Diocesan News

Bishop’s Christmas Message

The Bishop in Europe:  The Right Reverend Dr. Robert Innes  During August I was fortunate to take part in a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and to see, again, the places associated with the life of Jesus Christ. Nazareth, where Jesus grew up, is now a sprawling Arab town, but in the first century was only a village of perhaps 500 people. Capernaum and the places around Lake Galilee have retained their peacefulness and beauty…

Bishop’s Lent Appeal 2019

Below is the message sent by our Bishop before the start of Lent The Bishop in Europe: The Right Reverend Dr. Robert Innes  Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, I send you this appeal as we begin to prepare our hearts and minds for the beginning of Lent in three weeks’ time. Natural as well as man-made disasters in our world bring hurt and heartbreak to all those affected. They remind us of the fragility…

Brexit: A European Choice

The Bishop in Europe: The Right Reverend Dr. Robert Innes In the 1960s, it was said UK entry to the “Common Market” would mark the end of a thousand years of British history. Fast-forwarding to 2019, the clock is now ticking rapidly towards the end of British membership of the European Union. Where are we, and where are we going on Brexit? Brexit is a UK choice  The UK has decided to leave the EU.…

Bishop’s Christmas message

Travelling over to London on the Eurostar in mid-November, I saw my first Christmas tree of the season. It was a giant silver variety placed prominently on the concourse of St. Pancras Station. And I was reminded that ‘the Christmas season’ starts earlier in the UK than in most of mainland Europe. And to be sure, this year, the Christmas spirit is sorely needed to boost flagging High Street revenues and give some cheer to…

Bishop’s Advent Appeal

The Bishop in Europe: The Right Reverend Dr. Robert Innes  Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, BISHOP’S ADVENT APPEAL 2018 This year’s Advent Appeal is to enable St. Andrew’s Moscow to equip their church with a kitchen. St. Andrew’s is committed to the work of reconciliation and the building of trust between peoples. It fulfils this key element of our diocesan strategy in a unique and powerful way. It is not putting it too strongly…

Bishop’s Lent Appeal

The Bishop in Europe: The Right Reverend Dr. Robert Innes  This year, the Bishop’s Lent Appeal hopes to aid the plight of unaccompanied child migrants in the Calais area. These youngsters have been reduced to sleeping rough in the open since the closure of the refugee camps last year. They are extremely vulnerable. We hope two projects will benefit: Firstly, a safe house and outreach ministry to child migrants run by an Old Catholic monk…

Bishop Robert’s Christmas Message

The Bishop in Europe: The Right Reverend Dr. Robert Innes The message of Christmas is so much bigger and better than the trappings of Christmastime! As I write these words, the temperature is about 23 degrees. The red hot poker and bird of paradise are in flower and large bunches of bananas are hanging from the trees. I am visiting the island of Madeira – a thousand miles away from the land of Charles Dickens…

Bishop’s Advent Appeal 2017

The Bishop in Europe: The Right Reverend Dr. Robert Innes October 2017 Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, This year’s Advent Appeal aims to support homeless refugees and asylum seekers in Rome with humanitarian assistance (a daily, cooked breakfast and essential items for personal dignity and warmth) for 6 months. We are doing this through a well-established and well-run project established by our Episcopal sister church of St. Paul’s Within the Walls.  The Joel Nafuma…

Report on the Synod: Passion, Prayer and Fellowship

This contribution was written by Sandra Sue From the 5th October tot he 7th October seven of us from Holy Trinity Church Utrecht attended the Archdeaconry Synod for North West Europe (i.e. Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands) in Belgium. They were fathers David and Grant and the archdeaconry reps Maria Koppenol, Adrian Los, Sandra Sue, Simon Urquhart and Nora Westerbeek van Eerten. (If you are wondering why I do not mention All Saints Amersfoort, it…

Pastoral Letter





The Bishop in Europe:

The Right Reverend Dr. Robert Innes

July 1st 2016

Pastoral Letter

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The UK’s Referendum on EU membership is one of the most significant political events of our time, for British people and for Europeans more generally. For some it is seen as an opportunity, for many others of us it has generated profound feelings of sadness, grief and shock. These feelings may exist within the membership of our chaplaincies and if so need to be recognised. We encourage you to talk to your clergy about what has happened, and to seek mutual support and understanding.

We know that many with British connections in our diocese are fearful and uncertain about the future. There are concerns about health care, pension rights, residence rights, employment rights. In fact none of these rights will change in the short to medium term. If the leaving process (‘Article 50’) is invoked by the UK Government this autumn then the arrangements for the UK’s future relationship with the EU are unlikely to be sorted until the end of 2018. And there are several alternative models for a new relationship. Those of us with influence can do what we can to keep the situation of those UK nationals who are relatively vulnerable in the public eye in forums such as General Synod and the House of Lords. Meanwhile we encourage an attitude of patience, wisdom and the avoidance of hasty decisions.

We have had English-speaking chaplaincies on the European mainland for over 400 years. That is not going to change, and the Church of England remains fully committed to this her Diocese in Europe. Our ecumenical partners have reacted with dismay to the UK’s referendum result. It is now more important than ever that we reassure our brother and sister Christians at a local level of our unwavering commitment to our partnership with them. We believe it is also right that our churches re-double their efforts to demonstrate the unity which transcends national and political boundaries, and their social commitment to the places and projects in which they are involved locally.

One of the least attractive features of the Referendum campaign has been the intolerance – racism even – that it has seemed to encourage. This is a worrying feature of contemporary Europe more generally. So we emphasise that our churches are open and inclusive places where all are welcome.

We exhort you all to pray. Pray for political leaders across Europe as they seek to maintain European cohesiveness. Pray that the UK may be a generous and outward looking country that contributes to human flourishing around the world. Pray also for church leaders that we may enable the Christian family to model that harmony and unity which is the vision of God’s kingdom, in the midst of a fractured world.

Faith is the powerful antidote to fear and uncertainty. As Christians, we believe in a God who holds the destiny of the nations in his hands. So at an uncertain time in Europe’s history, we pray for and invoke the providential guiding and leading of God in the hearts of us all and upon every nation.

Yours in Christ,

+Robert Gibraltar in Europe       +David Hamid