Easter Sunday Celebrations
Saint Paul's Church in Monte-Carlo was filled on Easter Sunday with worshippers and the boisterous singing of Easter hymns. The Saint Paul's Church Easter Choir sang the Vivaldi "Gloria", Bruckner's "Locus Iste", and Liesel Jürgens, Franck's "Panis Angelicus" -- with Drew Hopkins joining in for an improvised duet on the last verse.
Easter Bunny was here ...
The annual Easter Egg Hunt took place, as always, during the Easter Sunday Club session. This year many of the older kids helped the Easter bunny hide the eggs and then helped the smaller children fill their bags during the hunt.
Click here to see Simon Wynne's photos from Easter Sunday at Saint Paul's.
Champions of the Desert
They did it! Emily & Ben Rolfe crossed the Marathon des Sables finish line on Saturday, 15th April at the end of the hugely demanding 250 km Marathon des Sables. Congratulations Emily & Ben!
Running the 2017 Marathon des Sables
Ben & Emily Rolfe are on track in the desert: the first stage of the Marathon des Sables completed, running stage two today (Monday, 10 April).
Click here to send a message of support to Ben (No. 544) and Emily (No. 545).
Click here to read more about the Rolfes and the Marathon des Sables 2017.
Members of the Palm Sunday congregation at Saint Paul's walked up to join the congregation at Église Saint-Charles for the annual Blessing of the Palms. This is the fourth year the two churches have joined together for this service as a sign of our shared faith tradition.
Father Walter made his way through the crowd to bless the olive branches held by members of Saint Paul's. The Principality provides the olive branches and palms we use each year, but because of an infestation causing the death or radical prunning of many of the palms in the region, there were very few palm branches available this year.
Returning from the Blessing of the Palms with our Roman Catholic neighbours, members of Saint Paul's paused on the stairway down from boulevard des Moulins for what has become the traditional photo.
Once back at Saint Paul's the Palm Sunday service continued with the reading of the Passion Gospel, this year according to Saint Matthew, with members of the congregation taking the parts in a dramatised reading.
Letter from Néné
When the time came for Néné to return to her home, after a very successful surgery in Monaco, Sara was delighted to receive the following from Néné.
Sara, I thank you for looking after me, for taking care of me, as though I were your child, as though I were part of you. What I have at the depths of my heart cannot be put into simple words. I can only thank you and Frank. Merci! ...
More than 50 members of the Saint Paul's Church community attended the church's Annual General Meeting on Sunday 2nd April, 2017. A very friendly and congenial atmosphere reigned throughout the meeting as the church community took time to review church activities in 2016, approve financial accounts for the past year, and elect the members of the Saint Paul's Church Council.
Members of the Church Council, from left to right: Samantha Stirling, Mary de Vachon, Ben Rolfe, Stephen Kenyon-Slade, Rupert Katritzky, Tim Humphreys, Frank Megginson, Father Walter, Philippa Casey and Brian Fenwick-Smith. Not pictured, members unable to attend the AGM: Dani Carew, Jane Roffe, Chris Sladden and Tom Turrell.
The AGM was pleased to return all of the members of our Church Council for another year of leadership at Saint Paul's. Ben Rolfe was appointed to serve as our Treasurer with Brian Fenwick-Smith staying on as a member of the council. Dani Carew, Samantha Stirling and Mary de Vachon were elected to serve as our Delegates to the Archdeaconry Synod for 3 years beginning in June 2017.
The Saint Paul's Association President, Frank Megginson, closed the meeting with an expression of gratitude to Father Walter who will retire in July. Father Walter responded offering thanks for the many in our community who give so generously of time and resources for the mission of our church, and who have earned for Saint Paul's a truly merited reputation as a warm, welcoming and effective community of Christians.
Brian Fenwick-Smith: job well done!
Standing down as the Honorary Treasurer at the church AGM, after a three year term in that office, Mr Brian Fenwick-Smith was praised for the progress made over the time he has been responsible for our church finances. We all owe a great debt of gratitude to Brian for the tremendous effort he made over the past three years to standardise and simplify our financial reports; to consolidate and streamline our banking procedures; to keep proper records of cash receipts and payments; and to legally declare the work of all our employees.
Brian is particularly pleased to have found funding for the church choir and, indeed, how much do we all appreciate the arrival of Drew Hopkins as lead chorister thanks to the very generous donation that established the choir fund two years ago. He was also pleased to report to the members of our church, that the funding is now entirely in place for the Library Lift which will be installed over the summer. In Brian's 3 years as our Treasurer, we saw our savings grow 19% to a total reported at the end of 2016 of over € 2.2 million.
Thanks to Brian's leadership we have also seen the development of the Charitable Donations Committee and reflecting our commitment as a church to direct approximately 10% of our annual income beyond Saint Paul's to respond concretely to the needs of our region and our world.
