Cross Border Newsletter, January 2020

ST. JOHN'S ANGLICAN CHURCH is closed, awaiting restoration


Chapelle Saint Roch, Place Saint Roch, Menton, (see location page)

You are welcome to Join us for the Remembrance Service at

the English Cemetery in Bordighera, Italy on 08 January at 10h30.

The chapel is much brighter inside after a whitewash of the walls.

We welcome our locum

The Revd Dr Mika Pajunen, and his wife Liina,

will be with us until 26 January 2020.

The work continues on the Church,

the exterior building works are complete.

The architect and her team are working on the interior.

Please continue to keep St. John's in your prayers.

Recent Photos of the work at

St. John's Church.

Image 1, New Building next to entrance of Church

Image 2, Help us sort through the old library books Thursday morning

Image 3, Dome above altar where water leak occured

Image 4, Carolyn Hanbury and Barbara Corry in the kitchen with the Architect and Bob Edwards

Image 5, Kitchen

Image 6, Looking out from center of church

The Thursday Morning Gardening Group

Join them each Thursday at 09h30 in the Garden at St. John's

St john's church Fundraising Campaign

As you may know the money from the Insurance settlement does not cover all the expenses to renovate the church. Please read the Appeal Document Below.

 Making Progress, 20% towards the Goal!

Urgent Need, Roof Repair of €6,125.00

Please give generously

Donate online or bring a cheque to church.

Prefer to send a cheque?

St John's Church, 2 ave Pigautier, 06500 Menton France

Gift Aid available for UK residents, send cheque to

Diocese of Europe, St. John's Church,
14 Tufton Street, London SW1P 3QZ



St John’s Church is a well-loved landmark in the centre of the town of Menton.

It has survived a major earthquake, a proposed demolition and most recently in 2010, subsidence caused by excavation on an adjoining building site.

We are close to completion of a 9 year project of repair and rebuild following the subsidence. We will eventually have a beautifully restored church building with a traditional interior but with modern facilities. What is more the church will have a sound financial footing, better than it has had for the last 50 years. However we need a further €100,000 to complete this project. We are therefore launching this fundraising appeal.


St John’s Menton was conceived and built for the growing British population of Menton and it opened in 1868. The church thrived as a religious and cultural focus for English speaking people based in Menton. The Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, worshipped there and even had his own entrance door, which is still known today as the King’s Door. Queen Victoria and Winston Churchill are believed to have worshipped there.

Earthquake damage in 1887 was repaired. A proposal was made to demolish for residential development but in 1992 the residents of Menton objected so strongly that the plan was dropped. The French residents had taken the beautiful historic building to their hearts. The church has continued to be a focus for English speaking people of the area up to the present day.

In October 2010, the structure of the church was severely damaged during excavation of an adjacent site for the construction of a high-rise building. The northwest corner of the church subsided and the building was declared unsafe by the authorities.

A nearby Roman Catholic Chapel was rented so that regular worship could continue and the church contents were put into storage. A claim was made on the property developer’s insurance. Liability was admitted. The Diocese of Gibraltar signed the insurance discharge, but it was then discovered that they were not the owners of the church. It was established that the owner was a London based charity known then as the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (USPG). USPG also owned the accommodation in Menton for the incumbent Chaplain (known as the Chaplaincy Flat). After lengthy negotiation USPG agreed to donate both properties to the Chaplaincy of St John’s Church Menton.

The transfer of ownership of the church and Chaplaincy flat from the charity to St John’s caused major delays and incurred substantial legal costs.


The insurance claim was submitted by the then St John’s Chaplaincy Council on the basis of reinstating the building exactly as it had been before the accident. The project architect obtaining planning consent asked for tenders from 3 contractors, the lowest quotation was €574,080 and was agreed. The Chaplaincy Council decided that this was a unique opportunity to enhance and modernise the church with a new strengthened west façade and an interior suitable for social activities. Given this opportunity the Council decided to take cash settlement in lieu of repairs.

