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?

Back in Church!

Our Energy and Sustainability Project is in its final stages and we are now back in church again. 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 have been working since the end of July on this ambitious energy project. Now it is nearly complete.

We also carried out renovation work on the chaplain's house, relaid floors, remodelled the kitchen and bathroom, removed old shelving and repainted walls and renewed the church's sound and video system. We have dovetailed 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 had 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. On 5 November, we held a service of dedication in the newly finished church.

We have reglazed the hall, and are introducing 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 involves insulation work on the church house, which is taking place now. For reports on the various stages of progress, click here.

A Bible Study Course

Stephen will be starting a bible study course on Fridays on 17 and 24 November and 8 and 15 December. We shall be looking at the readings for the following Sunday - you can find these in the magazine or on the rotas page. (The readings sheet is also normally available on the web on the Friday itself.) The course will take place at 1830 (and if there is enough demand) also at 1200. Why not come along?

Religious Extremism - Four Talks

Violence, terrorism and oppression in the name of religion are seldom out of the headlines these days. We are fortunate in having Canon Douglas Pratt as a regular member of our congregation when he is in Berne as Visiting Professor in the University's Department of Old Catholic Theology. Inter-relgious issues are his field of specialization.

In November, he will be giving four talks on Wednesday evenings, starting at 1930 on the 1st. The first two sessions will be held at the Old Catholic parish rooms at Kramgasse 55, the latter two will be at St Ursula's. There is detailed information here, and a flyer.

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.

The Bishop's Advent Appeal

This year's Advent Appeal is for the Joel Nafuma Refugee Centre in Rome, which is supported by the American Episcopal Church there. This is a very necessary response to the refugee situation in Italy, which has been hard hit by the provisions of the Dublin Agreement. St Ursula's will be making a donation from our charity budget, but individuals are welcome to give more support - contact the Treasurer. Read more in the Bishop's letter.

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. From 13 November, we shall be holding 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?


Gardens never stop growing, and in autumn they need tidying up! If you are able to help at any time, please get in touch with Edi Wildhaber, who is coordinating activities.

Soup and Cecily's Fund

Ever since Basil Eastwood was British Ambassador here in Berne and he and Alison were active members of our congregation, we have supported the charity they set up in memory of their daughter Cecily, who died in a car accident in Zambia. Cecily's Fund supported AIDS orphans in Zambia, and is widely acclaimed as a successful charity.

In Lent and Advent, Yvonne Bomonti, who is now the Swiss representative of Cecily's Fund, organizes a soup lunch in aid of the charity. This year was no exception, and we were lucky to have Basil here on 5 November to show us a new video about the work of the fund, and to say a few words. There are some pictures of the event here.

Energy, Quizzing and Beauty

This year’s Pub Quiz Night proved to be a very popular event, with a fun-filled night of good traditional pub grub and drinks with a fabulous pub quiz thrown in. We managed to raise over Fr1300 for our energy appeal.

The Brazilians who use our church buildings for their services and activitiesalso contributed to our Energy Appeal by offering a special Beauty Day at St Ursula's on 11 November. They offered hair care – cutting, dying, styling and blow-drying - and facials, massages and manicures/pedicures AND delicious Brazilian snacks and drinks as part of the pampering experience. The Beauty Day raised Fr1025.

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,, 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.


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.


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, 5 November. 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

Wed 22 November 20171930-2100Talks on Religious Extremism with Professor Canon Douglas Pratt
Fri 17, 24 November 2017
8, 15 December
1200 and
Bible Study at church
Sat 18 November 20170900-1200Cake Icing Workshop for the Bazaar
Sat 25 November 20171600-1800Afternoon Tea. followed by Choral Evensong
1 December 2017
2 December 2017
Christmas Bazaar - flyer in English / German
Sun 10 December 20171000Nativity Play
Other Events
Every Monday0800Morning Prayer
 1800Evening Prayer
Every Tuesday0800Morning Prayer
 1800Evening Prayer
Every Wednesday0800Morning Prayer
 0915Parents and Tots
Every Thursday1030Eucharist, Cake and Fellowship
Every Friday0800Morning Prayer
 0930Patchwork 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!


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 16 November 2017