The licensing of Rev Augustine Nwaekwe as Chaplain for Saint Georges Church Knokke-Heist in Belgium on Sunday 2nd October turned out to be a day of firsts and lasts.

Though it rained almost all day, members and visiting congregants made their way to St Georges for the licensing where the Venerable Meurig Williams presided at the Eucharistic service, attended by members of different Christian churches and ecumenical groups in West Flanders, as well as members from other Anglican Churches in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Pastoral oversight of St Georges in Knokke comes as additional responsibility for Reverend Augustine Nwaekwe who already serves as Priest in-Charge of the English Church Ostend and St Peters Church Bruges. Knokke is a famous coastal city in Flanders. Anglican services in Knokke dates back to the beginning of the 20th century when the British made a significant contribution to the popularity of Knokke as a favourable holiday destination and a retirement location for those retiring from the Army or from Colonial service.

In his sermon Archdeacon Meurig William drew from St Matthew’s parable of the sower, and charged members of St Georges to work together with their new chaplain to enable the seed of the gospel to flourish in Knokke-Heist. It was the last formal duty for Fr Meurig before he takes up his new duties as Archdeacon of France.

During the service, various symbols of ministry were presented by members of the congregation, including a symbol of ecumenism- a portrait of the Cross made with a stained glass, presented by Father Pradip Smagge, the catholic priest in-charge of Knokke-Heist.

Reverend Augustine Nwaekwe succeeds Reverend Stephen Murray who is Area Dean of Belgium and Luxemburg and Chaplain in Gent, who was also present at the service.

Photos by David Sayers.