Cross Border Newsletter, October 2019

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


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

You are welcome to celebrate the Eucharist at

the English Cemetery in Bordighera, Italy on 09 October at 10h30.

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


We welcome our locum

Rev Neville Griffiths

Fr Griffiths and his wife Sian will be with us until 24 November .

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, looking into Kitchen,

Image 2, Kitchen,

Image 3-5, Kitchen

Image 6, Frieze

Image 7-8, Interior

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.



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

Life at St. James-the-Least The Rectory

St. James the Least


My dear Nephew Darren,
I am absolutely delighted to hear that you are thinking of getting a dog. It must be something substantial, and not one prone to making amorous advances towards parishioners' dogs or parishioners' legs. A mongrel may be all very well for you as a curate, but think to the future when you are an incumbent, and get a pedigree. It sets a tone at the Rectory. It should also be a breed that sheds hair copiously, which
should deter your more fastidious parishioners from bothering you at home. If it also slavers that is a bonus. I would recommend you do not get a sheepdog. They become neurotic trying to round everyone up as they roam round your lawn at the annual Summer Fete.

It can be quite useful giving your dog a name that – naturally, by coincidence – is remarkably similar to that of an awkward parishioner. Being able to bawl out commands to “come”, “sit”, and “stop that”, along with the pet's name, can be cathartic to you, salutary to the parishioner concerned and instructive to the rest of
your congregation.
Dogs keep every confidence you tell them, are infinitely sympathetic when you moan about the flower arrangers and make an excellent audience when you rehearse your Sunday sermon on them. Just like parishioners, my Labrador instantly curls up and falls asleep once I start to preach to her. The look of well-meaning incomprehension on her face is another similarity.

When gentlemen of the road call, before you open the door, make a series of very audible commands that imply you are restraining a ravenous beast. That your ravenous beast is on its back, feet in the air and tail wagging, is irrelevant. It will make your caller hesitate to ring the bell another time.
Dogs also provide an excellent excuse for terminating endless meetings, overlong phone calls, parish socials and visits to the bishop. Even the hardest of hearts cannot stop you from dashing home to give your pet a toilet break, much, of course, as you would like to continue enjoying yourself with whoever it is you are obliged to
flee from.
But do not take them to your church council meetings; when difficult decisions have to be made, you can never rely on them voting the way you want.
Your loving uncle

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

bring Bric-a-brac, books, DVDs you no longer want
and add them to things on sale every Saturday
thank you - All proceeds go towards the funds for

the restoration of St John's Church


The long, hot Summer has ended. It has rained. What a relief. Plants, animals and humans are happy.
Time to put the vegetable garden in order: pull out the dead plants, the sticks; put the cooking apples and the fully grown mature marrows in a dry, cool, airy place;bottle the last plums; plant the winter vegetables – lettuce, broccoli, fennel, cabbage, and anything else if there is space.
The fruit trees are still producing; the persimmons turning orange – lemons and oranges still green and growing larger. Olives are falling from the trees; first those attacked by the dreaded olive fly, then the ripe black fruits. It is time to take them to
the mill for pressing into extra virgin oil. But first the land needs to be cleared of weeds, the nets laid under the trees. The day is fixed - 7th October – the earliest date since our records began in 1994. The latest date for pressing was 3rd December 1996!

Since then it is getting earlier and earlier every year. Climate change?
The wild boar have left their trademark – a ploughed terrace done by hoofs, tusks and snouts. They visit regularly after the first rainfall, then make their way up the valley to higher, safer ground in the woods when the hunting season starts.
Autumn has begun – cool, energy-giving Autumn for every living creature.
Elizabeth Cordone

The Bible Society

Working in over 200 countries The Bible Society is a charity on a global mission to bring the Bible to life for every man, woman and child. It believes that when people engage with the Bible, lives can change – for good.
It translates and distributes Bibles around the world so people can experience the Bible in their heart language, especially in China, Middle East and Southern Africa. Bibles have even been read and left on the moon!


First meal on the moon: how Buzz Aldrin took communion

(and why NASA hushed it up)

Almost everyone knows Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin were the first people to stand on the moon. Almost everyone knows what Armstrong said: 'That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.' But how many know what Buzz Aldrin did before they stepped out on to the moon's surface? Click HERE to finish reading the article.

A Requiem Mass
was held in St. Michael's Church, Lewes,

27th August
Dorothy, David's wife, informed us that she and their daughters, Bridget and Tamsin
were with David in hospital when he died on 1st August. He had been suffering from
heart failure and circulatory problems, particularly to the legs.
David was baptised, confirmed, ordained and was curate for 5 years at the above
church before moving to HMP Lewes.

