St Ursula's Church
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Next week is Holy Week, the most solemn time of the Church's year. We shall be favoured with a visit from Robert, our bishop, on Palm Sunday. He will take part of the service, and, as this day is also our Missions Sunday, will be tell us a little about his Lent Appeal (see below).
On Maundy Thursday, we shall commemorate the institution of the Lord's Supper, the Eucharist, with a simple service in church, and then we will strip the altar, in preparation for Good Friday.
There are two services on Good Friday. One in the morning, for families, tells the story of the events on that day. Then, from two onwards, we share the last hour of our Lord's suffering on the cross using the words of the traditional Good Friday liturgy. And in the evening, the Ghiribizzo Ensemble will be singing John Stainer's Crucifixion in church - see below.
The following evening, we observe the Easter Vigil, and exult in the wonder of the awaited Resurrection, which we celebrate with joy on Easter morning in our Eucharist.
Lent - the bad news, the good news
People think of Lent too often as a miserable time - no alcohol, no chocolates, suffering hardship and deprivation in unison with Jesus' pain on the Cross. But Lent means spring, and spring is a time of growth, and the idea is that we should grow in faith and commitment. By concentrating on things that are important, we bring ourselves closer to God and to what should be our real priorities in life - kindness to others, increasing our own faith (and others' faith too), doing good and chasing away evil.
There is a flyer of our Lent and Easter services here.
Easter is on 1 April - All Fool's Day. (If you think this is inappropriate, read 1 Corinthians 1:18-31!)
A Lenten Study
As in past years, we shall be having a regular study in Lent. This year's course uses as its basis talks given on BBC Radio 4. There is a flyer about it here.
A Lenten Appeal
Each Lent and each Advent, our bishop launches an appeal for some nearby cause where our help is badly needed. This Lent, Bishop Geoffrey is appealing for funds to help the church's response to the migrant crisis in the Calais area. Closing the Jungle Camp and the fire at the camp in Dunkirk have only made the plight of refugees worse, and the authorities are unable to cope with the tide of refugees, many of whom are only children. We hope to help finance a safe house run by an Old Catholic monk, who is a member of the Anglican congregation in Calais, and also in partnership with the diocese of Canterbury to finance a priest to act as chaplain in the Pas-de-Calais and to give pastoral assistance to the refugees. A set of videos and the Bishop's letter give more details of the appeal. Please be generous.
The Ghiribizzo Ensemble, led by Barbara Künzler, with Martin Kasparek on the organ, will be presenting John Stainer's Crucifixion on Good Friday afternoon at 1700. Stainer's well-known sacred oratorio was intended to be sung in parish churches, and this should be a memorable occasion, as well as a chance to sing the hymns which are part of the setting. There is a flyer here - please tell your friends about it!
Back in Church!
We also carried out renovation and remodelling work on the chaplain's house and renewed the church's sound and video system, dovetailing this with the energy work.
We have replaced the old oil tank and boiler with a gas-based system, for ease of maintenance. The new 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 is now the house cellar, and the former Schutzraum (bomb shelter) is accessible from the lower church hall.
With the agreement of the conservation authorities (Denkmalschutz), we have a new form of heating in the church. This relies on efficient radiators in the walls (a technique used in several churches). The panelling has been replaced with a facing of similar appearance to the old panels.
We have reglazed the hall, and have introduced a system controlled by the computerized church calendar (used for booking administration) to ensure that it is heated only when it is needed. The last phase of the project involved insulation work on the church house. For reports on the various stages of progress, click here. There are pictures too.
Creation and SACEP - Advance Notice
On 28 April, the Swiss Archdeaconry's Christian (or is it Continuing?) Education Programme is holding a conference on care for the creation at St Ursula's. Speakers from A Rocha will give information on practical issues, ranging from living lightly, consumerism, ethical questions to encouraging children (and adults) to see the wonder of God's creation around them. And a speaker from the 'Green Christian' Organisation will introduce us to the 'Joy in Enough' campaign which challenges Christians to play their part in creating a fair and sustainable economy.
We have been holding Morning and Evening Prayer for some time now, following the order in Common Worship. We hold Morning Prayer on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 0800, and Evening Prayer at 1800 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Everyone is welcome to these quiet, reflective times of prayer.
On Thursday mornings at 10.30 there is a chance to follow fellowship at the Eucharist with cake and conversation. 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?
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 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.
At the beginning of 2017 we moved to the French Chapel at Frutigenstrasse 22, less than five minutes' walk from the station. You can see some pictures of our first service in the Chapelle Romande here. There is a flyer here - print one out for a friend! Click here for details of the next few services. Details of how to find us can be found here.
New Things in Biel/Bienne
Mark Pogson is establishing a pattern of English services in Biel/Bienne. Services are 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 the disposal of the Anglican congregation.
The church has its own website, biel-english-church.ch, which gives more information.
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. 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. Trying to move with the times, we are also 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 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.
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.
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.
Our next breakfast at church is a special one on Easter Sunday, 1 April, accompanied by reflections and readings. See you there?
There's up-to-the-minute news as well on the church's Facebook site. Take a look!
Dates for your Diary
|Fri||30 March 2018||1700-1900||Stainer's Crucifixion, sung by the Ghiribizzo Ensemble - flyer|
|Sat||28 April 2018||1000-1600||SACEP Creation Care Conference at St Ursula's|
|Sat||26 May 2018||1730-2130||Mikado Reunion - flyer|
|Sat||16 June 2018||1000-1500||Summer Fête - flyer|
|Sat||1 September 2018||1000-1400||Autumn Book Sale|
|Sat||27 October 2018||1000-1200||Children's Toy and Equipment Sale|
|23-24 November 2018||1700-1930|
|2018 Christmas Bazaar|
|Every Monday||0800||Morning Prayer|
|Every Tuesday||0800||Morning Prayer|
|Every Wednesday||0800||Morning Prayer|
|0915||Parents and Tots|
|Every Thursday||1030||Eucharist, Cake and Fellowship|
|Every Friday||0800||Morning Prayer|
|Every Saturday||0930||Choir Practice|
A flyer with details of our Easter activities and services is here.
What's Happened Recently?
Our chaplain, the Reverend Prebendary Stephen Stuckes has been with us since 1 May 2017. 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 currently teaches at a school near Taunton.
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 over, but we are still happy for gifts of money. An anonymous donor gave us the Fr250,000 which was the original target suggested by the GEAK report. Alleluia!. You can help consolidate our Building Fund 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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
HD - Page last modified 20 March 2018