Church News (as it comes in!) below
Remembrance Day 2019
St. George’s was as full as always for the annual Remembrance Day service held on Sunday 10 November.
Father John led the congregation in prayer and remembrance. At the beginning of the Service, the new Defence Attaché at the British Embassy, Captain Ian Clarke, Royal Navy, and a member of the 1st Madrid British Scouts laid wreaths at the altar.
The French Ambassador to Spain, M. Jean-Michel Casa, read from the Book of Micah (4. 1-5) and the British Ambassador, Mr. Hugh Elliott, followed later with a reading from the Gospel of St. Matthew (5:1 -12).
Our reader, Celia Patterson, led the intercessions before Father John gave his moving and appropriate homily which can be accessed here:
A veteran from the 1982 South Atlantic Campaign and Conchita from the 1st Madrid Scouts read the Laurence Binyon poem for the fallen:
“They shall grow not old as we are left grow old; age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.”
The Last Post was then sounded by Warrant Officer 2 (Band Sergeant Major) Stephen Craig of the British Army Band Catterick Garrison followed by two minutes silence before the Reveille was trumpeted.
A former Defence Attaché read the Kohima:
“When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow, we gave our today.”
The Service ended with the singing of the National Anthem and then the congregation attended a reception on the Patio.
Bishop Henry very much on the mend
Bishop Henry suffered from a blocked artery 2 weeks ago. Parishioners, particularly those who remember him from the time he was our Chaplain, will be pleased to know he is well on the way to a full recovery. Below is a message from Catherine:
Henry spent 2 nights in the hospital just 2 weeks ago, they inserted a stent into a blocked artery and he was home on Sunday. He’s on lots of meds now, going only slightly more slowly, but recuperating well and perhaps taking a rest after lunch some days too. We are extremely grateful to the staff at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford who took such good and timely care of him! He will begin a rehab routine soon, but is also taking up his normal activities again this week, which include day conferences and confirmations. He had to cancel his trip to a conference in the States last week, which was disappointing, but he now recognises that his body needs to adjust to a slightly new regime!
We’ll travel to the US for Christmas and looking forward to a 2 month locum in Ibiza in January and February. We miss you all very much at St. George’s and send our love and hugs from this cloudy little island!!
Pan African Sunday – A great service, lovely colours and traditional food to sample afterwards. Thank you!
Harvest Festival and a lovely flower arrangement donated by Isabel to go with it
Our thanks to Deacon Robert for looking after us today
It was supposed to be one of those happy reunions of friends. Reverend Robert Franken, from Arvada, Colorado, was going to spend time with long term colleague Father John as part of his European tour. Robert is a Deacon at his church in Breckenridge and also a planning commissioner for Summit County so this visit should have been straightforward. Sadly, as we now know, Father John´s mother passed away (see below) and he returned to Missouri for her funeral. Robert stepped into the breach and delivered a Deacon’s Service, assisted by Celia, for both of the Sunday services. We are so grateful to you, Robert, for being with us at St. George’s. We would love to see you again!
Our deepest sympathy and prayers go to Father John following the passing away of his mother, Eleanor Kempt, of Joplin, Missouri.
Father John flew home mid-week to prepare for the funeral of his mother, Eleanor.
There is a really warm obituary to her to be found at
and further tributes to her life are at:
Typical of Father John, he will be back in Madrid this Friday. Please keep him close to your heart and in your thoughts.
Requiescat In Pace, Eleanor
Father Peter Ford takes the Sunday services at St. George´s
Father Peter, from the Anglican Chaplaincy of St Andrew, Costa del Sol East, stood in for Father John on Sunday 21 July. He reminded the congregation that it was Solomon´s birthday and so the appropriate song was heartily song by all!
08:30 Congregation says Buen Viaje to Bob and Chesney Wilson
We were sorry to have to say goodbye to Bob and Chesney who have been in Madrid for nearly a year while Bob attended a course in Madrid. They have been very loyal supporters of St. George’s and we wish them all the very best as they settle back into the American Way in Washington State.
Where did you pray this summer and which other churches did you visit?
Celia: Sheffield and Cologne Cathedrals
Liz P: St Mary’s, Felpham, West Sussex, England and Salamanca, Castilla y Leon, Spain
Where Angels feared to tread… but they can now!
Some amazing photos showing the progress on the emergency drain repairs. A huge thank you to all who helped make this happen. Now the rest of us will have to think very seriously as to how we can pay for it!
