Posts Tagged ‘Taizé’

Archbishop of York leading teenagers on pilgrimage to Taizé

Posted on: July 19th, 2017 by CEP Administrator No Comments

Posted on: July 19, 2017

Teenagers from five schools in northern England have set off on pilgrimage with the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, to Taize in France.  The Taizé Community is an ecumenical monastic order of more than one hundred brothers, from Catholic and Protestant traditions.

Archbishop Sentamu said; “Taizé is an extraordinary place, a place of trust, joy, simplicity and compassion. My Young Leaders Award encourages people to look beyond themselves in the service of others. To be able to join with young people from more than 100 countries in sharing food together, worship and learning is a wonderful experience, and each time I have returned from Taize I have returned blessed, inspired and encouraged by others”.

Ao Y_Taize2

Dan Finn, the Director of Archbishop of York Youth Trust, said; “This is the second group of Young Leaders that have chosen to extend their learning of the Awards with a pilgrimage to Taizé.  There is something for everyone at Taizé, a chance to meet new friends, to join in and volunteer with others, to pray and to study in small groups. It is a place of incredible welcome which is something the Young Leaders will be exploring in depth as part of the structured workshops at Taizé on migration, asylum seekers and refugees”.

In addition to the normal youth meetings, this week at Taize there will also be special sessions on the theme of migration. Speakers include Archbishop Sentamu;  Father Michael Czerny – Migrants & Refugees Section at The Vatican; Catherine Wihtol de Wendenformer, Research Director at the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS);  Pascal Brice, director of the French Office for the protection of refugees and stateless persons (OFPRA).

Ao Y_Taize3

Founded in 1940 by Roger Louis Schutz-Marsauche (known as ‘Brother Roger’), the Taizé Community every year attracts over 100,000 young people from around the world.  Kay Brown, Chaplain at Abbey Grange Church of England Academy Leeds, said: “It is such an amazing opportunity to explore what faith means in an open and questioning environment, to experience and be involved in music in a new way and to meet so many new people from across Europe and beyond. I am sure everyone who goes will be challenged and inspired in equal measure and I look forward to seeing the growth in all of us through this week.”

During the week, regular updates from the Young Leaders will be added to here.


Anglican Communion News Service, Daily update from the ACNS on Wednesday 19th July, 2017

Anglican bishop shares his experience of observing Catholic Synod

Posted on: February 24th, 2016 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

By André Forget on February, 23 2016

Bishop Tim Thornton of the Church of England’s diocese of Truro meets Pope Francis at the Vatican Synod on the Family in October 2015. Photo: L’Osservatore Romano

Bishop Tim Thornton of the diocese of Truro in the Church of England is the co-chair for the Anglican-Roman Catholic Committee in England, and serves on the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Council for Unity and Mission. Last October, he travelled to Rome to observe the Vatican’s Synod of Bishops on the Family as one of the 14 fraternal delegates—members of other denominations invited to observe the synod. In an interview with the Anglican Journal, he talks about what he experienced. Excerpts:

How did you become a fraternal delegate? 

When the Pope calls a synod, he for some time now has graciously invited ecumenical delegates to…observe and to some extent participate…An invitation came from the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity to the Archbishop of Canterbury to send somebody [to represent] the Anglican Communion, and the Archbishop asked if I would take that role.

It is not an ongoing responsibility…It is a great privilege.


What was your experience of the synod?

It was a very interesting experience to…observe another denomination at fairly close quarters.


Was there an interest in hearing your perspective on conversations now happening in the Anglican church around human sexuality and church order?

Yes…I felt…people were pleased that there was an Anglican observer there. All the fraternal delegates were given, as with every other synod, a three-minute opportunity to speak in the main synod hall…All were [members] of the small groups.

This time around…small-group work took a high role in the whole synod, and in those groups I was able to speak just as openly as anyone else.


What is the value of observing and participating in other denominations’ synods?


It builds relationships; it helps people understand each other and how different churches understand different ways of working…I think it’s very insightful for all concerned…It’s very honest of the Roman Catholic Church to want to hear other Christian denominations speaking into their context.


Do you think the Anglican church can learn from conversations the Catholic church is having?

Yes…we can always learn from each other! I was particularly intrigued by the universality of the Roman Catholic Church. One thing I learned…was that in my world, in the Church of England…our horizons are too narrow. I was really struck by the fact that—I think, apart from mainland China—the whole world was gathered there.

