St Ursula's Church
Berne, Switzerland

A Church of the Anglican Communion, welcoming all who seek the Lord Jesus Christ

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Dates for your diary

What's New?

The Builders are here

 
Our Energy and Sustainability Project is in full swing at the moment. We thank the GVB Kulturstiftung for their generous grant, and the many others who have made large and small contributions to the success of this project.
 

 

The builders moved in at the end of July to work on our ambitious energy project.

At the same time, we have been carrying out renovation work on the chaplain's house, relaying floors, remodelling the kitchen and bathroom, removing old chelving and repainting walls. This has been scheduled to dovetail with the energy work.

We started the energy work by removing the old oil tank and boiler. The new heating system is gas-based, for ease of maintenance, and the boiler is much smaller, since a more efficient heating system and more effective insulation mean that we need fewer kilowatts of heat from it. The former tank room will be used as the house cellar, and the former Schutzraum (bomb shelter) made accessible from the lower church hall.

We have at last reached agreement with the conservation authorities (Denkmalschutz) on the form of heating we will be using in the church. This will rely on efficient radiators in the walls (a technique used in several churches). The panelling is being removed and modified. This has meant the church will be out of use until the end of September (if the builders are on schedule!), and we shall be holding services in the hall.

We have done work in the hall, too, most of which was done quickly in a short "window of opportunity" just after the autumn book and food sale.

The last phase of the project involves insulation work on the church house, which is taking place in September. For the current state of progress, click here.

Our Christmas Bazaar

The building work should be complete in good time for us to welcome you to our traditional Christmas Bazaar on 1 and 2 December. There will be the usual stalls - books, cakes, bric-à-brac, British food, and of course seasonal refreshments will be served at lunchtime.

We look forward to seeing you there. Bring your friends. There are flyers in English and in German.

Weekday Prayers

Thanks to Henry Hope, we have been holding Morning Prayer on Tuesdays at 8.30 and Evening Prayer on Fridays at 18.00 for some time now, following the order in Common Worship. Everyone is welcome to these quiet, reflective times of prayer.

On Thursday mornings at 10.30 there is a chance to combine prayer with cake and fellowship. Several people like this format, and we hope it will continue.

And on alternating Thursday evenings, there is always the chance of joining church members in the Thun area for their evening session of eucharist, reflection and fellowship. Their meeting place, the Chapelle Romande, is only a five-minute walk from the station there, so why not join them too?

Gardening

Gardens never stop growing. If you are able to help at any time, please get in touch with Edi Wildhaber, who is coordinating activities.

Energy and Quizzing

Last year’s Pub Quiz Night proved to be a very popular event, so once again we will be offering a fun-filled night of good traditional pub grub and drinks with a fabulous pub quiz thrown in. On 3 November we shall be asking a variety of questions, with prizes for the winning team.

The entrance cost will be Fr10 per person which will include the first drink and entry to the pub quiz. Team size can be from 1 – 6 members. You can sign up as a team or simply join a team on the night. All profits will go towards the continuing Energy Appeal. Click this link for a flyer.

Numbers are limited and all tickets must be bought in advance. Please contact the Church Office – berne@anglican.ch or 031 352 8567 to reserve your place. Do come, and get a team together with your friends!

Energy and Beauty

The Brazilians who use our church buildings for their services and activities are contributing to our Energy Appeal by offering a special Beauty Day at St Ursula's on 11 November. Choose from hair care – cutting, dying, styling and blow-drying - and facials, massages and manicures/pedicures AND enjoy delicious Brazilian snacks and drinks as part of the pampering experience.
They will be there all day, from nine in the morning till six in the evening.

So come along! Click the link above for a flyer.

Water, water, Uganda

We and our Junior Church have been taking a keen interest in a project to bring clean water to villages in the Kigezi diocese in Uganda. Some of our church members have been to the area and helped with the work, and he have dedicated our Harvest and Christmas collections to the plan, which is also supported by Tear Fund Schweiz. We have also become friends with Revd Reuben Byomuhangi, who has spoken to us on a number of occasions.

On 21 May, the Bishop of Kigezi, the Right Reverend George Bagamuhunda, came to St Ursula's, and updated us about what is going on in a brief illustrated talk during coffee time.

New Things in Biel/Bienne

Mark Pogson is establishing a pattern of English services in Biel/Bienne. Services will be held at 1700 on the first and third Sundays in the month, thanks to the hospitality of the Old Catholic community there, who have placed the Epiphany Church at Quellgasse/rue de la Source 27 at our disposal.

The church has its own website, biel-english-church.ch, which gives more information.

New Things in Thun

We have held services in Thun for many years. They have always been on Thursday evenings, and for a long time were in rather a remote part of Thun.

Now we have moved, to the French Chapel at Frutigenstrasse 22, less than five minutes' walk from the station. Our first service there was on 19 January, and you can seem some pictures of it here. There is a flyer here - print one out for a friend! iClick here for details of the next few services. Details of how to find us can be found here.

Money, money, money

Many of our members pledge to give a regular sum to support the church. We receive no state support, and have to finance the ministry here ourselves. Our pledge appeal was sent out in October, but there is still time to add to the growing number of people who pledge to the church. You may fill in a form (there are several in the church hall) and give or send it to the Treasurer, or pledge online.

Our Chaplaincy Survey

As part of our preparation for a new chaplain, we conducted a short survey to get solid facts about our congregation - they are not all over 70, they are not all women, they are not all cradle Anglicans, they are not all English (or even British). We also asked what the church meant to them, and how they saw its future.

Isabelle Wienand, did the hard work of sifting through the answers and preparing a report for Council (to help us draw up the profile) and for the congregation. You can find a copy of it by clicking on this link.