The insurance company paid separately €232,024 for emergency stabilisation of the church structure using the latest technique of resin injection and a further total of €126,018 for security, clearing the site, professional fees and window removal. The total settlement was therefore €932,122.


As the new owners of St John’s Church, the Chaplaincy Council entered into negotiations with the developers to exchange part of the garden in return for two residential flats and one commercial space. This required planning consent. At the last minute the Architecte des Bâtiments de France intervened to protect the view of the church from Avenue Carnot. A new planning application had to be submitted which caused a further delay. The outcome was that the Church was to receive two commercial spaces and two garage spaces and the developers had to reduce the size of their building.


The external work on the church building is almost complete and the internal refurbishment and redecoration is under way. We have spent a total of €354,000 on the project and there is a further €220,000 to spend.

The Chaplaincy Council is very proud of what has been achieved despite the many obstacles in their way. The church structure is now sound and in much better condition than prior to the accident. The inside of the church, when complete, will be traditional and have greatly improved facilities.

The ongoing finances look healthier than before in that we now own the church freehold and the chaplaincy flat. Also, through negotiation with the property developers, the council will own the two commercial leasehold properties and two parking spaces in the development.

The problem now is that we urgently need to raise funds in order to be able to finish the project. When the community will be able to move back into the church this will reduce running costs by €13,200 per year. These savings and the future income which will be obtained from the commercial property and also wider use of the church, for example braderies and concerts, will enable the church to be on a sound financial footing for the future.


The current fund shortfall arises from the delays in acquiring the ownership of the church building and the chaplaincy flat, the involvement of the Architecte des Bâtiments de France and negotiations with the property developers. The legal costs of acquiring the property were significant.

It would have been reasonable for the project to be completed within 3 years. Instead it has taken 9 years. A breakdown of the costs is as follows:

Legal costs and property tax
Legal costs and property tax in the UK and France amounted to €68,390 and there were further fees of €3,348 for

translation of essential legal documents. A total of €71,738.

Costs due to closure of the church

Pews and library books had to be removed from the damaged church and stored off site. This cost was €7,200 per annum. An alternative site for Sunday worship was rented at a cost of €5,200 per annum.
The total cost on these items, for 6 years, is €79,000.

Loss of capital value due to inflation
Based on 6 years delay at an average of 1.5% per annum inflation, the capital lost about €50,000 of its value.

The total is about €200,000 and this is the cost to the church of the unavoidable delays which occurred during the rebuild and refurbishment project.

Issued on behalf of St John's Chaplaincy Council. God bless you.

Cheques payable to St John's Church, Le Soleil de Menton, 2 avenue du Pigautier, 06500 Menton France

To donate online please CLICK HERE

A Pretty Good Miracle

Many of us have wonderful childhood memories of Christmas. For some of us, it was the wonderful Midnight Communion of Christmas Eve, when we visited our candle-lit country church nestled among snowy fields, under a starlit sky.
Special memories of Christmas can move us to tears. Perhaps it is when certain carols are sung, or tables are laden for meals. Faces, glowing by candlelight during 'Silent Night' is hard to beat. Christmas is indeed full of wonderful emotions, yet

there is so much more to this special day. For the warm emotions are built on rocksolid truths that will stand for ever. For the events were historic, and the miracles really happened.


To the normal, logical, rational, 21st century mind it is all bizarre. An angel came to a girl, who was not even married, telling her she was going to have a baby. To cap it all - the “father” was not her boy-friend but the Holy Spirit. The girl – Mary - not only bought the story but then told her cousin Elizabeth who was promptly filled with the Holy Spirit. She then told Mary she was unbelievably blessed. Mary then sang an amazing song that people have been singing ever since.
It gets still more crazy and complicated because Elizabeth's husband had had an extraordinary meeting with an angel and been struck dumb ever since. It was only when the baby was born and he wrote down: “His name is John”, that he got his voice back. He started praising God.

The miracles heap up with the birth of Mary's child. Shepherds in a field saw the sky full of angels who told them to go and see a baby in nearby Bethlehem. They believed it was God telling them to go. They came back, praising God. Others went too,  some of them poor, others very rich – but they all came away praising God and wanting to tell others.

