Cookies Info Accept All Cookies

Mothers Union

Introducing Your Team

Reflections / Fellowship

News from the Chaplaincy

Chaplaincy Calendar and Events


What's Happening this week? LAST CHANCE to buy Christmas Cake Raffle tickets!!

Reminder... Reminder. ..This Wednesday November 29th 12.00 - 4.00 pm Advent Antics. (Click on poster below for all the details.) Sunday December 3rd Advent Services: at Courcelles and Champagne Mouton (see service details on left of Home Page) AND a Concert of Sacred and Secular Christmas Songs at Chef Boutonne Dec 3rd (click on poster below for details and/or contact Catherine Chambers) We look forward to welcoming you all.

Remembrance Sunday November 12th 2023

British Legion Poppy Appeal 2023
This cause is close to the hearts of many ex-patriots. Indeed, in our midst there is a good number of ex-servicemen.
My story starts about a month before Remembrance Sunday. In order to find a supply of poppies for the Chaplaincy, our Warden, Wanda McKerchar, was put in touch with Duncan Andrews, chairman of the Bordeaux and SW France branch of the British Legion. I had the pleasure of meeting him in Cognac to receive a supply, and to assist him in an act of remembrance.
Duncan’s branch had set themselves the task, helped by other organisations such as RAFA, of putting poppy crosses on all British war graves in Grand Aquitaine. The main part of these, are associated with the sinking of a battleship off the coast of Landes. Crosses were placed on all of the Commonwealth Graves plot in a cemetery, on the west side of Cognac, where eight airmen are buried (photo below).
Remembrance Sunday this year fell on the day of our usual Holy Communion service here in Cognac. We were able to decorate the Temple and had a good turn out in the congregation (the largest for some time). We were all moved by the service of remembrance led by Charlie Wilcock, himself a retired serviceman.
Back to the poppies. From all of our worship centres, and other likely and unlikely places, the Chaplaincy collected the tremendous sum of 300 euros for the Royal British Legion. Thank you to all who contributed.
For myself, I am pleased that the tone of Remembrance is now much more about the sacrifices made by ordinary people and their families, not just in the World Wars, but also in the conflicts since, rather than jingoistic.
In these troubled times, prayers for peace are so very relevant.
William Jones (November 2023)

BREAKING NEWS - Search for our Chaplain – There are three applicants for the four House for Duty posts in France. We are delighted that all three have included our Chaplaincy in their applications. Interviews are this Friday November 24th. Please can you pray that someone is called to serve God with us here in the Poitou-Charente. AND This Sunday is our Safeguarding Service and Holy Communion at Chef Boutonne at 11am. We look forward to welcoming you.

Dear Chaplaincy Family, Please make sure you check all the details of the Advent and Carol Services in December. All Service details and dates are on the left hand side of the Website Home Page. This includes, dates, times, venues and Local Wardens to contact. Please note Christmas Cake raffle tickets must be paid for BEFORE 3rd December when the draw will be made. There are lots of Events coming up. Please check Events at the top of the Home Page. AND click on the photos below to enlarge the images. Please remember to book your places for lunch after the Safeguarding Service (Nov 26th) at Chef Boutonne by November 22nd

Remembrance Sunday November 12th 2023

A moving ceremony of Remembrance was held at Chef Boutonne.
A Wreath of Poppies was laid at the Altar by Angela Larmuth.
John Larmuth read the exhortation and Cornet player Penny Williams played the Last Post and Reveille.

At the Temple Cognac, a Special Service of Remembrance was led by
Charlie Wilcock. Charlie read poems by Wilfred Owen ‘Anthem for Doomed Youth’ and Charles Henrywood’s Remembrance Hymn. Poppies were laid on the Altar and in the church by William Jones. Rev Nicky Marshall officiated.

At both Chef Boutonne and Cognac a 2 minute silence was observed.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old.
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Christmas Cake Raffle AND Christmas Wreath Making Workshop AND Advent Antics

CHRISTMAS IS ON ITS WAY. Please don't forget to buy tickets for the Christmas Cake Raffle AND November 22nd Wreath Making Workshop. 2.30-4.30pm 45 euros. BOOK NOW. 🎄You will create your own personal Christmas wreath - (with guidance of course )to take home & decorate your door.🎄All quality materials provided , different colour palettes available from traditional - modern. Which you will select from our Christmas flower bar.🎄 Refreshments and cake provided, and have some Christmas fun while creating something you can reuse next year. Come join Monpetitjardin for what promises to be an afternoon to kick-start your Christmas 🎄. Advent Antics - Hamper Raffle, Lunch, Christmas Fayre, Cake Stall, Books and much more. November 29th 12.00 - 4.00pm. Cognac Salle, Rue du Temple 16100 Contact Liz and William Jones

Please don't forget the Christmas Wreath Making Workshop on November 22nd. Also all copy for Jubilate to by November 20th. And a date for your diary November 29th Christmas Antics 12.00 - 4.00 in Cognac. More details to follow.