Father John´s Trinity Sermon
For the members of the Church Council who were at their meeting and any others who missed Church on Sunday, here is the link to Father John´s Trinity Sermon:
Pentecost celebrated at St George’s and at La Chimenea
Father John and parishioners wore red at all four of his services
to remind us of the fire of the Spirit. Father John also arranged for the reading from Acts Chapter 2 to be read simultaneously by a selection of parishioners in different languages. It was an amazing experience!
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other languages, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.
Summer Bazaar a great success
A big thanks to everyone who participated in the Summer Bazaar, and especially to Carol and Angela who spearheaded the event! As you can see from the photos below it was a lovely day, and as Father John asked for in his Pentecost sermon the day after, everyone had big SMILES on their faces!
News from Montreux!
Touching base with Father Paul and Jill in Montreux
Our roving reporters went to interview Father Paul and Jill in Montreux. Here is their report:
Q. What are the differences between St. John’s and St. George’s that you notice the most?
A. The congregation mix is very different. A large part of the congregation is European and particularly British folk who have retired in the area. We very much miss the children, we only see the occasional ones here. Similarly we rarely see anyone from the African continent which again is a great pity. Pan African Sunday was always such a joy.
As a result we will have to wait until September to hold our first christening and no weddings are planned. I am able to do more hospital and home visits – fortunately there have been no funerals!
Overall though I do feel like I am in an English Parish again – performing as a vicar rather than as a chaplain. And I no longer need to worry about the Church fabric or whether the Hall is well stocked with loo rolls. The Council takes care of all that.
Q. Anything that surprises you about the Swiss?
A. After Madrid, you do notice how quiet the place is, especially on Sundays. Blocks of flats have house rules that prevent you from even doing the hoovering on a Sunday. Very sensible!
Of course, being mainly Lutheran in this part of Switzerland, nobody (and they do have a delightfully quiet sense of humour) raises their eyes when I’m wearing a dog collar and holding hands with Jill. It did cause some shocked looks in Madrid at times!
What has been a pleasant surprise for us is that the Swiss banks are easy to deal with. The staff speak English (and all the Swiss languages), are friendly and you don’t spend a lot of time going nowhere in a queue lined up in front of a solitary bank teller. Enough said?!
Q. Are there big differences in your lifestyles?
A. Well, certainly no more breakfasts or tapas evenings at the local corner bar in General Oráa. We have avoided Fondues so far but Raclette has more than a certain attraction despite also having its share of mega calories.
We have access to UK TV for the first time in years, but the novelty is already wearing off. We should be watching more French channels to brush up on the lingua franca. Jill has read an extraordinary number of books and I have at last got my theological library in one place in my inspirational study.
Q. Are the hills alive with the sound of music?
A. They are indeed! Montreux is surrounded by steep hills and mountains and we have two versatile choirs and musicians, one at St. John’s and the other at my other church at Villars-sur-Ollon, which is set in real mountain summer pasture countryside. I haven’t seen an alpenhorn in use yet nor have I heard any yodelling but all comes to one who waits!
Q. How do you cope with the high cost of living?
A. It is true that Switzerland is more expensive than Spain for most things. Travel and food is particularly pricey, even Toblerone costs significantly more. We have some small supermarkets but none in in front of our house, as we used to have in our Madrid flat. If you are out of sugar, well you are out of sugar, perhaps for a few days! Still, we now have more time to cook for ourselves.
Q. How else are you spending your free time?
A. We have bought a couple of bikes and are using them to ride around Lake Geneva. We have already been almost as far as the French border, but we will be keeping on the flat cycle paths for the time being. We´ll leave the mountains to the goats! There is also a lovely, very well kept promenade that goes for miles and this is great for early morning strolls.
There are many open air public swimming pools in the Montreux area which could work well. I think though that we won’t be testing the Lake, given that it is topped up with melt water for most of the year.
And then looking to the winter again, well we might just venture beyond the snow line but skiing and snowboarding are for another generation!
Q. Any ideas that St. John’s can pass on to St. George’s?
A. We have instituted a regular film night in the vicarage. Besides watching a movie we also stop at a suitable point for wine and pizza. It is going down well (as are the refreshments!).
We have also been holding weekly bible studies at home. We pick a text to study and discuss what it means to us. Again it is very popular.
Q. What question should we have asked you that we didn’t?
A. and Q. How’s the French coming along, Jill?
A. Bien, about as bueno as my Spanish!
Q. Any special message to the people at St. George’s?
A. Be open to God’s call, wherever that may lead. For us that led us on paths that we would never have dreamt of not so many years ago, and we have met some amazing people on the way. And remember “The One who calls you is faithful” (I Thessalonians 5.24).
