Cross Border Newsletter, December 2020


St John's Church, 31 avenue Carnot, Menton, (see location page)

 Services are held at St. John Church and for those unable to attend, the service is posted HERE

Services in Bordighera have been suspended.

News & Current Events at St John's Church


Join us on Sunday

20 December for the Christmas Eucharist Service, 10h30.

Fr Keith Bretel


Mr Benjamin Prischi will play the organ.


Please wear your mask properly and at all times.

'Primo Fiore'

The kitchen for the needy – Primo Fiore in Sanremo - give grateful
thanks to St. John's for their Harvest Festival donation. Due to the covid-19
restrictions, they are unable to welcome people to eat at table in the canteen, which they normally do, but they continue to serve the meal in containers as take-aways.
These consist of a first course, a second course, bread, fruit/sweet, a bottle of water and cutlery. More than fifty needy people present themselves – locals and foreigners - and numbers are increasing due to the epidemic.
Fortunately Primo Fiore is also supported by the Sanremo Food Bank, Supermarkets, the Fruit and Vegetable Market, churches such as St John's Menton, and private people, as well as a large number of volunteers to do the cooking.

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

My dear Nephew Darren,


I was pleased to hear that you enjoyed your first Christmas in your parish, although a little disappointed that you replaced the 'boring' Crib Service with a 'more exciting' alternative. I have yet to understand the theology - or even point - of your 'Bananarama' celebration. I'm sure your bishop would be interested to hear of its biblical authority.


Having said that, our own Crib Service proved to be a little unorthodox and far from boring. Choosing the cast from the Sunday school is always a delicate process. One of the youngsters who wanted to be Joseph was only given the part of the innkeeper. He seemed to accept the disappointment with good grace, but had clearly made his plans.


On the evening of the performance, Joseph knocked on the innkeeper's door and asked if there was any room. This was our innkeeper's great opportunity. He threw open the door and told Joseph and Mary that there was plenty of room and they were both welcome. The cast and audience froze, while the teacher responsible contemplated early retirement.


But Joseph hadn't got the star part for nothing. He pretended to look round inside and then turned to Mary and said, "Nah, it's too crowded in there; we'll use the stable round the back."


And so the nativity was rescued by one nine year-old. There's Episcopal material in that boy.


Christmas would not be the same without carol singing round the village. There is the annual dilemma of deciding just the right moment to go and sing in the pub. Too early, and the customers aren't sufficiently maudlin to give generously; too late and they drown out the choir with their own variations of 'Silent Night'. We are offered mulled wine at most of the houses we visit. Mr Prentice's solo as Balthazar became ever more operatic with his "sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying," as the evening progressed. Perhaps by the time of our last call he was even getting a little too operatic.



And so to the climax of it all, with the midnight Service.  We had a full church lit only by candles, which ruin many a good coat every year. However, Mr Onion's behaviour in putting up his umbrella as he stood under the great nave candelabra on his way to receive Communion was regarded as being a little de trop by most of us.



But a new year is now upon us; after the joys of Christmas, Lent comes hard on its heels. Precisely my philosophy: every silver lining contains a cloud.


Your loving uncle,


New Archdeacon of France

Dear Brothers and Sisters,
It gives me the greatest pleasure to announce that Canon Dr. Peter Hooper has been appointed to be the next Archdeacon of France.


Peter is currently priest-in-charge of seven rural churches near Melton Mowbray and Area Dean of the Framland Deanery in the Leicester Diocese. He is the Chair of the House of Clergy, is a member of Bishop's Council, sits on various other Diocesan Committees and also serves as the Rural Officer for Leicester Diocese. Much of his time in ministry has been directed to growing Christian communities and presence, both within established settings as well as in start-up situations and secular
organisations. Children and young people have been a particular focus, and he has helped two communities register as Eco-Churches. He is interested in national initiatives on clergy flourishing and has co-ordinated a series of projects looking at reducing the administration burden for clergy. Peter has been Area Dean for two different deaneries, both of which have been re-organised under his leadership, and his ministry has emphasised the need to care for and encourage clergy and parishioners who find change difficult.


Prior to ordination Peter worked in agriculture, eventually becoming managing director of a large agricultural seeds subsidiary of DuPont, based in Toulouse, and represented the industry up to national level in France. As a business leader he nurtured discipleship through a 'faith in the workplace' course and continues to tutor on various Diocesan Discipleship programmes. A major part of Peter's ordination training took place at the Institut Catholique de Toulouse, though more as a result of geography than tradition, as Peter has a very broad churchmanship. Whilst living in
Toulouse he served as Chaplaincy Warden in the Anglican Chaplaincy, so
understands well the realities of chaplaincy life in the Archdeaconry from a lay officer perspective, particularly as related to financial issues.
Peter was widowed in 2019 and has two grown-up children, William who is a Chartered Civil Engineer and Catherine, a Human Nutritionist, who works in the Food Industry. Whilst they will not be returning with him to live in France, they are excited about the opportunities to visit.