Breaking News******The Advert for our Chaplain is LIVE ******See: House for Duty-France. Diocese for Europe: The Section 11 meeting was held on October 9th (Minutes in Publications, OCTOBER 2023). Preparations are underway for December's Jubilate. Please can you send items to: Thank you.

******Reminders****** Copy for December Jubilate to Sally Freeman by 20th November please.

Games afternoon at Chef Boutonne 11th October: A lovely afternoon spent playing games and chatting. Huge thanks to Pamela (cake queen), Angela (plants, jams and chutneys queen), Leona (raffle queen), David (shove-halfpenny champ and provider of indoor boules), Maureen ( Scrabble queen), JulieMargaret (indoor boules champ) and to Barry and Andy for being such good sports.
As Barry said, "I'm only here for the tea and cake!" but played shove-halfpenny with gusto!
A great afternoon - thanks all for your support. See you next time with guest appearance from Cracker!!!!!!

Harvest Festival Sunday October 8th at Cognac. This included the Rededication Service for Mother's Union members and our Warden Wanda McKerchar became a member. It was followed by a Bring and Share lunch.

Please make sure you look at Events for forthcoming activities. Also Publications for the Funding our Future (the RIB is there under October for making donations to the Chaplaincy (it is also on the Donations Page). Council Minutes can be found in Publications (select month). Additional dates for your diary: SING to GOD October 29th at Chef Boutonne. All welcome. Lunch after service at Courcelles, Sunday November 5th at Le Relais, Asnieres-la-Giraud (opposite church, 6km from St Jean on main road to Saintes (N150)).Plenty of parking. Inclusive menu 20 euro: starter large buffet, choice of 5 plats (at least one fish), cheese, dessert, wine. Contact by October 23rd to be included on table reservation. Christmas Wreath Workshop 22nd November 2.30 - 4.30 AND Christmas Cake Raffle.

Harvest Services and Jubilate

We look forward to welcoming Chaplaincy members to our Harvest Services at Champagne Mouton and Courcelles on Sunday October 1st. In addition, we welcome the return of Jubilate. It will be dropping into your Inbox today. (This month it will come from David Hawken (thank you David) until we work out how to transfer the Mailing List!) You can also find Jubilate in Publications/Information under OCTOBER, along with October’s Together in Prayer. Some reminders: Harvest Service and MU Service next Sunday 8th at Cognac and SING to GOD (October 29th) please let David Hawken have your hymn selection by October 8th. Please check out the Events Page for all forthcoming activities across the Chaplaincy.

NEWS FLASH Looking to The Future

At Chef Boutonne on Sunday 24th September we had the first of our four Harvest Services. It was lovely to welcome everyone and to receive the very many gifts for Resto du Coeur. After the service Wanda McKerchar launched the ‘Funding our Future. A guide to giving.’ Members of the congregation were given the colourful leaflet. Members at Champagne Mouton, Courcelles and Cognac will receive theirs at their Harvest Services. It will also be published in Jubilate (out in October) and can be found on the website (Publications/Information SEPTEMBER 2023) “ Looking to the future we all want to grow our Chaplaincy to thrive and grow” Our Plans: “To seek a chaplain on a ‘house for duty’ basis,….”The Chaplaincy Council, after lengthy discussion and prayerful reflection have decided to advertise for a House for Duty Chaplain. We look forward to sharing these plans with you over the next few weeks. If you have any questions or concerns please contact a member of Council (all contact details can be found on the website Church Officers). PS Someone left a mobile phone after the Bring and Share. Please contact Andrew Chambers.

Harvest Festival

A warm welcome awaits you at Harvest Festival, Chef Boutonne Sunday September 24th, 11am. All produce to go to Resto du Coeur. Our Service will be led by Archdeacon Peter Hooper. Coffee afterwards and a Bring and Share Lunch.

Dear Chaplaincy Family, Sunday 17th September is our Zoom Service. Please go to and follow the Church Online services.
We look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the first of our Harvest Services beginning on Sunday September 24th at Chef Boutonne, followed by a Bring and Share lunch. Archdeacon Peter Hooper will be leading our service. (Please check out the other Harvest Services in our other centres on the left hand side of the Home Page.)

Concert and Cake
On Sunday 10th September at 3pm there was a fund-raising event in our lovely church and garden at the Stone Chapel, Chef Boutonne. Catherine Chambers’ Performing Arts students had prepared their end of year concert. They remarked what a shame it was to put in all this work and only give one performance. Catherine thought that this “…might be an idea…” and offered it to the Church Council who kindly agreed to host the event.

