David Greenwood writes from the South of France:

“On Sunday morning, 18th September 2016, at All Saints’ Marseille, two young men, Mr. Jules Ngangue and Mr. Christophe Lomon were received into the Church of England and the global Anglican Communion. Jules, from Cameroon, and Chris, from France, were both active in their denominational traditions for years, but after much prayer and reflection felt called to become Anglicans because of our focus on justice, our deep spirituality, the historic and yet contemporary focus of the church, the global leadership of our episcopacy, and the local synodical leadership of all Anglicans (both laity and ordained) in their archdeaconries and dioceses. And so, after receiving their vows and praying for them, the Venerable Ian Naylor, Archdeacon of France, received Chris and Jules as new Anglicans.

"Later in the morning’s worship service, two long standing Anglicans were recognized and celebrated. The Rev'd Patrick Cassidy and the Revd Canon David Pickering were called forward to be acknowledged for their 50 years of ordained ministry.

"Mrs Helen Brooking and Dr Amanda Haste, the All Saints’ Wardens, announced to the congregation that Father Patrick and Canon Pickering had been ordained to the diaconate in mid-1966 and after a full and active ministry with various parishes, had chosen to retire in the Bouches-du-Rhône. Both remain very active in our community and in our spiritual life here at All Saints’ and in Aix-en-Provence. Most recently, during our two and a half year interregnum, Canon Pickering and Fr Cassidy, along with our Readers were anchors of our sacramental life.

"Our two wardens then presented Fathers Pickering and Cassidy with gold watches.  It is hoped these gold watches, given in love, will be daily, hourly and minute-by-minute reminders of their Golden Jubilee moment.

"The service was presided over by Archdeacon, the Venerable Ian Naylor, who himself is just two weeks from retirement. He was assisted by our priest-in-charge Father David Greenwood and two of our Honorary Assistant clergy, the Rev'd Riita Granroth and the Rev'd Eddie Farrow.  At the end of the service, our Reception candidates and clergy gathered at the chancel steps and held hymn number cards indicating their numbers of ordained ministry – 236 years! In Christ’s name."