On Sunday 19 February, worshippers from the three congregations of the Pas de Calais chaplaincy in Northern France, met for a day of reflection, discussion and worship at the Arras Diocesan Centre in Condette, near Boulogne-sur-Mer.
The Archdeacon of France, the Ven. Meurig Williams, led the day, during which space was given to explore new possibilities for future ministry.
In his reflections, the Archdeacon spoke about the experience of being overwhelmed, as churches find themselves welcoming growing numbers of migrants hoping to reach Britain over the past few years.
Using the words of the priest-poets George Herbert and R.S. Thomas, as well as listening to music by John Tavener and James MacMillan, the Archdeacon spoke of the Eucharist as the model of all Christian hospitality. “This is where we learn the real meaning of what it means to welcome others, to see ourselves as God sees us, and to see the world around us with clearer vision. If we make worship our priority, other things will flow from that.”
It was an encouraging day, in which the participants were able to share ideas, explore new possibilities for ministry in what is a geographically and politically strategic region of Europe.
One of the participants said at the end “We very much appreciated the Archdeacon’s remarks about strengthening our congregational worship”. Time well spent!