Peter has lived and worked in France for over a decade and looks forward very much to returning to a country that he regards as his home.
Peter will begin work with us on 15 February 2021. He will be licensed initially as Acting Archdeacon, continuing to live in Leicestershire. A move to Francer will be organised as quickly as possible in these difficult times, when Peter will be licensed as Archdeacon in full title.

The good for which we are born into this world is
that we may learn to love.
George MacDonald, author and preacher
who inspired Mark Twain and C.S. Lewis
and who is buried in the English Cemetery, Bordighera

The new St John's English Library is now open until 20 December*.


Mrs Julia Wigart and Mrs Joanna Longhorne have done a marvellous job organising hundreds of books.

Please come to the church on Wednesday afternoon, 14h30-17h30 and Saturday morning, 09h30-12h30 to look through the Fiction and Non-Fiction books. To view the library online, please click HERE.

*Library will re-open on 07 January 2021

St. Lucy - (281-304)

Lucy was born of a wealthy noble family in Syracuse, Sicily. She was a virgin denounced as a Christian by a rejected suitor, and martyred under the persecution of Diocletian.

Her Feast Day is celebrated on 13 December and coincides with the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year before the reform of the Julian calendar.
Falling in the season of Advent the day of St. Lucy is seen as an event which marks the arrival of Christmas Time, which culminates with the arrival of the Light of Christ on Christmas Day.
Santa Lucia is celebrated in Italy, in particular in Syracuse, and in Scandinavian countries where the winters are long and dark. In Scandinavia it is represented by a girl dressed in white (colour of the purity of baptism) with a red sash (colour of the blood of her martyrism) and with a crown of candles on her head.

In Norway, Sweden and in the region of the Swedish language in Finland, they sing songs and the girls dress as St. Lucy and carry biscuits and safron buns, as metaphorically carrying the light of Christianity through the darkness of the world.

Do you need to greet your foreign friends in their own language?

in 20 languages
Apache (Western) - Gozhqq Keshmish

 Arabic – I'D Miilad Said ous Sana Saida
Croatian – Sretan Bozic

 Danish – Glaedelig jul og godt nytår
Farsi - Sal-e no mubarak

 German – Frőhliche Weihnachten und ein
glückliches Neues Jahr
Greek - Kala Christougenna Ki'eftihismenos O Kenourios 

Chronos Hawaiian - Mele Kalikimaka &
Hauoli Makahiki Hou
Hebrew – Mo'adim Lesmikha. Shanah Tova 

Hindi - Shubh Naya Baras
Iraqi - Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah 

Mongolian – Zul saryn bolon shine ony mend devshuulye
Portuguese - Boas Festas e um feliz Ano
Nuovo Romanian – Craciun fericit 

Somali - ciid wanaagsan iyo sanad si un An Nou fericit! cusub oo fiican
Spanish - Feliz Navidad y Prospero Aňo Nuevo 

Sinh – Chuc Mung Tan Nien
Swedish - God Jul och Gott Nytt År 

Thai - Suksan Wan Christmas lae
Sawadee Pee Mai
Ukrainian - Veseloho Vam Rizdva I Shchastlyvoho Novoho Roku! 

Vietnamese – Chuc Mung Giang

God in Music

'Glorious the song when God's the theme'
Morten Lauridsen, American composer

In the Middle Ages, at the end of the Christian Midnight Mass, the clergy would often tell the animals' version of the Nativity story and imitate the sound of each animal. The cock would crow 'Christus natus est.' (Christ is born). The cows would moo 'Ubi?' Where). The sheep would bleat 'In Bethlehem.' And the donkey would cry 'Eamus' (Let us go there). It was a way of expressing something of the joy and fun of the Christmas celebration.


Commercialism with its trappings has sadly made that fun and festivity the be all and end all of Christmas. We need to capture again the heart of the Incarnation, which is a mystery rooted in silence and wonder. The book of Wisdom reads 'For while gentle silence enveloped all things, and night in its swift course was now half gone, the all powerful Word leapt from heaven , from the royal throne.'


