key to our living well.
As the author Frederick Buechner wrote, 'the place God calls you to is the place
where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet.' As individuals, and as a community.'

Blessings, Chris

The Anglican Chapel in Bordighera invites you to celebrate the Eucharist on Wednesday 10 July at 10h30. The Rev'd Chris Parkman presiding.

No service in August.

Upcoming Events


St. John's on the Beach, 10 July, 18h, Plage du Fossan, Menton.

Bring your family and friends, something to drink and join us!

August and September gatherings will be on the first Wednesday of the month as planned.


Keep Cool in Nature – Friday 19 July
Come for a fun day out and discover Les Courmettes A Rocha France's nature conservation and environmental education centre in the hills above Tourettes-sur-Loup. Enjoy the cool(er) beautiful surrounds at 850m with views out over the Côte d'Azur in July. For more details see the information sheet included with the Cross Border, or speak to Revd. Chris Parkman.



St. John's English Library, Open during the summer on Wednesdays 14h30-17h 30 and Saturdays 09h30-12h30.

Summer Exhibition 'Jardins en Méditerranée' presented by artists of 'L'Atelier Art et Patience', Nice. Vernissage, 03 July at 18h30

Sophrology Class - Susanne Bohus Wednesday 24 July and Wednesday 21 August.
Limited spots -please reserve by text #33 607063125


Children's English Reading Group with Arabella Isca
The last class will be on Tuesday 2 July and recommence on Tuesday 10th September

French Class with Regine Dedonder to continue throughout the summer on request. Please contact Regine by leaving a whatsapp message on #33 744802141 or email

Exhibition by Hella Kalkus, Members may remember the exhibition of paintings by Hella Kalkus in the Library. She is now giving an Exhibition in the Hanbury Gardens from 29 June-14 July at their opening hours. Library Members are welcome (Admission via ticket to the Garden).

More thoughts from Jacqueline James about her Camino Walk in May.

Jacqueline begins by writing information about St. James:-
St. James, the patron saint of Spain, was the first of Jesus' apostles to be martyred for his faith (Acts ch.2v2). There are so many stories about how his remains found their way to Spain (even one that involves a dragon). This is perhaps a more believable version:-
James was captured and beheaded, by the order of King Herod Agrippa, when he returned to Jerusalem after spreading the word in Hispania. His remains were
secured by his supporters and taken by sea – some say in a stone boat set adrift on
the mediterranean; others describe a boat made from a single scallop shell – to
Padron in Roman-held Galicia, before being carried inland by cart to his burial site
in woodland. Two aides were left to guard the tomb and were buried by his side
when they died.
Under Roman rule, visits to holy sites were forbidden and the burial site was
forgotten for hundreds of years until in the ninth century, a hermit, named Pelagius,
saw unusual lights and heard strange noises in the wood where St. James was
reputed to have been buried. The ruins of a building were found together with the
remains of three men, as the ancient scriptures had detailed. The remains were
declared to be St. James and his aides.
King Alphonso II ordered that a church be built on the site. It is said that the name
Compostela comes from campus stela – field of stars.
Santiago de Compostela has been a site of pilgrimage since.

Jacqueline then describes her Camino following the road signs:-

There were no road to Damascus moments. But the feeling of belonging, of
looking after each other and the random acts of kindness along the way made it very
There came a point towards the end of each day when it seemed impossible to lift
your foot high enough to get onto the kerb, and then, someone would make you
laugh or another person would need your help and all of a sudden you're up the kerb
and you've walked another kilometre.
The Camino took us through beautiful countryside on ancient paths, rutted by
centuries-old cart tracks. We went through medieval town centres, dismal suburbs
and industrial landscapes. It rained every day, adding to the challenge, but we tried
not to let it dampen our spirits.
In spite of all the other pilgrims (and they were numerous), the beauty of our
surroundings, and the feeling of peace, allowed for conversation or contemplation
along the way.
People were very kind: like the woman who dashed out when we passed her house,
on our way to our accomodation. She had seen us turn off and wanted to tell us we
were no longer on the Camino; and the woman who seeing us standing looking
flummoxed on a road bridge, pulled up and jumped out of her van to help. We
knew that we had to cross the river, could see the bridge that we should take, but
didn't know how to get to it. She pointed us in the right direction.
There were people who made space in crowded cafes and those who provided us
with good cheap food.
Arriving at the cathedral is very special. I had undertaken the Camino two years
ago, walking from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela. Then, for reasons I still cannot
fathom, I burst into tears on reaching the square. This time, it wasn't until I went
into the cathedral, that it fully struck me where I was and whose remains were buried
Thanks to everyone's generous donations I raised €1,288.00 for St. John's Church,
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

(The editor and community of St John's congratulates Jacqui and thanks her for her generous donation and reflections. )

Father's Day - Sunday 16 June 2024
The third Sunday in June is Father's Day. Ever wonder how the idea of Father's Day came about? Well. . . . .