Liz and Peter Pacey
Reverend Angela Godsen was our latest locum to preach at St. George’s
Latest Pop up Sale a great success!!
Well done our usual team of jolly good organisers for a splendid pop up sale. Not only was €750 raised for Church funds but everyone, stall holders and visitors had a splendid time in lovely spring weather.
Father John celebrates his first Eucharist at El Escorial
Celia receives Maundy Money from Her Majesty the Queen at Windsor
Maundy service is a tradition that dates back to King John in the 13th century, when the reigning monarch washed the feet of the poor. Since Edward IV the reigning monarch has given out money on Maundy Thursday to pensioners who have made a special contribution to the Church and the community although the practice of washing feet at the Royal Maundy service was discontinued in 1730. The word Maundy comes from the Latin ‘mandatum’ which means commandment. On the day before his Crucifixion, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and commanded them to ‘Love one another’.
This year the Queen attended St. George’s Chapel at Windsor (where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were married last year), together with the Princess Eugenie, to present 93 men and 93 women with two small leather purses of Maundy money each. The number of gifts is the same as the age of the Monarch at the time, so this year it was 93 as the Queen’s 93rd birthday this year is on Easter Sunday.
Our Reader, Celia Patterson, was one of those chosen. We should rightly be VERY PROUD of having a Reader held in such high esteem by our Bishops, the Archdeaconry, and the wider Church of England for her work with FEREDE, the Diocesan Synod and for her Godly Play activities (including with the Roman Catholic Church), which has taken her all over Europe.
With characteristic modesty she has kept news of this award a secret, but now it´s time for us all to celebrate with and for her! And we’ll all be looking forward to seeing the contents of those purses!
The red purse contains an allowance for clothing and provisions This year the red purse contains a £5 coin, commemorating the 200th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s birth, and a 50p coin portraying Sherlock Holmes. Both
coins were minted this year. Historically, this sum of £5.50 in the red purse s made up of £3 for clothing, £1.50 in lieu of provisions and £1 for the redemption of the Sovereign’s gown which, before Tudor times, used to be divided between the recipients.
The white purse contains specially minted silver Maundy coins – one, two, three and four penny pieces – to the value of 93 pence which, while legal tender, sees their real worth lying in the history of the occasion. Numismatists and those over a certain age in our congregation will recognise that the Queen’s head on the coins is the same as that used from the start of her reign in 1953 until decimalisation in 1970.
Many, many congratulations, Celia!
Below, Celia, just before she jetted off to see the Queen!
With Father John, Bishop David and Father John Weller from Mallorca.
Father John’s first message to the congregation of St. George’s
Dear Friends in Christ,
Thank you for the very warm welcome to St. George´s. You have been most hospitable and gracious and I very much look forward to my extended time here with you. To all who help on a regular basis, as well as those doing special things for Holy Week, and very especially the devoted ones who went above and beyond the call of duty to help with the Chrism Mass and lunch following on Monday, I extend my profound gratitude. Beginning during this busy time seems quite right; we are rapidly becoming acquainted, and worshipping God! Please assist me by reminding me of your names for the first several times we meet. And thank you again for making me feel so very welcome.
Blessings for a Holy Easter and Eastertide.
St. George’s hosts the Chrism Mass for the Diocese
In a very spiritual and moving ceremony, Bishop David blessed the oils to be used for chrism, anointing the sick and dying and those being baptised during the coming year. Attending clergy, from many of the parishes in our Archdeaconry and some beyond, took away with them small phials of the precious oils. In addition, Reverend David Waller from Mallorca was collated as a Canon of the Diocese and the Clergy and the Lay Readers renewed their vows.
While fundamentally a Service for the Clergy and Readers, members of the congregation at St. George’s also attended. After the Ceremony the members of the Clergy were treated to a splendid repast prepared by volunteers from the congregation.
The Comedor Social (Food Kitchen) is up and running again.
The Comedor Social which we have supported for some time now has new premises in Vallecas and so we will be once again be accepting non- perishable food stuff at Church on Sundays.
The organisers’ request is primarily for olive oil for cooking and for milk but all goods are gratefully accepted .
Don’t forget to slip that something extra into your pocket or bag when you next come to Church. This direct help means so much to those really in need.
Another yum yum success for Liz and Carol!
Despite some grumbly weather which meant using the Church Hall instead of our lovely fig tree patio, two of our intrepid fundraisers organised a great Coffee with Hot Cross Buns Extravaganza. Not a calorie but many friends in sight!
New appointments to the Church Council at St. George’s
At the AGM on 7 April, 2019, the following parishioners were elected to join the Church Council:
Karen Mullins (also Treasurer)
Patricia de Juanes
The previously co-opted members, Iain Deuchar and Angela Irwin, were confirmed as full-time members of the Church Council.