He had been a regular locum at St. John's and
the English Cemetery Chapel in Bordighera when he retired.
Dorothy sent a copy of the Requiem Mass, which she said was lovely with a very
full church and people from all the Churches

in Sussex that David had officiated at -
and children/grandparents that he taught in Lewes

when Dorothy and he were first married!
We remember David with great affection

and send our heartfelt condolences to
Dorothy and his family and friends.

                A Warning

Keep an eye on your belongings while you are in church. Sadly, Jill Wason's handbag was stolen during a service in September.
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”.

          Harvest Festival – 22 September 2019
With the Retiring Collection of €131:

- 21 Kg. Pasta, 5 Kg. rice, 11 Kg. olive oil, 2 Kg tinned tonno, 15 tins of fruit in syrup, 1 Kg Padano cheese, and  5 kg. turkey/chicken Würster, were bought and given to the 'Primo Fiore' kitchen/dining room for the needy, and run by volunteers in Sanremo.

They send their warm and grateful thanks.

Some Aphorisms

A short, pointed sentence that expresses a wise or clever observation

• The nicest thing about the future is that it always starts tomorrow
• Money will buy a fine dog, but only kindness will make him wag his tail
• If you don't have a sense of humour, you probably don't have any sense at all
• A good time to keep your mouth shut is when you're in deep water
• Why is it at class reunions you feel younger than everyone else looks?
• Stroke a cat and you will have a permanent job
• There are no new sins; the old ones just get more publicity
• No one ever says “It's only a game” when their team is winning
• Be careful about reading the fine print – there's no way you're going to like it
• the trouble with bucket seats is that not everybody has the same size bucket
• Do you realise, that in about 40 years, we'll have thousands of old ladies running around with tattoos
• Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

“The world is a book,
and those who do not travel
read only a page.”

Anglican Society for the Welfare of Animals

ASWA was founded in 1972 to help Anglicans and others to become more aware of the importance of animal welfare issues. For Christians, the belief in a loving God is central to our faith. Indifference to suffering is incompatible with our understanding of the Deity and we cannot imagine God being uninterested in the pain of living creatures with thoughts and feelings.
We also believe that human beings have been given a special responsibility by their Creator to take care of the animals with whom they share the planet. This is the true meaning of concept of 'dominion ' in Genesis 1:26. In a Christian world-view, those
with power are given it in order to look after the weak and vulnerable, not to exploit them.
Consequently, caring for animals is a fundamental part of living a Christian life. It is not an optional extra, any more than embracing mercy, justice and compassion for the poor are optional extras. It is sometimes suggested that there is too much human suffering in the world for us to be concerned with animals, but this to tragically miss
the point. Compassion is not a finite resource, if our hearts are open then we are moved by all pain, human and animal. Also, on a pragmatic note, human and animal suffering almost invariably go hand in hand. Often addressing animal abuse is part of building a better future for everybody.
ASWA exists to promote animal welfare from a Christian viewpoint, to protect and celebrate the beautiful and sentient creatures with whom we are privileged to live.
Revd. Dr. Helen Hall

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

(Colossians 4:2)

Let us pray together through October...

Every day we give thanks for the church building of St. John and pray for its complete restoration
Heavenly Father, We pray / give thanks for:-
1. Give thanks for a new month and pray that we see all its opportunities
2. Give thanks for the rain that has fallen recently
3. pray for all who have terminal illnesses ...
4. ..... and those who care for them ..... and care about them
5. Give thanks for all wild animals and domestic animals
6. 'Wait patiently for the Lord' Psalm 37
7. Give thanks for our pets, their companionship and the joy they give us
8. pray for our churchwardens and council acknowledging all they do
9. Lord, help us to be content
10. for people facing the challenge of unemployment
11. Praise the Lord God for what He is!
12. ask for God's help in your struggle with a particular aspect of your faith
13. 'The works of the Lord stand fast for ever' Psalm 111
14. give thanks for those whose lives are a model to emulate
15. pray for all who work in government at a local level
16. for the fundraising effort to cover the final costs of the restoration of St.John's
17. give thanks for PC technology – may we use it wisely and avoid its dangers
18. grandparents & grandchildren – may we appreciate and learn from one another
19. World Peace
20. 'My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth.' Psalm 121
21. help us Lord to accept the physical limitations of growing older
22. give thanks for the hospice movement
23. pray for children who are heads of their families through war or illness
24. for all who care for migrants travelling through our countries
25. for reconciliation between different churches and faiths
26. the worst poverty is spiritual poverty. We pray to God for spiritual wealth.
27. Happy are they who dwell in Your house!' Psalm 84
28. give thanks for those who translate the Bible so that all may receive your Word
29. pray for the wholeness and well-being of all on our sick list
30. may we be good stewards of all that is entrusted to us
31. give thanks to the Lord for the gift of literacy and the joy of reading
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.