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

In the last half of July, the builders have moved in to begin the first stage of 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 will be gas-based, for ease of maintenance, and the boiler will be 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 will have to be removed and modified. This will mean the church will be out of use for four to six weeks from 20 August, and we shall be holding services in the hall.

There is work to be done in the hall, too, which can be done relatively 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 will take place in September. For the current state of progress, click here.

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?


It's the time of year when the garden grows aggressively. If you are able to help at any time, please get in touch with Edi Wildhaber, who is coordinating activities.

Energy and Ethiopia

On 9 June we had a very successful and well-attended Ethiopian evening. There are some pictures here.

Our friends from the Ethiopian congregation which uses our premises cooked a delicious Ethiopian meal, giving many of us our first taste of እንጀራ (injera) and ዋጥ (wat). The meal was enlivened by a three-part quiz about Ethiopia, and was followed by a traditional coffee cermony, with the beans being roasted over a charcoal fire.

Not only was the evening well-attended, but a lot of money was given towards our Energy and Sustainability Appeal. Work has already started on the early stages, although we still have to wait for official planning permission before we start on the main part of the work. Like many building projects, the work is likely to cost more than originally planned, which is why we are grateful for your contributions to our appeal.

Our New 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.

Our Summer Fête

Our Summer Fête on 20 May was a great success. The sun returned, and there was good fellowship. Although the bookstall reported a lower level of interest, the shortfall was made up by Georgina's cake stall, and by the usual success of Jana's English food. The restaurant, barbecue, Pimms on the Lawn and fun and games all contrinbuted to the good atmosphere.

And we took over Fr6'200 (not all profit, by any means!) - almost as much as last year, and more than the Fête in 2015.

(We've put some pictures of the fête in a photo album, and Ignaz Fluri has made a album with even more pictures - to see it click here).

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.

Energy and Sustainability

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

Our plans are now mature. 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!

We are pressing forward with planning the work and raising the money. It makes 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!

We placed a contract in August for managing the project, and the preliminary work is under way for getting building and planning permission where it is needed (for all the complex is listed and under Denkmalschutz).

Our Sustainability Appeal has already had a spectactular response. An anonymous donor has given us the Fr250,000 which was the original target suggested by the GEAK report. Alleluia!. This does not mean that the appeal is over - we have several projects (church lighting, church sound system, hall kitchen update) which need funding - and with building work, one never knows if an estimate of Fr250,000 will turn into a bill for Fr350,000 - or more! 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.


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.

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, 3 September. 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

Sat2 September 20171000-1400Autumn Book and Food Sale
Sat 28 October 20171000-1200Children's Toy and Equipment Sale
Fri 3 November 20171900-2100Pub Quiz Night
1 December 2017
2 December 2017
Christmas Bazaar
Other Events
Every Tuesday0835Morning Prayer
Every Wednesday0915Parents and Tots
Every Thursday1030Prayer, Cake and Fellowship
Every Friday0930Patchwork Group
 1800Evening Prayer
Every Saturday0930Choir Practice

What's Happened Recently?

A Time of Transition

Between Peter's departure and Stephen's arrival, the Diocese arranged for us to be served by a variety of "locum" chaplains (the Latin locum tenentes means "standing in place of"), giving us the chance of experiencing different styles of ministry. These were

  • Mark Pogson (24 July to 31 August)
  • Rajinder Daniel (1 September to 10 October)
  • Douglas Pratt (14 October to 28 November)
  • Ian Eglin (3 December to 8 January)
  • Jan Jensen (15 January to 5 February)
  • Brian Rodford (12 February to 19 March)
  • Michael Tristram (26 March to 23 April)

We are grateful for all they have done for us, and for the change to enjoy the rich diversity of their ministry.

The Bishop's Lent Appeal

The Bishop's Appeal this year was for the Menedékház Foundation in Budapest. Menedékház is Hungarian for "shelter", and the Menedékház, founded in 2005 on the outskirts of Budapest, helps homeless families with children reintegrate into the workplace and society at large. Further information about the appeal is on the diocesan website.

We at St Ursula's have supported this appeal.

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 31 July 2017