These were supernatural stories of people meeting Jesus and believing in him. Their lives were radically changed. Amazingly, Jesus continues to do the same today. In John 1:12 we read that for those who did receive him and believe in him “he gave
them the right to become God's Children.”

It is still the Christmas Season in the Anglican Church. Let us take the opportunity!

H ear the bells ring out for Twenty-Twenty
A nnouncing January, bidding farewell to December
P ut aside regrets about what might have been,
P repare instead for a year to remember.
Y esterday's past, and now we stand

N eedful of guidance as we face the unknown,
E nquiring prayerfully into what God has planned -
W ill he lead us beyond our comfort zone?

Y et God has not given us a spirit of fear;
E ach Christmas He cheers us with Bethlehem's birth,
A nd Jesus asks from each of us a New Year
R esolution - “to find fresh ways of being salt of the earth”.
An Acrostic (slightly altered Ed.) by Harry Hunter


-Service of Prayer for Christian Unity Fr. Mika will represent the Anglican Church at the Ecumenical Service of Prayer for Christian Unity to be held in the Waldensian Church, Via Roma, Sanremo on Friday 24th January at 8.45pm. The service has been prepared by Christians on the Islands of Malta and Gozo and is
based on the reading in Acts 27, 18-28, 10, which tells of the shipwreck of Paul and many others on the island of Malta. Do come to this service in which we pray for the reconciliation of all christians throughout the world.

-the Archdeacon of France The Venerable Meurig Williams, Archdeacon of France is visiting St John's on 25 and 26 January.

Life at St. James-the-Least The Rectory

St. James the Least


On the perils of brides in churches
My dear Nephew Darren,
Our final wedding of the year was perhaps a little more memorable than any of us had anticipated. It was a charming scene, with everywhere covered in snow –
although a good job the bride had a bouquet of red roses, otherwise no one would have been able to find her.
As the photographer, bridesmaids and I stood at the lych gate, the bridal car arrived, braked – and carried on, sliding down the lane sideways and into the neighbouring farmyard. Fortunately, Mr Jones was there to use his tractor to pull it out of the mud.
Our verger, having attended the diocesan verger's guild Christmas party the night before, arrived late and did not have time to clear the church path. The path, being on an incline and bridal pumps not being equal to the task, the bride made a dramatic entrance into church backwards and on her bottom, abolishing the flower pedestal by the door in the process. Fortunately the petals stuck to the large patch
of mud on her behind, making the congregation speculate throughout the service why she had a large floral cushion attached to her dress.
Our organist did not please the bride's mother by changing the wedding march to the skater's waltz as her daughter reeled up the aisle. He is still under a cloud from last week's funeral for our local butcher, when he played at the end of the service Bach's: “Sheep may safely graze”.
At St. James the Least, the best man stands over a large heating grid. The poor soul, unaccustomed to our ecclesiastical arctic climate, was shivering so violently, he dropped the rings down the grid. There had to be a half-hour pause while the grating was removed and the groom, holding the best man's legs, lowered him into the hole to fish for them, lost among choirmen's peppermints and the organ tuner's
cigarette ends.
In future, I have decided that wedding rehearsals should be full dress rehearsals. The bride, in a hooped dress, was 4 feet wide; the vestry door is 3 feet wide. Getting in to sign the registers was fairly easy, as the bride, a game girl, took a run up along the chancel and so built up enough momentum. Her exit was more difficult, but with the combined pushing of groom and bridesmaids, she re-emerged into church like a cork out of a bottle – and demolishing the second pedestal of
flowers in the chancel. Married life, they say, is not always a bed of roses, but hers has certainly begun that way.
Your loving uncle, Eustace.

