Cross Border Newsletter, November 2019

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


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

You are welcome to Join us for the Remembrance Service at

the English Cemetery in Bordighera, Italy on 12 November 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, Dome ceiling with past water damage, must be repaired

Image 2, Kitchen, Bob Edwards working with the architect, Barbara and Carolyn discuss kitchen fixtures

Image 3, Looking into Library, workmen adjusting electricity

Image 4, One of the many Stained Glass windows cleaned & repaired

Image 5, Looking into Church from main entrance

Image 6, Looking out from center of church

Image 7-8, Development next to church

St john's church Fundraising Campaign

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

 Making Progress, 11% towards the Goal!

Urgent Need, Roof Repair of €6,125.00

Please give generously

Donate online or bring a cheque to church.

Prefer to send a cheque?

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

Gift Aid available for UK residents, Tax Rescrit for French Residents



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


11th November is Armistice Day in the UK, but in the USA since 1954 11th November has been called 'VETERANS' DAY'. Dedicating that special day in Congress President Dwight Eisenhower urged the world to “Remember the sacrifices of those who fought so gallantly and re-dedicate ourselves to promoting enduring peace”.

The Royal British Legion supports veterans of the Armed Forces and those in active service and their families with rehabilitation, finances, employment, holiday breaks and other vital services. They provide recovery and rehabilitation support to currently serving and ex-service personnel who are wounded, injured, sick.

The Battle Back Centre at Lillleshall in the West Midlands provides sports and adventure activities designed to promote self-confidence and improve motivation. 7,137 wounded, injured or sick Serving or ex-Serving personnel have attended the Battle Back Centre since it opened in 2009.

St. John's Church Remembrance Service 10 November, 10h30, St Roch

The Remembrance Service in Bordighera, Italy at the English Cemetery Tuesday 12 November, 10h30.

Poppies are available in St Roch Chapel on Sundays also at The Louvre on Saturday mornings and in The British and Commonwealth War
Graves Cemetery at the Remembrance Service on Tuesday 12th November.
As The Royal British Legion reminds us:-
“Don't just wear a poppy for the memory of the fallen,
wear it for the future of the living”

Life at St. James-the-Least The Rectory

St. James the Least


My dear Nephew Darren,
It is quite natural for you curates to enjoy working with young people in your parishes; church youth clubs were created in order to keep the newly ordained off the streets in the evenings. But be assured you will grow out of it. I consent to baptise babies and prepare teenagers for confirmation, but beyond that my contact with this alien life form is kept to an absolute minimum.

Dear Miss Thrush runs our weekly Pram Service – although at her age I am rather surprised she doesn't call it a Bassinette Service. Its sole purpose seems to be to give young mothers an opportunity to discuss the ever changing liaisons within the village, while their offspring shred hymn books and destroy the flower arrangements. I drop in from time to time in order to check that the more mobile haven't found where we hide the matches. An infant equipped with that knowledge can so easily develop into a teenage pyromaniac.


I can give you little advice on your youth group. When I was a curate, the major activity seemed to be to teach them how to wear gas masks, although today I imagine there is more concern about protecting them from other sorts of exotic chemicals. Also, I suspect you are kept busy keeping the young out of the darker corners of the churchyard as they develop their anatomical knowledge – a pastime still enthusiastically pursued by each new generation.


You clearly find your monthly Youth Service a deeply enriching experience. As far as I am concerned, if such a liturgy had been necessary, then Cranmer would have provided us with one. Endlessly repeated choruses accompanied by a guitar would make me warm to the Quakers. I am sure St. Paul's services would have been much enriched with Hymns Ancient and Modern. The disciples in hiding in Jerusalem were not even able to sing accompanied by an organ, which
must have greatly dispirited them. I also feel that our verger would be unable to cope with organising the strobe lighting and dry ice effects. It takes him all his time to remember to light the candles on the altar.
On this matter we must differ. You must worship God in your way, and I in his.
Your loving uncle,

Braderie in Menton, Sunday 10th November.

There will be a bric-a-brac stall run by church members. If you would like to help or
have some good quality bric-a-brac to give please speak to BARBARA CORRY.

From Bishop David's Blog:

Saint John Henry Newman
The first British Saint in modern times

John Henry Newman the key figure in the Oxford Movement in the Church of England, who converted to Roman Catholicism in 1845, was canonised by Pope Francis on 13th October in Rome. His conversion was highly controversial in the middle of the nineteenth century and at the time was felt by many to be a setback for the Oxford Movement itself. Nevertheless, we Anglicans owe much to Newman for his teaching and influence which restored to the Church of England a renewed understanding its rootedness in the Catholic Church of Christ.

No wonder that HRH Prince Charles, who attended the canonisation then a reception hosted by the UK Embassy to the Holy See, encouraged us all, Anglicans and Roman Catholics, to celebrate St. John Henry as a priest, poet but above all as a thinker ahead of his time. “One of the greatest theologians of the nineteenth century”, is how Prince Charles described him.
When Newman preached his last sermon as a priest of the Church of England it was entitled, “The Parting of Friends”. Somehow at the canonisation we Anglicans felt reunited with our Roman Catholic friends. Perhaps St. John Henry Newman should be the patron of ecumenism as some have suggested.
Below is St. John Henry's evening prayer, which is in Common Worship: Daily Prayer
Support us, O Lord, all the day long of this troublous life,
until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes,
the busy world is hushed,
the fever of life is over and our work is done.
Then, Lord, in your mercy grant us a safe lodging, a holy rest, and peace at last through Christ our Lord.

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

An act of love that fails is just as much a part of the divine love
as an act of love that succeeds.
For love is measured by its fullness and not by its reception.
[Harold Loukes, a British Quaker]

                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”.

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.

Animal Welfare Sunday - 6 October 2019
The Retiring Collection of €127 provided medicines and food for the animals that are given homes in the Refuge at the National League for the Defence of Dogs ( also cats) in Ventimiglia. The animals are often old and abandoned and cannot find homes outside the Refuge. So, thank you to all who contributed to this worthy cause.
Barbara Corry

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

(Colossians 4:2)

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

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

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

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

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

The Church of England invites to Holy Communion all baptized persons who are communicant members of other Churches which subscribe to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and who are in good standing in their own church. Those who are prevented by conscience or the rules of their own Churches from receiving the Blessed Sacrament are invited to receive a blessing.

arrangements may be made by contacting the locum, or the churchwardens.
The Church of England invites to Holy Communion all baptized persons who are communicant members of other Churches which subscribe to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and who are in good standing in their own church.  Those who are prevented by conscience or the rules of their own Churches from receiving the Blessed Sacrament are invited to receive a blessing.