So much has been accomplished in just three years and, Brian notes, "all achieved in very constructive and friendly council meetings!" Well done Brian: we are all very grateful to you for all you have done for us as our Treasurer.
Curry Night resounding success!
An estimated 80 hungry fans of Indian food descended on Saint Paul's Church Library on Thursday, 30 April, for a wonderful Curry Night fund raiser supper. Ben Rolfe, upper left corner of the photo, gave a short presentation during the supper providing background information about the gruelling "Marathon des Sables" that he and his daughter Emily (16 years) have trained for months to run. The Marathon begins in a week and requires participants to cover 250 kilometres in just 6 days. Donations for the supper were collected to fund the purchase of a sophisticated microscope needed for research on the effects of diabetes on kidneys, and a whopping 2,320€ was raised at the Curry Night at Saint Paul's. Many thanks to all the many volunteers who helped cook the curries, prepare the Library, serve the meals and tidy up afterwards.
Click here to see Simon Wynne's photos from Curry Night at Saint Paul's.
Mothering Sunday 2017
Many thanks to all the children and young people who helped make this years Mothering Sunday such a special day for our mums: Happy Mother's Day!
For the second year in a row, the ecumenical community of Monaco celebrated Evensong in the Lent at Saint Paul's Church, on Sunday, 12th March this year. Archbishop Bernard Barsi of Monaco and Chanoine Patrick Keppel, Ecumenical Officer for the Diocese of Monaco participated in the service, as did Pasteur Christian Babéry, from the Église protestante Unie de France, who offered a sermon to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, begun by Martin Luther in 1517.
The Saint Paul's Church Choir, reinforced with lead singers for each of the four voices, sang a beautiful service featuring the Magnificat by Sir Stanford Villiers and solos from Drew Hopkins, tenor, and Liesel Jürgens, soprano.
Click here Simon Wynne's photos from the Evensong service and reception.
Nicole Feaster was hard at work this weekend cooking up a storm of pancakes in preparation for the annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper. Cooks from many of our other Sunday Club families were similarly busy getting ready for the annual feast on the day before the beginning of Lent.
Ben Rolfe reports: "The Pancake Supper was a fantastic success . We had over 50 attendees and raised over €850 for Diabetes UK which is a great achievement. It was a true team effort with everyone chipping in with what they can do, and some truly Herculean pancake making efforts. Just carrying 150 pancakes is hard enough let alone making them!!!"
Ben also reports that he fielded a lot of questions about the Marathon des Sables (see following article). He writes, "I actually participated in 2011 and a detailed account of shich can be found in my book Running High and Running Low which can be ordered at Amazon, click here for the book link. All profits from book sales go to Diabetes UK.
Click here for more of Simon Wynne's photos from the Pancake Supper 2017.
Here is a message from Emily Rolfe, "My dad and I are training to run the Marathon des Sables, the 'world’s toughest footrace', a 250km run in the Sahara Desert, from the 7th to the 17th of April 2017. To encourage us in our journey, through the intense training and during the race itself, you can help us raise funds for a £19,500 Diabetes UK project. Click here for more information about the Marathon Des Sables and our project to raise money for Diabetes UK."
Christians from all along the Riviera nearly filled the Big Top in Fontvielle for the annual church service at the International Circus Festival in Monte-Carlo. This is the biggest celebration in the region during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (18-25 January each year.) It is also one of the most unique of Christian celebrations in the world. Representatives of more than 50 churches attended this year's service, with our own Clara Fillery (striped jumper in the photo above) in her role as one of the youth judges for this year's festival.
As usual, acts from this year's International Circus Festival in Monte-Carlo contributed to the ecumenical gathering of Riviera churches at the circus performing their circus acts in the course of the service. Pictured here, the Xianjiang Acrobatic Troupe, winners of a Silver Clown at this year's festival.
Vanessa & Ian renew their Vows
The new year 2017 got off to a great start at St Pauls when, after 20 years of marriage, Vanessa and Ian Ilsey renewed their wedding vows at the New Year's Day Family Communion. Congratulations to Ian and Vanessa who are pictured here with their children Charlotte and Alex.
Click here for more of Simon Wynne's photos from New Year's Day.
A Christingle Christmas Eve
On Christmas Eve morning, a cheerful team of Christingle volunteers worked in the Chaplain's kitchen to prepare the candied oranges that are blessed and distributed to the children at the Christmas Eve Christingle service.
Christmas arrived in Monte-Carlo a bit after 5 p.m. on Christmas Eve when our children carried Baby Jesus to the Crèche and placed him in the manger ...
Then it was time to celebrate, candied oranges lit, and the light of the new born babe of Bethlehem carried out into the world: Tidings of Great Joy!
The annual Children's Christingle service on Christmas Eve has become an important part in the Christmas celebrations for many of our families. The smiles on this group of our Sunday Club children speaks volumes.
Click here for more of Lorenzo Turco's photos from the Christingle service.