From Bishop David's Blog:
A List of Books which Bishop David is trying to read:
“The Way of a Pilgrim”: Candid tales of a Wanderer to his Spiritual Father (Penguin Classics) by Andrew Louth
“A Savage Dreamland”: Journeys in Burma by David Elmer
“The 21”: A journey into the Land of Coptic Martyrs by Martin Mosebach
“Night Flight to Paris” by David Gilman
“The Anarchy”: The East India Company, Corporate violence, and the Pillage of an Empire by William Dalrymple

Come to the Louvre on Saturday morning from 9h30-11h30.
Enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and Fellowship. A British Association Representative will be available beginning at 10h30.
BOOKS & DVDs (available at 1€ each ) BRIC-A-BRAC and Refreshments

Prayer for St. John's
Lord behold us with Thy blessing
As in prayer we gather here,
Hear our prayer and hear our pleading,
“Restore St. John's, our church most dear”
May this hardship we are bearing
Help us clearly all to see
The pilgrimage we now are sharing
Brings us closer Lord to Thee.
Bless all concerned with rebuilding,
Keep us faithful, make us strong,
Reunite us stronger, better,
In our beloved church, St. John's.
Lord dismiss us with Thy blessing
As after prayer we leave this place,
Refreshed in spirit, ever hopeful,
In whatsoever we must face
(Hymn/prayer by Valerie Aucouturier)

                A Warning

Keep an eye on your belongings while you are in church. Sadly, Jill Wason's handbag was stolen during a service last year.
Fortunately it was found on the other side of Menton in front of a lady's gate. The lady kindly got in touch with Jill. Everything was recovered except the money inside.
Jill says: “be careful, do not leave your possessions unattended at any time”.

Church of the Holy Ghost, Genova – Mission to Migrants
There have been places of Anglican worship for British people in Bordighera, Ospedaletti, San Remo, Diano Marina, Alassio, Spotorno, Genova, Rapallo e Levanto. They came in great numbers to Liguria during the winter months of the 1860s until the end of the Second World War. By the end of the 20th century, mainly for financial and numerical reasons, all but the Church of the Holy Ghost, Genova
and the Anglican Chapel in Bordighera had closed.
Genova, being a very important port on the Mediterranean coast, welcomes people from many nations and continents to work and study. “The Church of the Holy Ghost has survived, despite some very difficult times”, writes Canon Tony Dickinson, their Chaplain “because of its ministry to a much wider community. It is not just a church for “ex-pat” Brits. The church greets those who prefer to worship
in English or for whom English is their first European language and the resident congregation at present includes people from Canada, Germany, Ghana, India, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Nigeria, Romania, South Africa, Switzerland, the UK and the USA.

In recent years the church has established a distinctive ministry to refugees and other migrants, particularly those who have made the dangerous journey from West Africa across the Sahara to Libya, and then risked their lives in overcrowded inflatables crossing to Lampedusa. Some were persuaded to embark on the journey by the
narrative of “El Dorado” peddled by the traffickers and their agents, or were sent by their families to “make their fortune”. Many in the initial wave of migrants came because they were trapped in Libya by the overthrow of the Ghaddafi regime and the attendant chaos. Others came to escape gang violence. Some of the young women travelled to Italy in order to escape abuse at home.
Ministry to the migrants demands a lot of energy and commitment from the core members of the congregation, who have been unstintingly generous with their time,
money and pastoral care, this has been shown in the following ways:
• supporting those who are going through Italy's immigration process
• bailing out (in extremis prison visiting) the few who get into trouble with the law or with the institutions which offer accommodation for migrants
• providing rent deposits for those who are moving on into private
accommodation and are awaiting their first pay packet
• guiding them round the intricacies of Italian bureaucracy
• sorting out health-care
• helping with CVs
• writing references for prospective employers or for immigration
commissions (and appeals against negative commission decisions)
• preparing people for job interviews
• running a small-scale food-and-clothing-bank, including bedding for those who need it, and children's clothes (the food bank serves about a dozen people each Sunday)
• keeping their eyes and ears open for any job opportunities that may be going and might be suitable for one or other of the people on our books
• encouraging them along the way of Jesus Christ