It all started way back in 1909 when Sonora Louise Smart Dodd in Spokane,
Washington heard a church service about the merits of setting aside a day to honour
one's mother. But Sonora knew that it was her father who had selflessly raised herself and her five siblings by himself after their mother died in childbirth. The sermon on mothers gave Sonora the idea to petition for a day to honour fathers and in particular her own father, William Jackson Smart, a civil war veteran. With the support of the Spokane Ministerial Association and the YMCA she soon set about planning the first Father's Day celebration in Spokane which eventually took place on 19 June 1910.

That service was so successful that Sonora began a campaign to get a special day for fathers recognised throughout the United States, writing countless letters in support of her cause.
President Wilson was the first American President to approve of the idea of Father's Day across the nation and President Calvin Coolidge gave his support. In 1966 President Lyndon B. Johnson recognised the third Sunday in June as Father's Day and it became official when President Richard Nixon signed a presidential proclamation in 1972 declaring the third Sunday of June as Father's Day. The UK followed suit.
In fact in USA, UK, Canada, France and India and numerous other countries
around the world, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June. But not all countries do. In Australia, Father's Day is celebrated on the first Sunday in September; in Russia in October; in Norway, Sweden and Finland, the second Sunday of November.
In many European Catholic countries, such as Spain, Italy, and Portugal, Father's Day is celebrated on St. Joseph's Day, i.e. 19 March, as this day is dedicated to Jesus' foster father and has been celebrated on that day since the middle ages.
Some countries are not known to celebrate Father's Day officially - among them The People's Republic of China – but where they do celebrate some wear a white rose for a father who is dead or a red rose to honour a father who is living. (some information from Google internet sources; other information from Pat Rissen in The Beacon)

God in Music – Rev. Michael Burgess

looking at great works of music
'There is sweet music here':- the oboe and the lost sheep

One of Bach's most popular works is the pastoral music, 'Sheep may safely
graze.' It is part of a secular cantata where the composer illustrates the tranquility and security of the flock under the watchful eye of the shepherd with flutes. When Bach wanted to portray the lost sheep

and his dilemma, he chose another woodwind instrument: the oboe. It has one of the most distinctive sounds in the orchestra. We hear it at the start of a concert as the oboist gives the A for the other instruments to tune from. It was originally called the hautboy (the high wood) – Nahum Tate instructs musicians in one of his poems to play on 'the sprightly hautboy.' It has gone through various transformations: Vivaldi wrote works for the oboe d'amore, which has a deeper, richer sound, and there is also the oboe of caccia –

the oboe of the hunt and the chase.

As Bach muses on the parable of the lost sheep in his church Cantata 21 ('I had
a great affliction'), he turns to the oboe and first violin. In the opening Sinfonia,
the arabesques of the oboe depict the lost sheep wandering the bare hillside, far
from the comfort of the flock. Twice the music seems to come to a close on
discords with the oboe uttering a cry of desolation. Wailing passages of falling
seconds paint a picture of the sheep alone and bereft. It sings out again in the aria that follows the chorus. The soprano describes the downcast heart, and the oboe adds its notes of sadness and despair. That is caught up in the heart-rending tenor recitative.

'Why God have you turned from me in my need?'

The mood begun by the wandering, desolate oboe dominates the first part of this cantata. Then in the second part Bach portrays the Good Shepherd coming to find and redeem the lost sheep, and the work ends not with the oboe's plaintive cries. No, the mood is one of triumph and joy with the chorus 'Worthy is the Lamb.' We know these words set in Handel's 'Messiah.' Here the oboe's brightness and liveliness ring out as it joins with the bassoon and strings – trumpets and drums answer their shouts of elation. Then suddenly the music and singing are at an end.
Bach wrote this beautiful and moving cantata in Leipzig in 1723, inspired by St.
Luke's parable of the lost sheep. That sheep joins the lost coin and the lost son to show how Jesus searches out for those in the darkness and sadness of life to bring light and redemption. In his setting Bach has the oboe sound out the plight of the human soul, lost and wandering, but also the great joy when the lost is found. That for Bach was the Good News of the Gospel. As we listen to this cantata today, over 300 years later, we can capture again that Good News and claim it for our own.