The moderator of our small group was an archbishop from Ireland, and he asked some very perceptive questions of some of the Nigerian bishops in the room—and other African bishops…We really got into the question of how marriage works in some of the African countries. I think just hearing carefully what is going on in different cultures is clearly very important, and stops you from…making wrong assumptions about why people are saying what they are saying.


In your experience, has Pope Francis had an impact on how Anglicans and Roman Catholics relate ecumenically?

I think the extraordinary thing about Pope Francis…is that he understands the role of gestures. The way he does things, what he chooses to do and then how he uses sometimes relatively few words are all very important to notice and reflect on. At the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, he had an Orthodox metropolitan and Bishop David Moxon, who is the Anglican Centre director, giving a blessing together. Now, that’s an extraordinarily powerful gesture and symbol.

[At] the event to mark the 50th anniversary of synod of bishops, Pope Francis gave this speech in which he stressed the importance of synodality…of walking together…of actually listening to other people, and the importance…of seeing his role as Pope at the bottom of the pyramid rather than the top…All of those things show the humility of wanting to listen, under God, to other people—not imagining that you are the only person or the right person to say anything. And then, of course, the importance of actually sticking together even when clearly you disagree.


Where did your personal interest in ecumenism come from?

TT: When I was 16, I went to Taizé, the ecumenical community in France…It was an eye-opener… seeing the brothers praying together—praying together across the…Protestant-Roman Catholic divide was, for me, a very significant moment in my formation.


Anglican Journal News, February 24, 2016

From Taizé to the four corners of the world

Posted on: October 12th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

After an intensive summer, especially the days in mid-August when the entire community was together, brothers have been returning to the fraternities on the different continents. Some special points of note:

  • Two brothers have begun a long journey in the Middle-East, during which they will spend time close to the refugees in Lebanon, before visiting Egypt, Jordan and Israel/Palestine.
  • A prayer for peace and reconciliation with three brothers from Taizé, took place in Korea, not far from the frontier between South and North, with young people from a number of countries.
  • Two brothers have set off for Cuba, together with the volunteers from the country who spent the summer in Taizé.

In Taizé, the start of October was marked by the welcome of 4000 Christians from the region for a festive gathering. Every five years since 1995, a similar gathering allows the local Church to spend an intense time in Taizé.


Easter, the Joy of the Resurrection, in communion with the suffering of the world

Posted on: May 13th, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments
General, Reviews

Over Easter more than 6,000 young people spent a week or few days on the hill.  Many visitors from the region around Taizé also came to join the brothers and the young people for the Easter celebrations. This year, before the Eucharist of the Resurrection, a great fire was lit outside the Church of Reconciliation. The pascal candle was then lit from the fire and everyone followed it into the church, singing. There was yet another innovation at the end of the Eucharist: as it was the women who, having found the tomb empty, went to announce the resurrection to the disciples, it was the sisters of the different communities present in Taizé who announced the traditional pascal greeting “Christ is risen” in more than 20 languages.

Spring has arrived on the hill and many young people continue to come, especially from Germany and France. An orthodox group from Moscow is also here, as every year at this time, a few weeks after hosting the pilgrim brothers and young people in their parish for Easter.

During the prayers that he offers aloud each day during the midday prayer in Taizé, Brother Alois has recently mentioned many situations of suffering: the war in the east of Ukraine, refugees drowning in the Mediterranean sea, the earthquake victims in Nepal. This attention to the world prepares the young people to return home. As a young French man, Timothy, wrote – he is indeed living the week in Taizé “with a view to going back to our lives, which are less smily and bright than they are in Taizé, so that we can share that flame that we received at home, and make it shine in the daily gloom.”


News from Taizé by Email – 30 April 2015

Taizé : Preparing for Easter

Posted on: March 23rd, 2015 by CEP Administrator No Comments

As we did already last year, we will begin Holy Week by making a pilgrimage to Saint Stephen’s Source before the Eucharist on Palm Sunday morning. Before that there are still plenty of things to get ready in order to welcome the thousands of young people expected for these first very big weeks of the year. In the last few days the groups of young people present in Taizé have been giving an invaluable helping hand in putting up the tents which we’ll need in order to accommodate everyone.