Refugees

As an English-speaking church in a German-speaking land, we have few direct contacts with the flood of refugees who come from the Middle East. We donate money to our sister congregation in Athens, who are directly involved in the hardships there. We give to specific projects run by Refuge Egypt, Tear Fund and Partner Sein, and other charities which are directly involved in this problem.

In addition, we are supporting an Afghan family locally, whose status is still in the balance. We would value your prayers for them.

Books for our Book Sales

Our book sale team have produced some notes on how you can help them by bringing the right kind of book, and not bringing the wrong kind of book. You can read their notes here.

Pledging

Many of our members have responded to our appeal, which we have tried to keep simple and direct. Trying to move with the times, we are introducing the possibility of pledging "on-line" - the pledge page on our website has details. We hope that paying on line will come later. In any case, every rappen is appreciated!

Our Library

We have started a series of reviews to bring interesting books to people's attention. These consist of short talks in church, or articles in the magazine. We hope this leads to wider use of the library.

Our librarians have been very busy over the past few months drawing up a catalogue of books available in our library (although we haven't catalogued the abundant children's books (yet)). You can see their catalogue here. The library is open most Sundays after church during coffee time, and everyone is welcome then to browse or to borrow.

Breakfast at Church

Since May 2014, we have enjoyed a church breakfast on the first Sunday of the month. We provide the food (cereals, fruit, juice, yoghurt, croissants, bread, tea, coffee), you provide the company.

Some 20 people have turned up for these regular breakfasts, which have been greatly appreciated. There are some pictures on our Picasa site.

There is no breakfast in August, so our next breakfast at church is on Sunday, 1 October. See you there?

Facebook

There's up-to-the-minute news as well on the church's Facebook site. Take a look!

Dates for your Diary

Sat 28 October 20171000-1200Children's Toy and Equipment Sale - flyer in English / German
Fri 3 November 20171900-2100Pub Quiz Night
Sat 11 November 20170900-1600Beauty Day
Fri-
Sat
1 December 2017
2 December 2017
1700-1930
1000-1500
Christmas Bazaar - flyer in English / German
Other Events
Every Tuesday0830Morning Prayer
Every Wednesday0915Parents and Tots
Every Thursday1030Prayer, Cake and Fellowship
Every Friday0930Patchwork Group
 1800Evening Prayer
Every Saturday0930Choir Practice

What's Happened Recently?

Our Chaplain - Licensed and Installed

Our chaplain, the Reverend Prebendary Stephen Stuckes took up his duties on 1 May. Stephen was previously Vicar of Alcombe, near Minehead in Somerset, Rural Dean of Exmoor and a Prebendary Canon of Wells Cathedral. He is in his fifties, and before he was ordained was in the Somerset police. His wife Jane is currently teaching at a school near Taunton. We pray that Stephen's ministry will bear much fruit among us.

Stephen's formal installation service was on 27 May. It was a festive occasion, and there are some pictures of it here.

Energy and Sustainability

Over the past three years, a team headed by Hans Goepfert has studied and analyzed the church's energy use. We have also taken expert advice, and where possible have made use of the cantonal energy programme.

The 2016 energy report is available here along with Annexes I, II, III, V, VI, VII, VIII and IX. The aim (in no particular order!) is to have a warmer church, to make major savings in our heating and energy costs and at the same time to benefit the environment. This will cost money - more than we have!

The work is now under way, but we are still raising money. It made little sense to delay, or to do the work in stages - like many things in this world, our many projects are bound up together. Doing them by stages would increase the overall cost of the work, and mean a series of small appeals, which would be less assured of success than a single big one!

Our Sustainability Appeal has already had a spectactular response. An anonymous donor gave us the Fr250,000 which was the original target suggested by the GEAK report. Alleluia!. This does not mean that the appeal is over - like most building work, despite our reducing the cost by doing parts of the work ourselves, the end cost is likely to be higher than the original estimate. So our appeal team will continue in place, and you can help consolidate its strength by sending a donation to Postfinance account 60-666488-7 (IBAN: CH61 0900 0000 6066 6488 7), St Ursula's Charitable Association. Donations are tax deductible.

Old Pictures

Do you know that we regularly put pictures of church events on our Google website? They are worth taking a look at to see if there are faces you recognize, or memories you recall. Take a look!

Welcome Cards

We also want to keep our address lists up to date, so that we can contact you if the need arises. There are cards in the porch and in the hall for newcomers to give us their details. If you have not yet filled one of these cards in, please help us by doing so and leaving it in the box in the porch, or giving it to the sidesperson. And if you change your address, please let us know!

Communicating

We want you to make the most of the information we have on the web. Have you looked at our sitemap to see just what there is you can find out about? Have you tried clicking on some of the links on our pages to find out more?

In addition to photographs on this website (see the magazine index page for a list), the church has a Picasa site, with pictures of church events, new and old, and many of the sermons in St Ursula's in recent years have been recorded for you to listen to.

If you have ideas for improving the information we can give, or if you have pictures of the church or our activities that you would be willing to share on this site, do please contact us.

The church magazine appears every two months, in paper format and on the web. If you are interested in saving paper and reading the magazine on line, please use this link to ask us to provide you with details.

And you can see the weekly notices by clicking here. The readings are available too.

Shrinking the Footprint

We are committed to the Church of England's environmental campaign, Shrinking the Footprint, which aims to make church members more aware of their place in the world around us. It also aims to reduce the church's consumption of non-renewable resources, and specifically to cut carbon emissions by 60% by 2050.

Walter Bisig is our chaplaincy's environmental officer, working on making our activities greener.

A team of church members is helping with measurement, evaluation and proposals, drawing up an energy audit of the church's premises, which should lead to a long-term strategy for reducing our consumption. See the item above for details of what they have achieved.



Welcome to St Ursula's

 

HD - Page last modified 18 September 2017