Cross Border Newsletter, April 2023


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

Services on Sunday mornings, 10h30. All are welcome.

Upcoming Services

Wednesday 5 April Eucharist in the Chapel,

Bordighera English Cemetery at 10h30.

The Reverend Chris Parkman.


Good Friday Service - 7 April - 15h in St. John's Church, The Reverend Chris Parkman.


Easter Day Sunday 9 April Eucharist at

St. John's Church, 10h30.

The Reverend Chris Parkman.

Easter 2 - Sunday 16 April - Morning Prayer at

St. John's Church, 10h30

A reflection from Rev Chris :

A hopeful season
Signs are really beginning to show of spring. The weather is warming, birds are migrating, new growth appears (but we remain desperate for good rain). I love this time of year, as I am not much of a winter person. Of course, winter in Menton is much easier than other parts of the world, so I don't struggle here so much as I have done when living in colder climes through winter.
Spring in the northern hemisphere also means Easter is arriving. And it makes a lot of sense at face value to be celebrating Easter during spring; new growth, new life on the ground, when the soil looked bare. This resonates with our celebrating new life and the resurrection of Christ. So when I moved to New Zealand, and lived there, I found it oddly dissonant to celebrate Easter as the leaves fell off the trees, the clocks went back an hour, and people started to hunker down for the autumn and winter seasons (and there is no Christmas break in the middle of them to break them up – so it feels a long way until spring again in September).
But the longer I lived there, the more it actually started to make a different kind of sense. Easter is all about hope. And Christian hope continues no matter how dark the world becomes. It was a dark day when they crucified Christ. And the early followers of Jesus must have felt utterly hopeless on that first Good Friday and Easter Saturday. But hope appeared on that first Easter Sunday, even in the darkest of moments for them. A hope beyond all their wildest imaginings.
Christian hope isn't a blind or shallow optimism, a way of avoiding living true reality. It is a deeper sense than that; one that trusts that despite what may appear to be hopeless, a good hand is at work, even if we cannot see it with our own eyes. It enables us to be there for each other and the world in our most troubled times. Not to avoid or brush away the sadness, but to walk alongside, to be companions who hold to a deeper truth: God hasn't given up on Creation, God is with us, God is still acting, (has acted), and will continue to act to bring love to its fullness in this world.
So may you have a hope filled Easter!


Coronations have remained much the same for 1,000 years. The British
ceremony is the only remaining event of its type in Europe.
However, Buckingham Palace has said that although the coronation will be “rooted in long-standing traditions”, it will also “reflect the monarch's role today and look towards the future”.
The Imperial State Crown, Orb, and Sceptre, carried on top of the late Queen's coffin, will be used during the coronation ceremony.


There are several stages to the service:
The recognition: while standing beside the 700-year-old Coronation Chair, the monarch is presented to those gathered in the Abbey by the Archbishop of Canterbury. The congregation shouts “God Save thje King!” and trumpets sound.
The oath: The sovereign swears to uphold the law and the Church of England.
The anointing: The King's ceremonial robe is removed and he sits in the Coronation Chair. A gold cloth is held over the chair to conceal the King from view. The Archbishop of Canterbury anoints the King's hands, breast and head with holy oil made according to a secret recipe, but known to contain ambergris, orange flowers, roses, jasmine and cinnamon. The oil created for
Charles will not contain any ingredients derived from animals.
The investiture: The sovereign is presented with items including the Royal Orb, representing religious and moral authority, the Sceptre, representing power; and the Sovereign's Sceptre, a rod of gold topped with a white enamelled dove, a symbol of justice and mercy.

Finally the Archbishop places St. Edward's Crown on the King's head.
The enthronement and homage: The King leaves the Coronation Chair and moves to the throne. Peers kneel before the monarch to pay homage.
The Queen Consort will then be anointed in the same way and crowned.

Butterflies are in trouble!

Help Sarah & her team!


Sarah Walker, St John's Church member, Internal Communications Manager at A Rocha and married to Rev Chris - has joined up with the A Rocha France team to fundraise for their butterfly research campaign.


Butterflies are in trouble! Intensive agriculture, habitat lost to development and the widespread use of
pesticides are some of the main threats. And yet, butterflies are indispensable: as adults, they are fantastic pollinators. As caterpillars, they help keep the balance in plant ecosystems and are an important food source for many bird species. Plus, they're simply beautiful.
   Help Sarah and her team reach their goal!!