In recent weeks there have still been quite a few visitors, albeit just a few hundred a week – there have been groups of young people from France, Switzerland, Canada, the Netherlands, and the United States of America among others. A group of around fifty young Ukrainians, living in Paris, came to take part in the meetings last weekend. To welcome them we sang “Laudate Omnes Gentes” in Ukrainian during the community prayer. Finally, there was a noteworthy visit by 40 pastors from Switzerland and a speaker from Mauritania, invited by a local charity, led a workshop.


News from Taizé by email – 17 March 2015

Taizé: Silence and waiting

Posted on: December 10th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments

Over the last few weeks the great silence of winter has fallen on the village of Taizé. There are a lot fewer visitors at this time of year, although the international meetings continue each week. Last week the biggest group came from Norway and at the end of November there were 200 young people from Barcelona taking part in the programme.

And it was to Barcelona that two brothers went to receive a prize, awarded annually by the Catalan government, known as the “Memorial Cassià Just”, the name of a former Abbot of the monastery of Montserrat. The award was presented to the community for its ecumenical work and commitment to dialogue and reconciliation.

In Taizé, each Sunday at 6:30 pm we continue to pray in silence for peace.  Advent began with the brothers and the young people gathering together to sing around the Nativity scene.


News from Taizé by email –  9 December 2014

Taizé: The last large youth meetings in 2014

Posted on: October 29th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments

During these two weeks, thousands of French youth have arrived in three waves. The most numerous have come from Lille, Nantes, Grenoble, Rennes, and Pontoise but all regions of the country were represented. Nearly a dozen bishops have accompanied the young people from their dioceses.

Previously, a particularly striking visit in September was that of three bishops from Kenya, who had wanted to spend a day at Taizé during a visit to France. Also in September, the Minister General of the Franciscans, Brother Michael, with his council and a hundred young Franciscan friars from various countries, spent several days of prayer and sharing in Taizé.


News from Taizé by e-mail – 29 October 2014

Lessons learned from Back to Church Sunday

Posted on: October 6th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments

By Leigh Anne Williams

The Rev. Clarence Li and parishioner Peter Lamb extend a big invitation to anyone driving in the vicinity of St. Hilda’s by the Sea in Sechelt, B.C.   Photo: Courtesy of St. Hilda’s

At St. Hilda’s by the Sea in Sechelt, B.C, they hung a Back to Church Sunday banner by the road to be seen by everyone driving through the neighbourhood. They printed two different kinds of invitations—one for the Sunday services and one for Taizé and other services during the week, and they handed out invitations at the nearby farmer’s market on a Saturday morning.

“That was a little bit intimidating,” the Rev. Clarence Li said in an interview, “but that was a good experience…It’s all about building relationships. The invitations give us a chance to start conversations with others,” he said. Their efforts were rewarded with about 15 people visiting the church.

Some of the parishes the Anglican Journal contacted followed the Back to Church theme more closely than others, which adapted freely and widely from the template of parishioners inviting friends to church that began in the U.K. in 2004. But those the Journal spoke with agreed that the event’s value is not only for the invited guests, but also for hosts practising and building an invitational culture. “This is a once-a-year event to remind us of the need to be inviting,” said Li.

St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Charlottetown was part of an ecumenical street party,  organized with six churches in its downtown Prince Street neighbourhood. Each church held its own service, but then they collaborated to put on a barbeque after the services. St. Paul’s had one barbeque on its lawn for three churches, and the three churches at the north end gathered at First Baptist Church. Archdeacon John Clarke estimated that there were about 10 new people at their Sunday service. “I think that’s a great success. If there were 10 in our church and 10 in another, across the diocese that is equivalent to a whole congregation,” he said, noting that the outdoor barbeque attracted the interest of many people downtown who hadn’t come to the service, providing another opportunity for conversation and invitation.

St. Paul’s also shares weekly services and lunches during Advent and Lent with its ecumenical neighbours. “I think the fact that we are together in Advent and Lent and we do the street party together on Back to Church Sunday does give people a sense that it is not about picking Anglicanism over something else—it is about accepting Christ into our lives,” said Clarke.

