Cross Border Newsletter, February 2018


awaiting restoration


Chapelle Saint Roch, Place Saint Roch, Menton

(see location page)

St. John's Church Renovation News

Renovation Progress

The waiting period is over and demolition of the damaged area began Monday 04 December, the anticipated completion of that work is 31 March. Once that work has been carried out and the building is safe, work can begin on the interior. At the present time we do not have a timeline.


Join us on Wednesday

14 February at 10:30 for Eucharist at

the English Cemetery Chapel in Bordighera.

Please see Barbara or email.


The Revd Canon Bruce Duncan
Canon Bruce Duncan will be with us for the month of February. He has recently retired; he was responsible for setting up and running Sarum College, an ecumenical centre in the building that once housed the Salisbury and Wells Theological College. Under his inspired leadership Sarum has become a very successful international Christian college with 30 staff who educate and nurture all who wish to renew themselves and their churches in faith, unity and service. He is looking forward to meeting everyone at St. John's this month.

85th Fête du Citron 

The Lemon Festival starts on Saturday 17 February and continues until Sunday 4 March, which means we shall have three Sundays in which to make sure we get to church on time! Those coming in from the East, North or West of the centre of Menton need to make sure where they will park, or leave enough time to walk the extra distance. The theme of the Festival this year is Bollywood, which should be fun as well as beautiful!

Be aware of wonder. Live a balanced life learn some & think some & draw & paint & Sing & Dance & work every day some.

(Robert Fulghum, author)



Paddy Holmes has sent this poem to us .......




Not just at Christmas – an upside-down poem

They have no need of our help
So do not tell me
These haggard faces could belong to you or me
Should life have dealt a different hand
We need to see them for who they really are
Chancers and scroungers
Lay-abouts and loungers
With bombs up their sleeves
Cut-throats and thieves
They are not
Welcome here
We should make them
Go back to where they came from
They cannot
Share our food
Share our homes
Share our countries
Instead let us
Build a wall to keep them out
It is not okay to say
These are people just like us
A place should only belong to those who are born there Do not be so stupid to think that
The world can be looked at another way

(now read this piece again but go from the bottom to the top)


Thoughts For A New Year

Life rushes along at such speed. If we are not careful we forget the many good things and rich experiences of the past. So the beginning of a New Year is a great moment consciously to give thanks for the past year.

2017 was when M. Macron became the youngest ever President of France – I was there, or at least just around the corner at St. Michael's Church. It was the year in which the Pope visited All Saints Rome and Bishop David and I were with Jonathan Boardman and the local congregation for that historic occasion. And it was the year for a high-level Anglican delegation led by Archbishop Justin to meet Patriarch Kirill in Moscow.

There were some significant endings. We said our sad farewells to Bishop Geoffrey at a most moving funeral service in Chichester Cathedral. And we marked lots of new beginnings, with many baptisms, confirmations and licensing of new ministries.

Looking forward to 2018 there could be many reasons to feel gloomy; political uncertainty, Brexit, stories of church decline but I was much heartened to receive from the Taizè community (whose guiding principles are simplicity, mercy and joy) a request that I (and the church more widely) make Joy a central reality in my life in 2018.

My diary for the next few months is already filled with a mixture of church visits (Barcelona, Toulouse, Pau, Prague, Aquitaine to start with) ecumenical events (meetings with other Anglican bishops, meetings with Old Catholic Bishops, a CEC General Assembly) and the business of synods at different levels.

How important to approach the commitments of a new year with a spirit of joy, expectancy and delight!! The Christian virtue of joy is not a superficial feeling but the assurance that our activities contribute to God's purposes, and the confident trust that we are loved and valued by God. In the words of the prophet Zephania “The Lord your God is with you. He takes great delight in you; He will renew you with his love He will sing with joy because of you!