In July 2019 the church presented seven adult candidates from the Nigerian community for baptism and/or confirmation. A similar number had been presented in 2017. Many of the migrants first came to the church because they had heard from friends about the food-bank but stayed because of the warmth of fellowship which they encountered and have made the commitment to follow Jesus Christ.
Most of the work I have described is down to the personal generosity of established church members and their openness to newcomers. As one of our churchwardens has said, 'We don't have a congregation at Holy Ghost. We have a family.' The church's electoral roll currently stands at just under 30. Our average Sunday congregation is in the region of 30-40, about two-thirds of whom are “migrants” in the popular sense of the word. We are aware of 50-60 “on our books”. All but two or three of us (the native Italian members of the congregation) are in fact migrants of one kind or another, here to work, or to study, or because they fell in love. Our weekly income in recent months has normally been between €100 and €150, but if earners in the congregation are away on holiday and cruise ships aren't sending any passengers in our direction, it can be as low as half that. That income is supposed to cover our utilities' bills, the rent on the chaplain's flat, the chaplain's expenses, the maintenance of our worship amd our contribution to the running costs of the Diocese in Europe. There is a “Neighbours in Need” fund from which grants and loans are given to people in need of immediate cash help. This has been made possible largely through the generosity of the people of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Rock Creek, Washington DC.
A favourite saying among the congregation is “God sees and provides”, and what is being done here by way of pastoral care and nurturing people in Christian faith is little short of miraculous. However, the work that was done to bring the building back into use 70 years ago is showing its age, and we are very much aware that another major storm of the ferocity of last October's could lead to the church being closed as unsafe – and we couldn't afford the cost of repairs. We have only just paid off the very patient contractor who carried out the most recent refurbishment of the building seven years ago and to do that required us to run our scanty reserves down to a worryingly low level. We are also very much aware that we could do a great deal more if the building were brought up to scratch in terms of its facilities – but that also requires money that we do not have. We are also facing the likelihood of new demands in the New Year as the “camps” where many of the African migrants have been settled are due to be closed. Members of the congregation are already involved in a process of giving advice on saving and guidance on flat-sharing.

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

(Colossians 4:2)

Every day we give thanks for the church building of St. John, built by 'The United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel', and pray for its complete restoration, that we may be able to open its doors once more to all who seek to worship God our heavenly Father therein, and to carry forward His mission for us in this place.
Heavenly Father,
We praise you and give thanks for:-
1. The recent rain, the freshly washed glistening leaves, the sweet smelling air .......
2. ......... that we may all strive for the well-being of Your creation ....
3. Remember and give thanks for those now with God, who accompanied you on
your Christian journey ...
4. give strength to face loss and grief, especially when a death was sudden
5. give thanks for all who work in the caring professions
6. for the work of Amnesty International and all prisoners of conscience
7. give thanks to God for the truth the Bible reveals
8. Ask God how you can help those working hard to raise money for the restoration
9. for those who “drop-in” for coffee and a chat at the Louvre this morning
10. the troubles and perils of nations at war – those who live there
11. for servicemen and women in the armed forces, their families,
12. For lasting peace in God's world – let us help build that peace, God's peace
13. for any couples you know who are preparing for marriage
14. for the people of Menton, their beautiful town ...... and the town where you live
15. help us Lord to go about our daily life joyfully
16. give us the desire to pray for those who oppose us ......
17. pray for anyone you know who is ill at home or in hospital
18. enlighten us with your spirit to know our mission in this place
19 comfort those who suffer violence; enter & change the hearts of the perpetrators
20. the opportunities the Internet opens up, wise use of the World Wide Web .....
21. for those who have no home to go to, no bed to sleep in
22. ............. Lord give strength to all those who welcome the refugees ...........
23. grant the refugees and us the hope of a future built on justice for all
24. pray for all our visitors - the encouragement they give and news they bring
25. for those who care for loved ones
26. for members of the emergency services on the streets of big cities - their safety
27. when we speak of You, Lord, may our words be full of praise and thanksgiving
28. pray for those of other faiths ............... and those with no faith at all
29. pray that there will be time to reflect on God's word during Advent
30. remember and give thanks for all the good things that this month has brought
Lord, thank you for talking to us in our prayers, may we listen and act