A note in St. Paul’s Back to Church Sunday bulletin offered a similarly ecumenical message. If St. Paul’s didn’t suit the visitor, the church could help to put him or her in touch with another Anglican church in the city or a parish in a “sister church” of another denomination. “Our goal for Back to Church Sunday (and for whenever someone tries us out) is not to force, trick or lie to people to get them to join us, but to bring people into an awareness of their relationship with the Creator. It is not, for us, about people’s money or joining parish committees—it is simply about creating opportunities for people to give praise and thanks to God for all the blessings of life.” Clarke said one parishioner suggested printing the whole message on cards that would be available to visitors all year round.

Another theme that emerged was about “truth in advertising,” and following advice from Michael Harvey, who co-founded Back to Church Sunday in Manchester, to make sure that the Back to Church Sunday service is not too radically different from regular services, so that visitors know what the community and services they are being invited to are usually like.

Shawn Branch, national director of Threshold Ministries, recalls a well-intentioned Back to Church Sunday event done around Valentine’s Day that he felt went awry because the service was changed too much. “None of us robed. We had a totally different person doing the music. It was different liturgy. We welcomed people with candy and little activity bags for the kids,” he said. “And the next Sunday, we had the organ back and those of us in leadership were robed and it was a BCP service.”

Branch, a lay leader at All Saints Church, East Saint John, says that when the parish has done those kind of events since, they’ve been careful to add different elements but make sure it isn’t “radically different” from a usual service. The parish periodically does picnics or barbeques and since many people were going for breakfast after church, they’ve started hosting breakfasts before church about once a month.

“The approach we’ve taken is to encourage constant invitation,” he said. When a parishioner invited a family to come this summer, they initially said, ‘We’re not sure we’d be comfortable at church. We wouldn’t know how to act.’ All they needed was a bit of reassurance and to hear, ‘Don’t worry about it, you’ll be fine,’ ” he said.

Branch thinks that the relationships people build are more important to healthy church growth than programs or “whether it is BCP or BAS or whether there’s a band or keyboard or an organ…We need to be inviting people back into community.”

Archdeacon Clarke recalled that last year, a couple who had left St. Paul’s 20 or 30 years before, were speaking to the widow of a man who had died about maybe returning to the church. “The funeral was just over and she turned to me and [asked] me when Back to Church Sunday is.” He recalled with a chuckle that his answer was, “‘It’s next Sunday.’ ” _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _Anglican Journal News, October 3, 2014

Taizé: Some echoes of the summer meetings

Posted on: September 10th, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments

Throughout the summer, the international meetings were joyful as usual, simply because of the great diversity represented on the hill. Each week, young volunteers from different continents presented their country. Those who reflected for several days on paths “towards a new solidarity” showed great creativity in the workshop they offered to all on Saturday with the title: “The challenges of solidarity: a call to action”. At the same time, several difficult situations in the world today gave a serious tone to the meetings. The Middle East became closer thanks to the presence of an Israeli rabbi, young adults from Palestine, an Iraqi-Egyptian family living in the village of Taizé, a French-Palestinian family whose grandparents are in Gaza. Amaya, a woman from Spain who works in Rome with the Jesuit Refugee Service, spoke one night to all the participants about the courage of a friend living in Aleppo, Syria. During his weekly meetings, Brother Alois yet emphasized how much the presence of young people from Ukraine and Russia was important this summer. Every Sunday at 6:30pm, those who wished could join the brothers for a time of silent prayer for peace in a world in conflict. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ News from Taizé, Thursday 4 September 2014

Taizé: The big summer meetings begin

Posted on: July 21st, 2014 by CEP Administrator No Comments


Since the middle of June, the number of young people in Taizé has been steadily increasing each week. The meetings are very international with a great diversity of origins among the participants. Volunteers from countries all over the world have also been arriving over the last few weeks. There are some new workshops on offer this summer, and others led by experts in their field staying for a few days. Included in these we should mention the retired Archbishop of Algiers, Mgr. Teissier, speaking about inter-religious dialogue; Rabbi David from Israel, coming to take part in several young meetings; Christoph Benn from the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; Philippe Lamberts, Member of the European Parliament; as well as doctors from the region surrounding. Still other themes are in preparation.

Among visiting church dignitaries we have had the pleasure to welcome the President of the Methodist Church in Benin, several national youth chaplains from various African countries, the Archbishop of Dijon, France, the Bishop of Magdeburg, Germany, several bishops from the Church of England and five orthodox priests from Belarus, accompanying groups of young people.


News from Taizé by email, 17 July 2014