So as I go into 2018 I aim to try to live into this prayer written by the Swiss Saint Nicholas of Flue

My Lord and my God, take from me all that keeps me far from you
My Lord and my God, give me all that brings me closer to you
My Lord and my God, take me out of myself and give me completely to you.

+ Robert, Bishop Diocese in Europe 



Sadly we bring you the news that Katie (Catherine) died on 8th January. She had been a member of St. John's for many years. Only ill health stopped her from coming to church in recent times. She had also been a member of the British Association and of the Anglo-French Association. We pray for all her family and friends who mourn her loss.



Thursday 18 January 2018

The door opened, Sarina let me in ............

Who would come? ................. waiting ..........

'Hello God'

looking around ........ absorbing the quiet tranquillity of the church ...... waiting ..

observing the beautiful flowers in memory of Nuccia, whose funeral was that day in

Pavia ........ waiting .........

a noise - the organist arrived ....... the electric socket was found for the keyboard, the hymns were checked .......... silence .......... waiting .....

a couple came in - went away again ............ would they come back? ......

others arrived,

more came in, expectantly .....

English voices ........ prayer and scripture readings were allocated

Italian voices, sat down,

looked at the service sheet,

waited expectantly ...

“Good afternoon – welcome to the Anglican church” - the presentation was made and the first hymn announced “All people that on earth do dwell, sing to the Lord with cheerful voice.” We were off ...........

'Thank you God, that we were able to celebrate with others and enjoy fellowship afterwards.'

Elizabeth Cordone


Heavenly Father,

We praise You and give you thanks and in our prayers .....

1 pray for the homeless, the migrants, that sleep on the streets and along the Roya River bank; for those who try to cross the border between Italy and France

2 pray for parents, grand-parents, god-parents of young children
3 praise God for his creation – help us to be selfless stewards that future

generations may enjoy its provision and beauty
4 '
Send forth your Spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth'
5 those who suffer the effects of depression
6 Lord be with all those who are involved in the restoration of St. John's
7 give thanks for those who serve on the chaplaincy council
8 world leaders that they may seek peaceful solutions to present difficulties

9 those who work in the emergency services


10 all members of the congregation and visitors, that we may grow in faith

11 all members of the congregation and visitors, that we may grow in faith 'Our God will come and will not keep silence' Psalm 50

12 when we are overburdened remind us, Lord, to stop awhile and seek you

13 Enjoy your pancakes today and give thanks for traditions that remind us of God

14 Ash Wednesday - Bless those attending the service in Bordighera this morning

15 pray that God will show his presence to you as you go through Lent
16 give thanks for the joy that pets bring into our lives

17 may all who work to bring us the goods we buy be valued and fairly recompensed

18 'Your paths, O Lord, are love and faithfulness' Psalm 25

19 take time to keep your body fit physically, mentally & spiritually ........

20 ...... and pray for those who are dependent on others for their physical care

21 give thanks for the people you love and who love you
22 praise God for all that he is to you – his presence, his might, his strength

23 ..... for children, their curiosity, our reaction to help them in seeking knowledge

24 Lord, give gentleness and patience to those who nurse the terminally ill

25 'All the ends of the earth shall turn to you, O Lord.'
give thanks for all those who raise money for charity
27 give thanks to God for all the signs of spring around us
28 Lord inspire us to make the most of all that life offers us; may our attitude be an inspiration to others.

Thank You for listening, Lord, May we, too, listen and act. Amen



God of love,
turn our hearts to your ways,

and give us peace.


 Diocesan Database

Important and major changes are on the way in the coming months affecting Data Protection laws across Europe. The new rules govern who holds data and for how long, how consent to holding data is obtained and demonstrated, and who has access to the data. The effect of the new rules are much wider than our churches and will be applied to local clubs and organisations through to vast international corporations.

Members of our church, who are listed on the diocesan database, are being contacted so that they can agree to the inclusion of their details under the new terms of the Act. There will be more information available by early next year, before the new rules take effect.

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.