Those words remind us that at Bethlehem there is that silence and wonder. The animals may rejoice to tell the Good News of the Incarnation at the Midnight Mass, but at the crib they gather with the Holy Family and the shepherds. We are given no words of Mary and Joseph and the shepherds around the crib. The mystery of what was happening seems to have intensified their silence. They did not know what the
future held for this new-born child, but they did know that God was acting in a special way. They were like people standing in the faint light of the dawn, and their response was an expectant and wondering worship.

It is the heart of this month's beautiful and moving setting of some words from the matins of Christmas morning. 'O magnum mysterium.' 'O great mystery and wondrous sacramant, that animals should see the new-born Lord, lying in the manger. Blessed Virgin, whose womb was found worthy to bear Christ the Lord.


'Alleluia.' The words were set by the American composer, Morten Lauridsen in 1994 and first performed a few days before Christmas in Los Angeles. Since then, the setting has been sung by choirs, both professional and amateur, around the world. Morten Lauridsen has composed many works for the human voice, and all of them are sensitive and heartfelt responses to the words chosen. No more so than in 'O magnum mysterium.' After the opening chord, the altos introduce us to a motif that pervades the work: D to a rising 4th and a falling 3rd that lights on A. It is like the movement of the heart, rising in praise and resting in hope at the mystery of the Incarnation. The joy is inner and deep and suffuses the music as it reaches a climax with Alleluia. The final words are that all this glory lies in a manger, where the animals gather.

A very happy Christmas to you all
and a prayer that the Peace of God
will be with you throughout the New Year


In one of our best-loved carols, Christina Rossetti situates the birth of Jesus 'in the bleak midwinter'. She paints a severe and freezing manger scene, with howling wind and deep snow. She represents the frosted earth and water with iron and stone.

From the biblical narrative, it seems unlikely that Jesus was born in the bleak mid-winter, as the shepherds would not be putting their sheep out to pasture in freezing conditions. But that does not stop us gladly enjoying Rossetti's romantic poetic licence and reminding ourselves that the conditions of the first Christmas were hard, extraordinarily hard by modern standards.


Mary was a young girl giving birth a long way from home. The town of Bethlehem was crowded with strangers registering with the tax authorities of the occupying powers. Mary laid her new-born baby in an animal's stone feeding trough. And the first visitors were not close family but rough men from the fields.

It is extremely difficult to recover this first Christmas. The festival has become overlaid with medieval nativity scenes and Romantic or Dickensian winter scenes.


In the twentieth century, Christmas became the setting of the perfect family gathering. Most significantly, the run up to the commercial Christmas – the 'golden quarter' – is now a vital part of the retail industry's overall wellbeing so that vast sums are expended on advertising to persuade us to acquire more goods and more debt.


But not in 2020. This year it will be very different. Travel bans, lockdowns and quarantines mean it will be harder and perhaps impossible to get together with our loved ones. People are poorer. High streets, at least at the time of writing, are closed in many countries. And even when they re-open, shopping isn't quite the same when you have to physically distance and wear a mask. Christmas will be simpler this year. And for many it will be sadder. As Covid-19 has progressed more and more families have been affected by the virus and its frightening and sometimes long-term symptoms. Some of us have a relative who has been in intensive care, struggling to breathe. Many of us know someone who has
very sadly lost their life, and some of us face the first Christmas without someone close to us. This year, perhaps we more intuitively sense the harshness of the manger scene, the cruelty of death, the pain of a bleak mid-winter.


Another well-known – and much older – carol speaks to us about 'tidings of comfort and joy'. In 2020 we need to hear these tidings. For Christmas is at heart the story of a God who draws near to us in Jesus, sharing the sorrows and joys of human experience. In the mystery of the incarnation, the eternal God wonderfully condescends to be born as a human baby, in the roughest conditions. He is 'Immanuel' – the God who is with us.


Whatever conditions you face this Christmas, I hope you will be able to reach out and find the God who is with us. I hope you will take comfort from the presence of God with you, and perhaps also find opportunity to comfort others.
'God rest you merry' in modern English means 'may God grant you peace and happiness'. The unknown author continued:
'Let nothing you dismay for Jesus Christ our Saviour was born on Christmas Day to save us all from Satan's power when we had gone astray which brings tidings of comfort and joy'.

I wish each of you and your families comfort and joy as we approach this Christmas
+ Robert Gibraltar in Europe

Jokes from Christmas Crackers .........
Why did the turkey join the band?    Because he had the drumsticks!
How do you handle dangerous cheese?    Caerphilly!
What do they sing at a snowman's birthday party?    Freeze a jolly good fellow!
What did Cinderella say when her photos didn't arrive on time?

     One day my prints will come.
What lies in a pram and wobbles?    A jelly baby!