A big thank you to our Archdeacon, The Venerable Geoffrey Johnston, for all his hard work in preparing the Council for the selection process for the next Chaplain and for chairing our AGM!!
Church Council meets to prepare the profile for our next Chaplain
Members of the Church Council met with our Archdeacon, The Venerable Geoffrey Johnston, to discuss the processes required for selecting our next Chaplain. The meeting and workshops were held in the Chaplain’s flat and took up all of the day. It was an excellent and informative day and we thank Father Geoff for all his hard work.
……..and the opportunity was not missed to celebrate Celia’s birthday with a cake and a hearty rendition of that popular tune!
Farewell message from Bishop Henry and Catherine
Dear All at St. George’s Church,
Bishop Henry and I want to thank you all for your loving welcome and the goodbye you gave us yesterday, Sunday, March 31st. The tile, cross and pen are wonderful gifts that we shall treasure, display and enjoy, thank you!! We have really enjoyed living among you here in Madrid and the sense of belonging to St. George’s after so many years away.
We leave with some sadness, but will remember always the loving hospitality, warmth and friendship that so many of you extended to us during these three months. We will be praying for you during your next interregnum and for Father John as he leads you on. May the Lord bless you and guide you during the search for a new chaplain.
Catherine and Bishop Henry
Support for the children in Mozambique
As most of you will know, the centre of Beira, Mozambique was devastated after tropical cyclone Idai hit southern Africa on 16 March. The children there have lost everything and are in great distress. You can help them by donating crayons, pencils, sharpeners, erasers and notebooks. All contributions please to Carol, any Council member or to the office as soon as you can.
Update from Carol: We took over 60 kilos of school material to the Convento Siervas de María for Mozambique. They were so happy with our donation, They praised the way it was organised: Ready to go in boxes, and especially didn’t require any sorting, which is what they are so busy doing now, with other things such as clothes. No one had given them school material. Which was truly appreciated.
Spring Jumble Sale a great success
A very big thank you to all those who helped make the Spring Jumble Sale a success. Whatever the event, every volunteer helps to foster and build our sense of community at St. Georges!
Some photos of the big Church Clean up ahead of Easter!
A big thank you to all those who volunteered to spruce the Church up ahead of Easter. A special mention must be made of the great contribution made by the 1st Madrid Scouts and members of St. John the Apostles Church congregation. Cleanliness is indeed next to Godliness!
Bishop Henry leads the February El Escorial Service
Come and join us for the next one!
Bishop Robert´s Lent Appeal
Bishop Robert has launched his 2019 Lent Appeal, supporting mental health and livelihoods for the vulnerable in Greece.
In July 2018, the resort village of Mati witnessed Greece’s worst ever forest fires. The death toll reached 100, over 200 people injured, and over 700 evacuated from their homes. To these numbers, we should add the number suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other psychological after-effects.
An Athens-based organisation called Hestia Hellas is providing a vulnerable community with sustainable tools and a skill set necessary to participate in daily life and thrive in times of difficulties. Greece is facing multiple challenges including an economic crisis, an influx of refugees and migrants and the devastating fires that have deprived many families from housing and jobs. Hestia Hellas is dedicated to offering psycho-social support services, Child Friendly Space, jobs and life skills support, and food distribution to those in need.
Click on this link to read Bishop Robert’s Appeal letter
Book sale brings in the book worms!
Fortunately we don´t need to find an annelidologist (rare and very expensive, no doubt) to sort this out!
Congratulations to Jenny and all those who donated and helped for this regular event. About €650 was raised, a vital sum now that we face further expenditure on the drains and also a call for a higher cash contribution from the Diocese in Europe.
Curry and Quiz night
Our stellar social events genius, Liz Mason, organised the Curry and Quiz night on Friday 25 January. As expected, it was a huge success given that all 50 places had been reserved almost as soon as it was announced! A big thank you too to all the individual chefs de cuisine who prepared and provided the quintessential Curry.
Not only was it a great fund raiser (over €700 for our Church) but more importantly it helped strengthen even further our community at St. George’s!
If you missed it, you will be delighted to know that Liz is already thinking of the next event. If you would like to join in with this, do send her an email on email@example.com
There´s no stopping this lady!
Great praise for Celia’s Godly Play work in Bishop David’s blog
Celia Paterson is a Reader who serves in St George’s Madrid. She is also one of Europe’s leaders in Godly Play, a creative and imaginative approach to Christian nurture for those in early, middle and late childhood. It is without doubt a significant movement supporting the exploration of faith by children and young people in today’s Church.