Run to give butterflies their wings!
Objective: run, walk or cycle 1,042 km

to raise 10,000€ by 15 April
446 km clocked so far! Now we need your help.


Please click HERE to donate
click Je donne pour ces coureurs

A Rocha France actively focuses on two species

targeted in France flies, run by the

Ministère de Transition Écologique:
▪ L Hermite Chazara briseis,

one of France, which has disappeared from more than 40 departments over the last 20 years.
▪ La Diane (Southern Festoon)

Zerynthia polyxena is a protected butterfly in France which requires very specific conditions and one particular host plant to flourish.


Funds raised will support A Rocha s ongoing study of these two species and the creation of material to raise
awareness of butterflies and how simple acts can support these beautiful creatures which God loves.
More information in French is available or email
A Rocha is a global family of conservation organizations working together to care for
creation and equip others to do likewise. Visit to learn more!

St. James-the-Least

My dear Nephew Darren,
Just as undertakers rub their hands in glee at the coming of winter frosts, so hoteliers with banqueting suites become animated at the first signs of Spring.
We have arrived at the first phase of the marriage season. As the days begin to lengthen and trees start to bud, young men find it irresistible not to propose to potential brides. Some people wait to hear the first cuckoo to let them know Spring is on its way; I wait to hear the first knock on the Rectory door from couples wanting to book their wedding.


Naturally, my first job is to try to put them off; it would save them a great deal of money and give me many more free Saturdays, but I always fail, and so the big day is booked. Nowadays, there is such a time lag between
booking a marriage service and it taking place, I sometimes think it would be easier to book the service first and then look for someone to marry at a later,
more convenient, time.


Last year, it was somewhat different with one couple. They were both in their late eighties (a good time to contemplate a first marriage, in my opinion) and asked if they could arrange to get married as soon as possible. The usual reason for a hurried marriage seemed unlikely at their age and so I asked why.

Their answer was charming “At our age, we might not still be here if the great day is much delayed.”
Of course, booking a marriage is the simplest part of the whole procedure.
There are florists to negotiate – made even more complex should there be more than one marriage that day. One bride wants all white, the other red,
and so one set of priceless flowers is trundled out of church by one set of florists while a competitor barrows in the next confection. Photographers are inclined to think aisles are racetracks, pews for standing on and all church furniture is moveable – generally once the service has started. I place all photographers in the west gallery before the service and lock them in – naturally, apologising for my fit of absentmindedness afterwards.

Courses should be offered at theological colleges on placating irate bell-ringers when the bride is half-an-hour late, cooling down organists when the happy couple ask to come in on an organ arrangement of a Led Zeppelin number, and re-assuring the choir that the guests meant no disrespect as they made mobile phone calls in church while the choir sang 'Ave Maria' once we
had disappeared to sign the registers.

However, nothing will ever calm down a verger who has been left to sweep up several hundredweights of confetti
once everyone else has gone home. I find a restorative sherry back at the Rectory works wonders.

Your loving uncle, Eustace.

Easter Carol
O the gladness and the glory
of the tender Easter story,
Christ is risen! Christ is risen!
Do you hear the angels say?
All the bells triumphant ring it,
All the choirs celestial sing it,
Thro' the skies this sacred day.
Oh, the wondrous transformation,
Working out the world's salvation!
Christ the crucified Redeemer,
Once consigned to darkest gloom,
Changing shadow into splendour,
With His love so sweet and tender,
Son of God, our true defender,
Rising deathless from the tomb.
Oh, the light of Easter morning.
All the earth and sky adorning!
Oh, how restful, how refreshing
Is its sacredness and love!
On my heart its peace is stealing,
Like a gentle balm of healing,
Christ my risen Lord, revealing,
Throned in majesty above


American mission worker, poet, lyricist, and composer, Fanny Crosby. She was a prolific hymnist, writing more than 8,000 hymns and gospel songs, with more than 100 million copies printed. She is also known for her teaching and her rescue mission work. By the end of the 19th century, she was a household name 

At six weeks old, Crosby caught a cold and developed inflammation of the eyes. Mustard poultices were applied to treat the discharges. According to Crosby, this procedure damaged her optic nerves and blinded her, but modern physicians think that her blindness was more likely congenital and, given her age,

may simply not have been noticed by her parents.