Life at St. James-the-Least
The Rectory,
St. James-the-Least


My dear Nephew Darren,
Ah, the joys of June! At last I can return to the Rectory without putting on my overcoat before going inside. For the next 4 months, all windows and doors are
left open in order to let the heat in. If anyone else tells me how lucky I am to live in a 12 bedroom Queen Anne house, I shall have them excommunicated.
You will soon stop complaining about your one bedroom flat should you ever have to live in a rural Rectory; the days of wandering about the house in shirtsleeves will become a distant memory. In my first winter here, I had the central heating on full blast 24 hours a day. The house was almost warm, even if the boilers sounded like the Queen Mary coming into port. But that quarter's gas bill needed a substantial grant from the International Monetary Fund to cover it, so ever since for 6 months of the year, I live in the kitchen. Parishioners find it either touching or sad that I sleep with my Labrador. It never occurs to them that I need her for extra heat.

It does mean that evening meetings at the Rectory on winter evenings can be un-Christianly satisfying. Watching committee members fighting – with infinite politeness – to get nearest to the one-bar electric fire is highly entertaining. They hold on to their coffee cups less for refreshment, more for a little extra warmth. At least it means that meetings are short.
My predecessor was a model railway enthusiast and so several bedrooms were
taken up with a system of such complexity that it made Crewe junction seem
trivial. He also found it helpful to put his teenage son in the turret bedroom, where he could play his drums without anyone else in the house being able to hear a thing.
Nowadays, all these extra rooms are filled with cribs and nativity play costumes, Easter gardens and spare choir cassoccks. It is remarkable how all these things used to be stored quite satisfactorily in the church vestry until the parish acquired a single priest; now the empty rooms in the Rectory have become vital storage space. I so hope my successor has a plethora of children, so that parishioners have to find alternative accommodation for all the detritus vital to church life.
No, dear boy, cherish your centrally heated, dry, draft proof, mice-free, bat-less, modern-plumbed accommodation. It will not be ever thus.
Your loving uncle,

 Wise Words . . . . . . . to ponder on . . . . . . . .
- PRAYER is not like a “spare wheel” that YOU PULL OUT when in trouble, but it is a “STEERING WHEEL” that can help us find the BEST PATH THROUGH
- FRIENDSHIP is like a BOOK. It takes a FEW SECONDS to BURN, but it
them, they WILL NOT LAST FOREVER. If they are going wrong, don't WORRY, THEY CAN'T LAST FOREVER EITHER
AWAY today's PEACE.


Columba was born in Donegal, Ireland, of the royal Ui Neill clan, and trained as a monk. He founded the monasteries of Derry (546), Durrow (c.556) and probably Kells.

But in 565 Columba left Ireland with twelve companions for Iona, an island off southwest Scotland. Iona had been given to him for a monastery by the ruler of the Irish Dalriada.
Why would a monk in his mid 40s go into such voluntary exile? Various explanations include voluntary exile for Christ, an attempt to help overseas compatriots in their struggle for survival, or even as some sort of punishment for his part in a row over a psalter in Ireland. Whatever the reason, Columba went to Iona and spent the rest of his life in Scotland, returning to Ireland only for occasional visits.
Columba's biographer, Adomnan, portrays him as a tall, striking figure of powerful build and impressive presence, who combined the skills of scholar, poet and ruler with a fearless commitment to God's cause. Able, ardent, and sometimes harsh, Columba seems to have mellowed with age.
As well as building his monastery on Iona, Columba also converted Brude, king of the Picts. Columba had great skill as a scribe, and an exampler of this can be seen in the Cathach of Columba, a late 6th century psalter in the Irish Academy, which is the oldest surviving example of Irish majuscule writing. In his later years Columba
spent much time transcribing books. Columba's death was apparently foreseen by his community, and even, it seems, sensed by his favourite horse. He died in the church just before Matins, and it is a tribute to this man that his traditions were upheld by his followers for about a
century, not least in the Synod of Whitby, and in Irish monasteries on the continent of Europe.
Here is a prayer of St. Columba:

My dearest Lord,
Be Thou a bright flame before me,
Be Thou a guiding star above me,
Be Thou a smooth path beneath me,
Be Thou a kindly shepherd behind me,
Today and evermore.
We commemorate St.Columba on 9th June