Morning Prayer was held at 11am, followed by a picnic and then: “Andrew and I re-organised the church area into a performance space for our cast. The acoustics are excellent for singing in the church.”

Sound technician and stage manager Richard ensured all the technical ‘stuff’ worked before the arrival of the performers, in time to test all their soundtracks and warm up their voices This also gave them the opportunity to adjust to performing in a different space.

A number of well-known songs from popular shows were offered to the audience including: Oh What a Beautiful Morning, Surrey with the Fringe on Top, In love with a Wonderful Guy, I Want to Live, Many a New Day, I Dreamed a Dream, Wandrin’ Star, Happy Talk and many others. Audience members commented on how the songs brought back many fond memories.

Catherine: “It was pure joy for all of us to entertain those who had booked seats. I know everyone who came thoroughly enjoyed our performance and the wonderful tea and cakes that Wanda and her team of ladies organised afterwards. We are very grateful for all the wonderful comments and encouragement. Best of all we raised €187.00 which was excellent. A big thank you to all who came to support us.”Catherine Chambers.

Checkout the churchinfrance website

Dear Chaplaincy Family,

There are lots of events coming up in September and October. Please check regularly for all the Service details (left hand side of the Home Page). Please don't forget to bring along your donations for Resto de Coeur. During the cost of living crisis the need is even greater. Click on Events to see a full list of dates, events and venues. Click on the MU page for details of the MU Annual Renewal of Vows Service and the Quiet Day. In Publications/Information you will find past services, sermons, Together in Prayer...and lots more....just search by the month. In October we will be publishing the relaunched Jubilate (let Sally Freeman have items for this by September 20th.) If you have any problems navigating the website contact Sally Freeman (

Please read News and check Events page regularly. There is lots happening.

Dear All,There will be the usual service Sunday 10 September at Cognac10.30. WARNING: Some will already be aware, but it is the weekend of the Cognac Coupe de Chauffe. This is a great festival of street art with performances of all sorts: music, jugglers, mime, exhibitions etc. All free! But it does mean that the centre of Cognac is pedestrianised with the roads blocked as you approach the centre. Parking will be in demand, but hopefully not excessively at that time on Sunday morning. The attached map shows where I think the road blocks will be. I have marked recommended routes into the Place Beaulieu, close to the Temple. But you may choose to park in Place Gambetta, near Place Martelll where the previous block was, or where you can, and walk in the rest of the way. Please make allowances for this potential disruption. However the upside is you may wish to stay on after the service and soak up some of the atmosphere.Looking forward to seeing you.William and Liz Jones – Local WardensON THIS SUPER SUNDAY 10th - There is also a service of Morning Prayer at Chef Boutonne. Afterwards there will be a picnic in the garden. This is not a Bring and Share but we invite everyone to bring their picnic and eat together before the concert. The Concert and Cake is at 3pm …booking IS ESSENTIAL BY SEPT 9th…please contact Catherine Chambers or Wanda McKerchar. We don't want you to be disappointed. There will be tea and cake after the concert. We look forward to seeng as many of you as possible at Cognac and/or Chef Boutonne

Photos from Morning Prayer at Champagne Mouton Sunday 3rd. Don't forget: Sunday 10th at Chef Boutonne 3pm-5pm Concert and cake . Please see the notice above. Booking is essential. Contact Catherine Chambers or Wanda McKerchar

Afternoon Tea Report

Afternoon Tea Wanda reports …….The day began under a grey sky and with light rain as we put up the five tivoli in the garden of our church of Christ the Good Shepherd in Chef-Boutonne. By the time the stallholders had arrived and the tables had been set the sun had begun to break through and the temperature was very pleasant after the canicule!Thirty four guests gradually arrived and the garden was filled with friendly chatter, lots of laughter and background music ( our neighbours had been warned and invited). The food was plentiful and delicious, the raffle and stalls were successful and a jolly good time had by all.Huge thanks to The Team for their help in planning , organising and hard work on the day, to everyone who donated or loaned items and to those who came along to make the afternoon so successful. We raised 518€ for Chaplaincy funds.Well done everyone!

Lunch after church

Wanda reports from the bring and share lunch in the church garden at Chef Boutonne: ‘We had a super lunch and it was lovely to share together, we were also able to raise a glass of fizz to Margaret and Don Mace for their 58th wedding anniversary courtesy of their donation. ‘ Please join us for our next lunch details to follow.