 New Website The Ecumenical Group in Sanremo is forming a new website to
publicise the different Christian churches and their activities, thus promoting their
ecumenical fellowship. A photograph of each church will be shown. A short history
explaining how they came to be in this area together with their present day activities will also be included. The website is

 Diocesan Database - GDPR  DATA PRIVACY NOTICE
The Parochial Church Council (PCC) of St John's Church, Menton
1. Your personal data – what is it?
Personal data relates to a living individual who can be identified from that data.  Identification can be by the information alone or in conjunction with any other information in the data controller’s possession or likely to come into such possession. The processing of personal data is governed by the General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”).
2. Who are we?
The PCC of St John's Church, Menton is the data controller (contact details below).  This means it decides how your personal data is processed and for what purposes.
3. How do we process your personal data?
The PCC of St. John's Church, Menton complies with its obligations under the “GDPR” by keeping personal data up to date; by storing and destroying it securely; by not collecting or retaining excessive amounts of data; by protecting personal data from loss, misuse, unauthorised access and disclosure and by ensuring that appropriate technical measures are in place to protect personal data.
We use your personal data for the following purposes: -
To enable us to provide a voluntary service for the benefit of the public in a particular geographical area as specified in our constitution;
To administer membership records;
To fundraise and promote the interests of the charity;
To manage our members and volunteers;
To maintain our own accounts and records (including the processing of gift aid applications);
To inform you of news, events, activities and services running at St John's Church, Menton;
To share your contact details with the Diocesan office so they can keep you informed about news in the diocese and events, activities and services that will be occurring in the diocese and in which you may be interested.
4. What is the legal basis for processing your personal data?
Explicit consent of the data subject so that we can keep you informed about news, events, activities and services and keep you informed about diocesan events.
Processing is necessary for carrying out legal obligations in relation to Gift Aid or under employment, social security or social protection law, or a collective agreement;
Processing is carried out by a not-for-profit body with a political, philosophical, religious or trade union aim provided: -the processing relates only to members or former members (or those who have regular contact with it in connection with those purposes); and
there is no disclosure to a third party without consent.
5. Sharing your personal data

Your personal data will be treated as strictly confidential and will only be shared with other members of the church in order to carry out a service to other church members or for purposes connected with the church. We do not share your data with third parties outside of the parish.
6. How long do we keep your personal data?

St. John's Church, Menton does not collect or keep your personal data
7. Your rights and your personal data 
Unless subject to an exemption under the GDPR, you have the following rights with respect to your personal data: -
The right to request a copy of your personal data which the PCC of St John's Church, Menton holds about you;
The right to request that the PCC of St John's Church, Menton corrects any personal data if it is found to be inaccurate or out of date; 
The right to request your personal data is erased where it is no longer necessary for the PCC of St John's Church, Menton to retain such data;
The right to withdraw your consent to the processing at any time
The right to request that the data controller provide the data subject with his/her personal data and where possible, to transmit that data directly to another data controller, (known as the right to data portability), (where applicable) [Only applies where the processing is based on consent or is necessary for the performance of a contract with the data subject and in either case the data controller processes the data by automated means].
The right, where there is a dispute in relation to the accuracy or processing of your personal data, to request a restriction is placed on further processing;
The right to object to the processing of personal data, (where applicable) [Only applies where processing is based on legitimate interests (or the performance of a task in the public interest/exercise of official authority); direct marketing and processing for the purposes of scientific/historical research and statistics]
The right to lodge a complaint with the Information Commissioners Office.
8. Further processing
If we wish to use your personal data for a new purpose, not covered by this Data Protection Notice, then we will provide you with a new notice explaining this new use prior to commencing the processing and setting out the relevant purposes and processing conditions. Where and whenever necessary, we will seek your prior consent to the new processing.
9. Contact Details
To exercise all relevant rights, queries or complaints please in the first instance contact the administrator,

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.