The December edition of The European Anglican is being sent to chaplaincies and Friends of the Diocese but you can also catch up on developments and news by checking out the online version here:


The magazine editor, The Rev'd Paul Needle, writes:

The December edition of European Anglican normally anticipates the joy and expectation of Christmas. Our front cover picture might suggest a novel approach to seasonal church festivities, begging headlines such as “Bark the herald angels” or “A Winter’s tail!” but much of this month’s content is no laughing matter.

We, rightly, report the concerns and initiatives across Europe where Christians are making their voices heard and offering practical help for migrants and refugees. Their plight and the procrastinations of many in the political world have kept this topic high on our diocesan news agenda for many months.

This Autumn our bishops co-hosted a conference in Cologne to share knowledge and ideas. Just a few weeks earlier Bishop David was involved in a United Nations meeting in New York on the same subject. Canon Malcolm Bradshaw from Athens preached at the annual Friends of the Diocese service in October and gave stark practical observations about the effect of mass migration and homelessness.

As our diocese continues to formulate its practical aims and objectives in our strategic plan “Walking together in Faith” some of our published news and video reports show a host of varied initiatives from food banks to soup kitchens, administrative aid to education and child care. This is our biggest story in many years and looks likely to grab the headlines and focus our attention for some time to come.

In a rural English church last December a churchwarden approached the Vicar to suggest that he had done enough “banging on about migrants and refugees in Advent”. “Why not give it a rest so we can really enjoy Christmas?” he suggested.

The Vicar merely read again the Bethlehem story of a homeless family in an occupied land where life was cheap and people had little hope of change. Later, in Egypt the holy family would experience life as refugees. How could a child, born in such unpropitious circumstances ever hope to make a mark in the world? But Jesus, God in human flesh, achieved more than any emperor or grandee ever could. And we celebrate his birth, life, death and rising again because He inspires us to follow his example. In the words of his mother’s song; “He who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.  And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.”