Mothers Union Boat Trip

Mothers Union enjoyed a wonderful boat trip on Tuesday 8 th August. We embarked at Saintes aboard the electro -solar board the ‘Bernard Plissay III’ unique in Europe. The staff were informative and fun. After a beautiful and eco - friendly cruise we arrived in Chaniers. We had a lovely lunch before returning to Saintes on the boat. If you would like to join in with events such as this and enjoy some fun , fellowship and raise some funds to help local families then MU could be for you! More information from Sue Wilcock MU President

Songs of Praise Love and Marriage

‘We had a lovely service of Praise and Thanksgiving this morning at Courcelles. Over 30 members of the Chaplaincy celebrated love and marriage and helped Pat and Alan Jenkins mark their 60th Anniversary. Several other couples in the congregation are celebrating special anniversaries over the next few months and we wish them every blessing. ‘

Holy Communion at Chef Boutonne on Sunday July 23rd.

Holy Communion

There will be a service of Holy Communion at Chef Boutonne this Sunday. Everyone is most welcome to stay for coffee afterwards.

NEWSFLASH - Beetle Drive Friday July 21st 14.30-16.30 at Chef Boutonne.

Dear Chaplaincy Family, Just to let you know that the website is currently undergoing some maintenance work which means that some sections may not be fully functioning. Please bear with us (and thank you Maria). Also, just to remind you...Council agendas and minutes can be found under Publications/Information. Click on menu, select month for a drop down menu. (July 17th's minutes can be found under July.) Any problems navigating the website please contact Sally Freeman:

Sunday July 16th Please log on to the online service Chef Boutonne – Garden - Andy and Geoff are working hard on the ramp for the emergency exit for wheelchairs. We hope to be able to use the garden in August. After the service on 9th July a team of enthusiastic volunteers met to plan fundraising/social events for the coming months - an interesting variety with something to suit everyone. Please check the Events page regularly for details. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Sunday July 2nd

Our Chaplaincy Family including Haydn Worral (being welcomed as Local Warden for Champagne Mouton) and Phil and Karen (Local Wardens at Courcelles).

Trinity Sunday Services in our Chaplaincy

On Sunday June 5th there were two Services of Holy Communion. Rev Terence Handley presided at Courcelles with Charlie and Sue Wilcock and Rev Nicky Marshall at Champagne Mouton with Catherine Chambers. (Here are a few photos from Champagne Mouton.)Rev Nicky Marshall's Sermon for Trinity Sunday can be found in the Publications section iff the website. (Search JUNE.)

Pentecost Chef Boutonne

May 28th 2023. Meet some of the Team: Chef Boutonne Pentecost. (Left to right.) Catherine Chambers, Geoff Cornwall (PTOs), Sam Brett, Rev Nicky Marshall, Neil Harvey (PTO), Wanda Mckerchar, Andrew Chambers (Chaplaincy Wardens).

Zoom Service May 21st

May 21st an Uplifting Zoom service led by Archdeacon Peter.

Each congregation in the Chaplaincy was represented and we were also joined by Sharon and Chris from the UK. As always, it was lovely to be able to meet for worship in this way. Archdeacon Peter led the service on the theme "Thy Kingdom Come" - words which, as he pointed out, we repeat every time we say the Lord's Prayer. In his talk we were invited to consider our Christian journey and the active part we play to help His kingdom come to Earth, not only through prayer but also through our actions in daily and church life.

Peter ended by inviting us all to wear something red for our Pentecost celebration next Sunday, 28th May. The altar at Chef-Boutonne will be suitably adorned, thanks to Nicky, and we look forward to welcoming you to the service at 11am at the Church of Christ the Good Shepherd, 16, Avenue de l'Hôtel de Ville, 79110, Chef-Boutonne. Lunch is available at the Restaurant des Canards afterwards - details of menu and how to book on the Events page on the website See you there - wearing something red !?!

Wanda – Warden

Council News

May 16th - The Church Council met and welcomed Wanda McKerchar and Andrew Chambers as they made their declarations in their new roles as Wardens. (Summary notes can be found in Publications under MAY 2023.) We also welcomed Stuart Woodrow onto Council and Charlie Wilcock who is co-opted as Minutes Secretary. The minutes of the meeting will be published on the website shortly.The next meeting will be on June 28th when the main item on the agenda will be the future appointment of a Chaplain.

Coronation Lunch

On Sunday May 7th there was a Bring and Share lunch in the garden of Rev Nicky Marshall. It was a wonderful afternoon of fizz, cake and fellowship.

Christmas Service at Chef Boutonne in The Stone Chapel
Assistant Chaplain:Vacant
Church Wardens: Wanda Mckerchar and Andrew Chambers

Tel: 06 21 32 31 28

Registered Office (for postal deliveries)
16 Avenue de l'Hotel de Ville, 79110, Chef Boutonne.
Tel: 06 21 32 31 28