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Église Protestante Unie de France (EPUF) – Région Nord Normandie
In May 2013, the Église Réformée de France formally merged with the Lutheran Church of France to form the Église Protestante Unie de France. There are no Lutheran Churches in Northern France so we will not notice any major changes except for the fact that the North Normandy Region has become much bigger.
Wessex Synod has formal links with the North Normandy Region (Région Nord Normandie).
Both churches send representatives to each others’ synod meetings
- The Synod Moderators and Clerks meet annually on an informal basis
- ‘Le Weekend’ has replaced the ‘Colloque’ as the annual meeting of our two churches.
Details about Région Nord Normandie can be found on their website.
Le Weekend provides an exciting opportunity for members of the United Reformed Church and of the Église Protestante Unie de France to join together to share in worship, discuss topical themes, explore new places and build up friendships. The event runs annually and alternates between locations in England and France.
In 2020 Le Weekend will be held in Roubaix in Northern France from the 17th-19th April. The theme for this years event is “Togged up like and Angel”. For further information on the event, including the itinerary, costs and booking form please click on the following link: Le Weekend Brochure 2020
Information on previous Le Weekend events that have taken place can be found below and will hopefully inspire you to get involved in the next Le Weekend in 2020!
Le Weekend in Woking URC, 2019
Le Weekeng in 2019 took place at Woking United Reformed Church, from the 12th-14th of April. Those attending explored the theme of Brexit through the lens of the book of Ruth.
Le Weekend in Hythe URC, 2017
This years Le Weekend followed the theme of feasts and festivals and all who attended enjoyed an array of worship styles, discussion groups and tasting activities!
Le Weekend in Douai, 2016: Reflections from Peter Pay – Christians in Exile
Having lived as an expatriate in Belgium for 10 years, I now realise that it was a form of ‘Exile’, albeit not a particularly stressful one. Living in a culture other than your own, different ways, different standards, different rules and different values is indeed ‘Exile’ whether voluntary or imposed. You do not even need to leave these Isles to feel a sense of ‘Exile’. Welsh, Scots, Irish, Yorkshire are the most visible examples.
Perhaps the greatest shock for us was when we returned ‘home’ to England only to discover that both our home culture and our own values had moved and we now felt like ‘foreigners’ in our home country. The Biblical experience of the people of Israel coming home from Babylonian Exile has loud echoes!
Our discussions at the annual Anglo-French exchange focussed this year on ‘Exile’. Very topical, as we passed by the port of Calais where many migrants are seeking a new life. Our thinking was led by Revds. Michael Jagessar and Francois Dietz.
One of the most insightful observations for many of us was that as Christians we live in a permanent state of Exile. When we became Christians, we automatically became citizens of God’s Kingdom, The Kingdom of Heaven. We seek to adopt the culture, the ways and the values of His Kingdom as espoused so vividly and eloquently by Jesus. Values which in many ways are very far from those of the world we live in. Hence we as Christians are in effect living in a state of ‘Spiritual Exile’.
Expatriates often gather together to preserve and celebrate their culture, Schools, churches, food, social gatherings all help this. Similarly as Christians we often find and need our Church communities to be a refuge and a support during our time of ‘Exile’ on this earth. We also need to reach out to others who are feeling a sense of ‘Exile’ and looking for a New Life.
We long to be ‘home’ in His Kingdom, whether here on earth or in the next life. We long for a world of justice, peace and inclusion, free from abuse, oppression and greed. We seek too to influence this world to adopt God’s ways.
Peter Pay (Synod European Partner Link Co-ordinator)
Le Weekend in Oxford, 2015
Held at Collinwood Road United Reformed Church in Oxford. Visitors had a chance to explore the sights of the beautiful spires of Oxford as well as sharing in worship, discussion groups and arts and crafts at the Church. On Saturday a social evening was enjoyed playing skittles and having some traditional fish and chips!
Le Weekend in Dunkirk, 11-13 April 2014
On a glorious sunny weekend the French and English met and shared in sightseeing, discussion groups, art and music workshops, a concert and worship. The children had fun learning circus skills and making Easter cards for everyone! It was weekend full of history and music which was enjoyed by all who attended.
Le Weekend in Gosport & Fareham, 2013
Our hosts were the two Gosport churches, with their very new minister Helen Higgin-Botham and the Fareham church with its minister Paul Bedford revealing talents in French speaking which delighted us all. The weekend included an array of activities from banner making to visiting Spinnaker Tower and meeting the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth for tea. Saturday evening was enjoyed by all, as a game of skittles was played and some fish and chips enjoyed alongside the Synod Youth Executive.
Le Weekend in St. Quentin, 2012
The weekend was centred in the town of St. Quentin, about an hour’s drive south of Calais. The theme was Pilgrimage and we were led by the former Moderator of General Assembly Rev John Marsh. John gave a presentation sharing his experiences on the pilgrimage road to Santiago de Compostela. The weekend consisted of discussion groups, miming games, children’s activities and a Communion service in French and English. The last word has to come from the youngest English participant (aged 9): “Mum, you have to tell everyone about how much fun Le Weekend was and they will all come next year!”
Le Weekend in Salisbury, 2011
The third Le Weekend took place in sunny Salisbury on the Royal Wedding bank holiday weekend. The theme was ‘Sharing our Stories’. The weekend was attended by 40 adults and 14 children who enjoyed numerous activities including worship at Broadchalke, bible pictionary, visiting Salisbury Cathedral, puppets shows, skittle and a concert of chamber music…just to name a few!