Blues and Gospel
Manu Carré, harmonica and tenor saxophone
Ben Prischi, piano and organ
Sofiane El Mabrouk, doublebass
Jérôme Achat, drums
Please note the following date:

Friday 07 April, 18h30
Tickets online:
Tickets at the door €10


Friday 05 May
Improvisations on the great American song book, part 2
Christian Bonichi, clarinet and tenor saxophone
Ben Prischi, piano
Sofiane El Mabrouk, doublebass
Félix Joveniaux, drums

Summer Camp
Looking for something to do for this summer? Want to enjoy the cooler mountain air in August?


From May to October, A Rocha France is running
holiday and summer camps at their residential site, Les Courmettes, in the hills an hour NW of Nice.


Most weeks are in French, but one will be in English: on the theme of 'God, Nature and Us'. We will spend the week immersed in nature, learning about God's creation and taking the time to enjoy, rest and 'be' together in a beautiful place. Rev Chris and his wife, Sarah, will be part of the leadership team, with Chris leading the daily devotions. All are welcome - individuals and families of all ages.


Accomodation ranges from camping to dorms and family rooms with a limited number of single and ensuite rooms. While beautiful, please be aware that Les Courmettes is a set of old stone buildings with the level of rusticity and uneven steps and cobblestones that comes with such places.
If you would like more information please visit
and feel free to email or

St. John's Library Winter Activities:


New Bridge Group: Are you interested in playing bridge? You are welcome to join the new bridge group on Tuesday mornings from 10h00 – 12h00.
Players should have taken lessons for a minimum of 3 years, and the group will play in French. You will need to be a library member and each session costs €5 per player which will go to the library. Please contact Lars Lindahl by 15th March.


New books for all ages have arrived in the Library. If there is a particular book you would like us to add to our list, please let us know.

Children's English Lessons continue with Arabella on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons at 5pm (17h00).
To join email Arabella at:

Madame Regine Dedonder, a qualified French teacher, will hold classes at intermediate level on Wednesdays at 10.00am starting 5th October and at advanced level on Thursdays at 10.00am starting on 6th October. Class duration 90 minutes.
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:

Please welcome

The Revd. Chris Parkman.

The Bishop in Europe announced that the post of
Chaplain of St. John's Chaplaincy in Menton was offered to and accepted by The Revd. Chris Parkman.


He is a French resident, having worked in Nice at A Rocha (the Christian environmental conservation organisation) at their French community - Les Courmettes for many years.


Chris and his wife Sarah have moved to Menton.

Congratulations and thanks to all of the congregation and wider community that have made this possible.

An introduction to The Rev Chris Parkman.

Before ordination, Chris was a road engineer for 25 years, during which time he worked in various cultures around the world, and is now excited to build on this background, being part of an international community at St. John's.

With his wife Sarah, who will continue in her role working with the A Rocha International team, he hopes to maintain links and continue supporting the A Rocha team at Les Courmettes as a volunteer.

Truly, good news for our church of St. John's.

We are pleased to receive a reflection to us all from our new Chaplain Chris . . . . . .


“We have felt very blessed by the warm and generous welcome that we have
felt from the whole church community. Thank you all so much! It makes such a difference when you arrive in a new place. Except for us, in some ways, St. John's doesn't feel entirely new to us. In fact, there is a gentle blend of newness and familiarity, as we have gotten to know some of you quite well these last two years, when we have visited from time to time and I have led Sunday worship.
I have reflected that in many ways, this is the story of life: we are often facing new situations in life and learning new things about ourselves and others, whilst also carrying a sense of continuity and familiarity, building on existing relationships and good inheritance from the past (and hopefully learning from our mistakes). So we look forward to sharing this new season of life in the church with you all, as well as building on all that is good that has gone before at St. John's. These feelings chime in many ways with what we celebrate in the season of advent. We live with the hope and expectancy of waiting for Christ's second coming, at the same time as remembering that hope of the Jewish people 2000 years ago, as they looked out for a Messiah and then experienced all that unfolded when Jesus was born. So I pray this advent season that God might give us all a deep sense of hope and expectation, and encourage us to build on all that is good as we look to the future.
And that when Christmas arrives, we all are able to enjoy celebrating it well.
Every blessing to you all, Chris.”

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

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)

 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.