LET US PRAY together through December............
We pray to you Heavenly Father, in thanksgiving, and for ......
1. Lord may we see you more clearly, follow you more nearly and love you more dearly day by day in Advent
2. all who are suffering in body, mind or spirit, in the coronavirus pandemic..........
3. ....... and those who are putting their lives at risk to care for them ......
4...... give thanks for the scientific advances in treating the coronavirus ......
5. ... and pray that a valid vaccine will be available for all who need it ....
6. Praise God, that the church is open for all to meet and worship Him together
7. Be glad of life because it gives us the chance to love, to work, to play
8. may those who feel lonely or isolated from their family have sustaining
relationships with friends, and awareness of God's love for them
9. for the Prayer Circle
10. Lord, we cherish the gift of Human Rights and pray for all who do not enjoy
them in the measure afforded us
11. may we value and respect each person we meet today
12. for our locums and those who prepare the services each Sunday
13. 'The Lord has done great things for us and we are glad indeed' Psalm 126
14. for God's blessings on our neighbouring churches in France
15. may we always be willing to encourage and support those who are learning a new skill, and respect the results
16. all politicians & diplomats involved in the complexities of international relations
17. for those whose lives feel out of balance through lack of meaningful activity
18. for whom the celebration of Christmas is difficult, those who are ill, or bereaved
19 Guide me by your Spirit, Lord, to show me how to serve you here and now
20. 'My spirit rejoices in God my Saviour' Luke 1.47
21. Lord, open my mind to hear you speak through music, worship and prayer
22. Reflect on your favourite colours today - give thanks for the pleasure they give
23. carers who spend their Christmas in nursing or residential homes
24. for God's blessings on the church of the Holy Ghost in Genova, and their work with refugees
25. CHRISTMAS DAY. May the wonder of the nativity give us hope and peace.
26. for foster parents
27. 'Praise, O praise the name of the Lord' Psalm 148
28. for those who have responsibilities in running St. John's
29. for all European countries as a new future is beginning for them
30. Lord, bless family and friendships that we have - help us to be a blessing to them
31. Thank God for his faithfulnes through the joys and challenges of this past year;
and look forward with hope and trust to all that lies ahead.

Lord, thank you for talking to us in our prayers,
may we listen and put what you say into practice.

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)

Coronavirus: is a health concern for us and we have received instructions

from the Bishop on precautions to be followed at the Eucharist.

The bread and wine will be consecrated

according to the Prayer of the Church; for the time being the communion

will be offered in one kind only, the Priest alone receiving the chalice.

In Anglican teaching receiving in one kind is always the sacrament of the Communion in its entirety. ‘Giving the Peace’ should be with a verbal and non-physical sign of greeting.

 Thank you to all who have contributed,

the roof repair is complete!



Donations have reached 80%

Please give generously

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

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 you thanks and pray for ......
1. In honour of St. David's Day, pray for the church and anyone you know who lives in Wales
2. Pray for the opportunity of a closer walk with God during Lent
3. for those suffering from mental disorders that leave them afraid and lonely
4. Father, fill us all with Your love that it will illuminate our lives
5. for all those who are attending or following Lent courses
6. pray for Zimbabwe and those taking part in the World Day of Prayer
7. pray for children and young people in the towns where we live
8. 'My help comes for the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth' Psalm 121.2
9. pray for those who find their work stressful..........
10. ........ and for those who are seeking employment
11. for any couples you know who are preparing for marriage
12. give thanks for the commitment of St. John's Church Work Group
13. give thanks for the longer brighter days and the warmth of the sun
14. pray for the migrants who arrive on our border and their future life with us
15. 'O that today you would harken to his voice! Harden not your hearts.' Psalm 95
16. Lord, slow me down if I'm going too fast. May my life be inspired by You.
17. On this St. Patrick's Day pray for anyone you know who lives in Ireland
18. for the sick – their comfort and healing
19. Give thanks for your family, the love and happiness you share
20. pray for the staff in the hospitals where you live........
21. ........ and for the patients in their care
22. 'Surely your goodness shall follow me all the days of my life.' Psalm 23
23. pray for those who work in the emergency services
24. Bishop Robert's Lent Appeal – Classroom Building Diocese of Mumias, Kenya
25. Ask God's guidance to reach Carbon Reduction targets year-on-year
26. for those who work for an end to injustice in the world
27. give thanks for the peace and tranquillity of the parks in our towns
28. give thanks for those who volunteer to help with sporting activities
29. 'there is forgiveness with you; therefore you shall be feared.' Psalm 130
30. for God's healing and wholeness in your own life
31. Give thanks for all the good things this month has brought.
Lord, thank you for talking to me in my prayers,
may I listen and put what I hear into practice


 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.