- Remembrance Day Service, Bordighera
- St John's Garden
Remembrace Day Service, 12 November 2018, Bordighera
2018 marks 100 years since the end of the War that was supposed to end all wars. Today, of course, many of the scars and divisions we suffer are the result not of conventional warfare, but of the cruel and destructive violence of global terrorism. Even now, amongst continuing conflicts and fragile peace, we need the words to express the hope of Christ's peaceable kingdom, as well as the imagination and resilience to go on, and on, praying for peace and working for reconciliation.
Image: with Michael Healy, the Chairman of the Nice, Monaco, Menton Branch of the Royal British Legion. The Mayor of Bordighera, Dr. Vittorio Ingenito and beyond them are the ministers of the Christian Churches present.
The Archdeacon of France and Monaco, the Venerable Meurig Williams, spent time with some of us at St John’s Menton on Wednesday, August 30th. He was delighted to visit the church for the first time and see at close quarters the work that needed to be done.
He pledged his support to the restoration project, saying that “the beautiful building which is St John’s has huge potential in a community such as Menton.
It is strategically placed and lends itself to inspiring worship, community engagement and cultural activities. As Archdeacon of France, I’m struck by how many of our churches are willing to go beyond just recreating the past so that a fresh vision of Christian life can emerge. We need to respond with imagination to the spiritual hunger that is all around us in France.”
Archdeacon Meurig also told us that he looks forward to meeting with our Church Council in the near
future in order that details of the appointment of a new priest to St John’s can be finalised.
Our Churchwardens, Valerie Aucouturier and Carolyn Hanbury, provide an update on the Renovation of St John's Church...
CHANTIER INTERDIT AU PUBLIC
Renovation work on the stained glass windows began in mid-January. Interior scaffolding will be put up and the windows will be removed, replaced with transparent
sheeting which will be bonded to the stone framework so that no rain, etc., will get in. We look forward to updating this section with more news.
What has happened?
In May 2015, mandated by the Chaplaincy Council, Valerie Aucouturier and Ennis Cardew (the former Churchwarden, and recently elected Treasurer) met representatives from Sarl Magia Immobilière. This is the construction company that has developed Westbay, the apartment block adjacent to St John's Church. At this meeting, a decision was taken as to the agreement for the sale/exchange of part of the church garden. In return, we have accepted a two-roomed apartment on the third floor of Westbay, a commercial property on the ground floor, and two parking spaces in the same building. We have also agreed to take a smaller commercial property on the ground floor of the planned new construction, an extension to Westbay. Our intention is to use some of this property as regular income to offset ministry and mission expenses. We currently operate a deficit budget, and recognise that this is unsustainable in the long-term.
A Deed of Gift from Us (United Society, formerly The United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel), was granted on 23 December 2015, transferring ownership of St John's Church from Us to St John's Chaplaincy. Our acceptance has enabled our Churchwarden Valerie Aucouturier, on behalf of the Chaplaincy Council, to sign the Compromis de Vente, authorising the above mentioned sale/exchange.
What will happen?
Within these next few months following the signing of the Compromis de Vente, the final contract should be agreed and signed, providing St John’s with
access to the properties in Westbay.
The Chaplaincy Council has agreed a contract for the restoration and renovation of St John's Church, and the architect is currently applying for permission to begin this work. While we have no indication of when, and how long, it is our sincere hope that this year will finally see our return to our historic church building.
The small stained glass windows on the north side of the church, which were removed when the damaged occurred, and have been safely stored in the atelier of an expert stained glass glazier, will be put back in place when the restoration is carried out. One of these windows needed repair, and this has been completed.
Following the repair and cleaning – beginning in 1999 – of the five large stained glass windows on the south side (street side) of the church, the three large windows behind the altar were examined, and a decision made to repair and clean them, and to replace the grilles on all of the windows to protect them from damage. The quotation for this urgent, and important, piece of work was reasonable but nonetheless, considerable, given our current finances.
Our benefactor, Mr William Dewhurst, has agreed to meet the cost of all this work on the windows with funds from the Dewhurst Foundation. The Council and community of St John's are most thankful to Mr Dewhurst and the Dewhurst Foundation for their generous support in memory of Audrey Dewhurst (Mr Dewhurst's mother) who was a faithful worshipper and supporter of St John's until her death at just over 100.
Valerie Aucouturier & Carolyn Hanbury
St John's Garden
While the Chaplaincy Council waits for the documentation allowing it to proceed with the restoration of St John's, a small group of keen (mostly amateur) gardeners has been tending the churchyard. Barbara, pictured opposite in full regalia, is the driving force, and unofficial "foreman of works"! Given that only authorised workers are permitted to work in the yard, we've been required to wear regulation hard hats, which has drawn us into multiple conversations with various passers-by. It has provided us with a wonderful opportunity to talk about the historic church, its restoration, and the long history of mission and ministry undertaken by the Anglican Church in this part of the world.
If you're interested in joining the hard-hat team, send an email to the church administrator, and we'll provide you with a warm welcome, and an invitation to good fellowship and coffee after an afternoon of weeding and pruning in our (soon to be even more) lovely garden.