An evening at Southwark Cathedral with the Friends of the Diocese
In the beautiful setting of Southwark cathedral, the Friends of the Diocese in Europe met for choral evensong and fellowship together for their annual service.
This was organised by the dedicated Friends’ Committee and supported by staff of the Diocesan and Bishops’ offices. Jeanne French, Secretary of the Friends of the Diocese said “it was a really special occasion and a real joy to see everyone”
The service was conducted by Revd Jay Colwill, presently serving as the Canon Missioner at Southwark Cathedral, who will soon become Chaplain of St. Michaels, Paris.
Members of the Friends of the Diocese were joined by many others who support our diocese including Bishop David Hamid, diocesan staff, former Ministry Experience Scheme (MES) interns, and curates in training from places including Budapest and Brussels some of whom have been supported by the Friends.
Fellowship continued after the service with a warm message from Bishop Robert, reminding attendees of the vibrant tapestry of our diocese. He shared stories of our diverse congregations, from Padua, a famous seat of Italian learning, where our Anglican congregation is wholly Nigerian, to Eindhoven, the Dutch centre of the Phillips industrial empire, where our congregation is largely South Asian, and concluded with “we rejoice to know that we are offering a godly home to those who might otherwise feel home is far away”.
The gathering also served as an occasion to thank Bishop David, who is retiring in February 2024.
Bishop David reflected on his service to diocese, spanning from Iceland to Moscow, as ‘a family of committed and loving people – friends.’ Describing the diocese as a ‘a beautiful multicultural and multiethnic mosaic’, emphasising its richness and diversity, despite its geographical dispersion. He highlighted the profound vision of ecumenical outreach and collaboration that defines the diocese, underscoring its commitment to unity and cooperation among our diverse communities.
Rochester Cathedral Choir sang, while Deacon Francis Hiller delivered the intercessions.
The Friends of the Diocese warmly welcome any new members. More information about the Friends and their ongoing work can be found at the Friends of the Diocese webpage.