IONA, THE HOME OF COLOMBA, is situated off the south-western tip of the island of Mull in the Inner Hebrides, and can be reached by ferry from the mainland port of Oban.
The Abbey is now the home of the Iona Community which was set up as an ecumenical Christian community by the late George MacLeod in 1938. It has an ethos of 'bringing together work and worship; prayer and politics; the sacred and the secular'.
The Community runs two centres on the island, Iona Abbey and the MacLeod
Centre. These centres provide 'hospitality, as well as an opportunity to extend
horizons and forge relationships through sharing an experience of the common life in worship, work, discussion and relaxation'.
John Cumins

Coins for Funds

Do you remember 'Barbara's Bottle'

which used to be at the back of the church to collect any current euro or sterling coins which were no
longer needed by people returning to their home countries or which were weighing too heavily in their purses? Well, Beatrice has now taken on the collecting of such coins in aid of our Church funds, so please give the coins you no longer want to Beatrice or The Rev'd Chris. Thank you.

How does the Cross affect me?
I know that Jesus Christ died 'for' me. But what does that mean ?
Someone says: 'Would you go shopping for me?' They hope that you will go instead of them. If you don't go, they will have to! It's the principle of substitution, or – in the case of the Cross – 'penal substitution', as the Bible students term it. Someone else has endured sin's penalty in my place. That person has become my substitute.
In football, to send on a substitute sounds like a 'second best'. Not so at the Cross.
Nothing that God provides is second best. Jesus Christ, who is God in human form, had no sin of his own; consequently, he was the only person qualified to take upon himself the penalty of separation from God, which is spiritual death (Romans 6:23).
Christ came 'to give his life as a ransom for (or instead of) many' (Mark 10:45).
This principle of substitution is the underlying reality. He died instead of me. This works out in different ways:
1. The Cross means penalty paid. The theological word here is REDEMPTION (Ephesians 1:7). It's the language of the slave market. A price, Christ's 'blood', has been paid for us (1 Peter 1;18,19). Always in scripture, the word 'blood' – when it is separated from the body – refers to death. So, by his death, Christ became 'a curse for us'; delivering us from the curse of the law (Galatians 3:13).
2. The Cross means wrath averted. The word now is PROPITIATION. It's the language of the Temple – and a sacrificial offering. God's holy antagonism to human rebellion brings us all under judgement. The story of the Bible is of God intercepting his own judgement, in the Person of his Son.
3. The Cross means righteousness exchanged. Now the word is JUSTIFICATION
and it's the language of the law courts. How, despite my sin, can I be treated as though I had never sinned? Only by Christ taking my place at the Cross, and being treated as the sinner – so that his righteousness can be freely accredited to me. It is an amazing truth completely unique to the Bible.
4. The Cross mens relationship restored. Now it is RECONCILIATION – the language of the family (Romans :9-11). It is illustrated in Jesus' parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-24). But our reconciliation required that Christ be 'made sin for us' (2 Corinthians 5:19-21). Only by the Cross is it possible for us to be adopted back into the family of God as his sons and daughters.
Four wonderful effects of the Cross. The rock principle behind them all is 'substitution'. (from The Beacon - April 2007)

Male parishioner of St. John's based in UK, aged 69, seeks a furnished room to rent, preferably in Menton, for about a month each year at a mutually convenient time.
Please contact Chris: Telephone +44 (0) 780 380 6887


The English Library at St John's Church.


Upcoming events include:


-Saturday mornings, S C R A B B L E: Join us for coffee and a friendly game of scrabble. 10h30-12h30. All are welcome.


-Children's English Lessons continue with Arabella on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons at 17h00. To join email Arabella at:

Madame Regine Dedonder, a qualified French teacher, has resumed her classes. Please email in advance if you wish to join. A minimum of 4 students is required. Cost: €5 per person per lesson.

The Library is always looking for reliable volunteers to help out on Wednesday afternoons and Saturday mornimngs. No qualifications required. Email:

 Be persistent in prayer and keep alert as you pray, giving thanks to God. 

(Colossians 4:2)

The Church of England invites to Holy Communion all baptized persons who are communicant members of other Churches which subscribe to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and who are in good standing in their own church. Those who are prevented by conscience or the rules of their own Churches from receiving the Blessed Sacrament are invited to receive a blessing.

arrangements may be made by contacting the locum, or the churchwardens.
The Church of England invites to Holy Communion all baptized persons who are communicant members of other Churches which subscribe to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and who are in good standing in their own church.  Those who are prevented by conscience or the rules of their own Churches from receiving the Blessed Sacrament are invited to receive a blessing.