The diocese is justifiably proud of Celia’s leadership in Godly Play internationally and ecumenically, a clear outworking of her Reader vocation to teach the faith and nurture disciples.
Father Paul licensed at Montreux
Father Paul was licensed in his new Church of St. John’s, Montreux, Switzerland on Sunday, 20th January. The above photo shows Father Paul with Jill and members of their family and friends.
….and this one is of the Archdeacon for Switzerland, Reverend Canon Adele Kelham, together with Father Paul and Father Barry Dryden (who has been our own locum on several occasions).
We wish Father Paul all the very best for his new Ministry!
Church Hall Bathroom refurbishment just a little closer…..
Thank you to those who together donated €600 towards our pledge tree project to refurbish the hall bathroom. As you can imagine it won´t go that far so if you want to help towards this very important little corner of the church fabric, which most of use at some time, please contact Liz in the office, or you can contribute online by stating clearly what your donation is for. See the pew sheet for our bank account details. Our treasurer will then ensure that your donation goes to the right fund.
Curry and Quiz night – Friday 25 January
Sorry, but almost as soon as it was advertised, the curry and quiz night on Friday 25th January became a sell out.
What a pity if you missed this one BUT Liz Mason is already thinking of the next quiz night.
If you would like to join in with the next quiz, send her an email on firstname.lastname@example.org
There´s no stopping this lady!
Father Paul and Jill say goodbye to some of the 08:30 service’s regulars…. over the usual post-service, and very convivial, desayuno, of course!
Full Chapel at the El Escorial “La Chimenea” Lessons and Carols Service
Our Choir performs at its very best for St. George´s Madrid Christmas carols and lessons service
… and the Congregation was pretty good too!
Diana debuts in her new robes!
Congratulations to our very popular Diana who is now incorporated as a Fellow of The Society of Crematorium Organists.
Farewell to Father Paul and Jill
Although our dear friends will not be leaving Madrid until the end of the month, parishioners gathered in the Church Hall on Sunday 16th to thank them for their tremendous contribution to the Church and pastoral life over the past five years and to wish them all the very best for their new life and work in Montreux.
James (above, left) gave a well-received encomium.
Jill´s selfie with some of the parishioners
Father Paul with more parishioners and Liz Mason (3rd right)
Our Christmas Pledge Tree
As we all know, this is the season for giving (even Scrooge finally worked this out!) and St. George’s Church building is nearing its centenary anniversary and consequently needs a lot of maintenance! So please try to make a donation by adding your name to one of the red tags decorating the tree in the porch. Target number one will be to refurbish the restroom in the Church Hall which we are sure you will agree deserves a bit of TLC!
Children’s Christmas Drawing Competition!
Please spread the word – St.George’s church is holding a Christmas drawing competition for all the children to have the opportunity to win 2 x pantomime tickets for this year’s production of The Wizard of Oz – A Sequel!
• All entries to email@example.com and to be in by 12noon on Wednesday 12th December, judging will take place and parents will be informed on the same day.
• The pantomime runs from Friday 14th – Sunday 16th December 2018
• Child’s name and contact telephone number should be added to each entry.
Thank you… and Good Luck!!
Barbees Concert at St George’s a great success
A packed church enjoyed a wonderful evening of music from the Barbees, Madrid’s only women’s barbershop chorus. The talented choristers covered everything from “Bohemian Rhapsody “ to “Feliz Navidad”.
Just in time for Christmas!
Congratulations to Jessica and Ignacio on the arrival of their first child, Nathaniel, on November 24.
Keep the peques warm this winter!
Our Godly Play team has launched a great initiative to collect unwanted children’s coats for needy “peques”. Please help keep these kids keep warm over the winter!
The collection basket is in the Church and will close on Sunday 16th December.
18th November Bake sale
Our Bake Off Queen, June, has done it again by selling over €600 of her home made delicacies and Greetings Cards in aid of Church funds. Eat your heart out, Mr Kipling, June is now well out in front!
June and Clare ready to Rock (cakes)‘n (Swiss)Roll
Bishop Robert’s Christmas Message, 2018
Remembrance Day Service, 11 November 2018
Wedding of Tansy, from Ormskirk, near Liverpool, to Jorge, from Madrid, 8th September
The service was conducted by Father Paul in both English and Spanish
Pan-African Sunday and Confirmation Service, 30th September
Bishop David meets one of the Madrid congregation
Our two confirmands, Ella and Miracle, at the same service:
For more photos and news of this special day do visit Bishop David’s exciting blog at: