ʻThey actually practise what they preach! …Itʼs comforting to see that there are …models of organised religion based on tolerance and other genuinely, universally helpful valuesʼ, wrote a new, young member of our congregation interviewed in the parish magazine Lumen. We would really like to live up to that flattering view of our Church.
How big is our parish?
Luxembourg is a tiny country and the Anglican Church of Luxembourg is a tiny element of its religious and social structure, but we ʻaim to be salt and lightʼ1 and play a part that is bigger than our actual size. We see ourselves as serving the whole English-speaking population of Luxembourg, including those who speak English as a second or third language, and many who hardly ever set foot inside a church. There are 143 people on our electoral roll and a further 174 on our contact list, a few of whom are not churchgoers but like to keep in touch with what we are doing, and there is a much larger number of people whose names are not on any of our lists but for whom the church is a resource providing ad hoc pastoral support and baptisms, funerals etc. Although our main focus is on English-speakers, we are aware that we can forge links with and be a resource for Luxembourgers as well, ʻcontribute positively to Luxembourg societyʼ, and this is an area we would like to develop in future. Last year for the first time we held a Te Deum service, giving thanks for the Grand Duke on the occasion of his birthday. This was well attended by dignitaries including the Grand Dukeʼs representative and representatives from other churches, embassies and the Government, and demonstrated that in spite of our limited numbers, we can regard ourselves as a resource for the whole of Luxembourg, not just expats.
British people here were shocked and horrified by Britainʼs rejection of the EU in the referendum result. Although the EU Institutions are no longer the main employer of our congregation as they were in the 1980s, some feel that their whole career, seeking to promote the EUʼs values of peaceful cooperation in practical ways, has been in vain. Some are unsure if they will still have their jobs once Brexit takes effect. One clearly noticeable effect so far has been the numbers of people learning Luxembourgish and obtaining Luxembourg citizenship. Many of our congregation have been out of Britain for so long that they no longer have a vote there, but a rapidly increasing number can now vote in Luxembourg. So as individuals and also as a Church we are becoming increasingly integrated into Luxembourg society. Although Brexit may cause some people to leave, the Luxembourg Government obviously expects the number of English-speakers to increase as it has just set up a second English-language school in the State education system.
Our congregation and the way we worship
Our congregation is ʻmultinational and multiculturalʼ, diverse in terms of age, gender, nationality, church background and length of stay in Luxembourg (from more than 40 years to just arrived on a two-year contract, and every number in between). It includes people from most European countries as well as China, India, Australia, Canada, the USA, Syria, Nigeria and some other African countries. Their church background is similarly diverse; not all have grown up as Anglicans.
This diversity and inclusiveness is reflected in our worship; we try to be aware of everyoneʼs sensibilities whatever tradition they come from, ʻsteering a steady path between traditional/high church and evangelicalʼ or ʻpleasing all of the people some of the timeʼ as one respondent put it. We donʼt use incense; our Chaplain wears alb and stole; we have a variety of regular Sunday services:
- said Holy Communion (CW Order 2) at 9.30 with a quiet, reflective atmosphere.
- sung Holy Communion (CW Order 1) at 11.00 with traditional Anglican music from our choir and organists, and an interactive section when the congregation is invited to respond to and discuss questions, plus Junior Church and Crèche for children.
- Both of these services are followed by an opportunity for the congregation to chat over coffee.
- On the first Sunday of the month except January and August the 11.00 service is a lively, informal occasion with modern music from our instrumental First Sunday Group and singers, and participation by the children.
- Also on first Sundays there is Choral Evensong (BCP) at 18.30, when our Choir really shows what it can do.
Our Choir and First Sunday Group are led by a professional Music Director who is happy to play jazz as well as conduct 16th-century anthems and all other kinds of music. The Choir usually numbers about 8 –12 on Sunday morning or 12 – 20 at Evensong, out of a much longer list of members, some of whom are professional musicians. Two members of the Choir have composed music for it. The congregation is proud of our ʻstrong musical traditionʼ, welcomes the emphasis on the Eucharist and the variety of services and generally thinks we do them well.
Some respondents would like an even greater range of services, to meet the various needs of families with young children, teenagers, young adults and the over-60s, while not alienating those who are very happy with the church as it is. ʻI am happy with the church as it is organised at present and would not welcome radical changesʼ. On the other hand, ʻtraditionalists have to move with the times even if the changes might be uncomfortable to them.ʼ One particular focus for this conflict has been service times: some would like the main morning service at an earlier time than 11.00, which would be more convenient for families, and those who attend the quiet service at 9.30 resist an earlier start. Many respondents have called for technological aids, such as a hearing loop or microphones. ʻPreachers should be more audible.ʼ
ʻOne of the things I love about this church is the level of intellect found in our services. (Our last minister) made you think, made you confront difficult questions, and never shied away from challenging you and the church itself. I hope we never lose this, as it is very powerful and keeps the church relevant to today.ʼ There is less diversity in church membersʼ level of education and occupation. Most people have a university degree or several; some are very highly qualified experts in their field and many are or have been employed in senior positions in large organisations. There are a few stay-at-home mums and dads, a growing number of people who used to work in Luxembourg and decided to stay here after retirement, and a slightly larger proportion of people of working age who are in employment. In Luxembourg as a whole the health care, catering and aviation sectors are major employers, but these sectors are poorly represented among our congregation and it includes few manual workers of any kind. We have accountants, administrators, bankers, embassy staff, interpreters, IT specialists, lawyers, musicians, secretaries, teachers, translators, university lecturers and researchers and people working in private sector enterprises.
As well as having demanding jobs, many of our congregation are deeply committed to supporting charitable and political causes. This generally high level of education and engagement makes them a demanding congregation to preach to; they appreciate ʻexcellent, thought-provoking preachingʼ, intellectual rigour, a thorough knowledge of the Biblical and historical background, psychological insight and engagement with current political and social issues. ʻI would appreciate someone who is able to preach and discuss current politics. I feel we live in disturbing times, I come to church in the hope of being offered a Christian view…ʼ. One respondent particularly appreciates ʻPreaching welladapted to the expatriate communities in Luxembourg (challenging to a predominantly comfortable and affluent demographic)ʼ.
We are pleased to have a reputation as a friendly church that welcomes everyone regardless of their background, age or churchmanship. Some people have strong views but generally they donʼt shout them from the rooftops, and people with diverse views and lifestyles can be comfortable in our church. Most of our regulars enjoy meeting newcomers and helping them ʻto become integrated in Luxembourg societyʼ. People come to church for many different reasons – it keeps them in touch with the tradition they grew up with, they enjoy the social contact and meeting new people – but primarily it is a spiritual resource to take them through their often difficult lives during the rest of the week, and they regard it as a ʻmeeting place for people who attempt to be and do good in our world.ʼ Some have a clear intention to participate in the establishment of Godʼs kingdom on earth, others more modestly seek in a small way to make the world a better place by ʻquietly doing much goodʼ. Discussion of ethical issues is important, and what is said in church filters out into peopleʼs workplaces and wider social circles. They appreciate our ʻopen-mindedʼ and ʻquestioning, truthseeking attitude to worshipʼ and enjoy the ʻgenerally outward-looking focus and prayerful support of missionʼ.
Very few of our members were born in Luxembourg, and most donʼt have family living locally to provide emotional or material backup and are unfamiliar with the way local social services operate. Living far from oneʼs home country can create complicated problems which can mean a heavy pastoral load for the chaplain as people turn to the church for support. ʻWe are all living at least mildly bizarre lives and could do with support.ʼ Our retired chaplain reports that pastoral situations he has dealt with include suicide, family break-up, domestic violence, sexual abuse, sexual identity, various kinds of loss including bereavement, and refugeesʼ problems. At present there is no structure for lay involvement in pastoral care, but informal pastoral care is carried out by individuals, with due regard for safeguarding implications.
Church attendance varies: many of our congregation have to travel for their work, and others have elderly parents or children in Britain or elsewhere, so even very committed church members may often be absent on Sundays. ʻFor me the church activities are very attractive! I rarely attend due to other commitments.ʼ An average Sunday congregation would be 10 – 20 at the early service, 50 – 80 at 11am and 15 – 25 at Evensong, half of whom would be the Choir. In 2016 we recorded six baptisms, six confirmations and four funerals, and three marriages were blessed. At Christmas and Easter it is common for about half the regular congregation to be absent, being replaced by visitors on holiday. At our Remembrance Day and Christingle services we welcome large numbers of people who are never in church on a normal Sunday – we are part of the social fabric of Luxembourgʼs English-speaking community as well as being a church.
Members of the congregation play an active part in Sunday services; there are rotas for Chalice, Intercessions, Readers and Sidespeople, Junior Church, Crèche, Coffee and Flowers. In addition they are involved in non-Sunday activities such as Church Council, Lumen magazine and organising the various midweek groups (see below). The Council recently noted that although about 50 people are on these various rotas, the bulk of the work tends to always be done by the same people, and we need to make a conscious effort to involve more people, particularly younger ones. ʻBeware of asking too much of peopleʼ warned one respondent. Our intelligent, friendly, caring congregation is our richest resource, but their availability is limited and it is sometimes difficult to find enough volunteers to fill the rotas.
Forty-three children are currently enrolled in Junior Church (ages 3 – 11) and 15 in Youth Group (ages 12 – 16), though numbers attending on any Sunday will be much smaller. We also have a crèche for under-threes. All our Junior Church, Youth Group and Crèche workers have received safeguarding training. Many respondents want more or better family services and provision for teenagers. ʻMore concentration on the teens would be helpful… including them wherever possible.ʼ At a congregational meeting last year where we talked about what activities were important to us, everyone agreed that it was important to welcome children and families, but no extra people volunteered to help in this area. There is work to be done here.
Four church-organised groups meet regularly on weekdays:
- Wellsprings (meditation on scripture and prayer),
- Mothersʼ Prayers,
- Saturday Breakfast Bible Study,
- Lions and Lambs (toddler group).
Also the choir rehearses every Thursday and the First Sunday Group once a month. A different kind of group was set up in 2008 – an Environmental Footprint Group – aiming to increase our understanding of environmental matters and bring a Christian sense of hope to the worldʼs problems. From the outset we encouraged people to come who were not members of our – or any – church. Evening meetings usually involved a speaker – from our own membership, or an invited expert – talking about their field of expertise, followed by questions and open discussion. Topics included how to calculate, and then reduce, oneʼs carbon footprint, a first-hand report from the Rio Climate Conference, a discussion of the Popeʼs encyclical Laudato Si, and the issue of inequality, as it became clearer to us that environmental problems are also intertwined with social justice issues. The group has recently been expanded to encompass justice and peace issues and is now called the Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (JPIC) group. It continues to hold meetings on topical issues, maintains links with Luxembourg organisations working in these fields and keeps our congregation informed of relevant conferences and other events. ʻOur church does most things (but not everything) quite well, but there is always room for improvement. The JPIC group is one of its strongest suits.ʼ Other respondents have suggested a range of other groups that could meet midweek, such as lunchtime prayer groups in workplaces.
Charitable giving and social events
Our congregation takes seriously its obligation to give time, talents and money to good causes. ʻThere have been a number of creative appeals to give to charity outside the financial route, which is good.ʼ Some of them are involved in campaigning groups such as Greenpeace, ACAT, Amnesty International and Changing Attitude. Others provide practical help to refugees or homeless people in Luxembourg, or are involved in charities working for Third World development. Some respondents call for ʻmore involvement in mission-type work such as help with refugees – this seems to happen on an ad hoc basis but could again be incorporated into the life of the church, both as a practical help and as a witness e.g. through Serve the City or the Croix Rougeʼ.
As a church, many years ago we adopted a policy of giving to charity either the whole proceeds of our main fund-raiser, a summer fair, or 10% of our income that year, whichever was the greater. We applied the second option last year as we could not find an organiser for the Church Fair. For the previous 40 years it had been a popular event with the whole English-speaking community, typically netting €11,000 – 14,000 in recent years. We are experimenting with other events to raise money for charity such as a treasure hunt, wine tasting, arts festival and sports day. These events have been enjoyable occasions but not raised so much money, and many people still greatly regret the demise of the Church Fair, though nobody has yet volunteered to organise another one. Fundraising events and charity giving are seen as something we do well. They are also important for our contact with the wider community in Luxembourg. The church fair and the recent events attracted people from the whole English-speaking community and beyond, but we could do better.
We are very conscious that through our giving to good causes we want to stand alongside those in need of help, reflecting the thinking of our JPIC group, and not foster a culture of dependency. We have a small subcommittee reporting to the Council which is made up of three specialists in this field who do due diligence on the causes that we propose to support, and monitor the feedback from those that we have supported.
Regular social events without a fundraising purpose are pot-luck lunches to mark Mothering Sunday, Harvest and Christmas. A long-standing tradition is a walk on Ascension Day (a public holiday) preceded by a short service and ending with a picnic or barbecue. These are all popular and well supported, but we could do more to bring in non-churchgoers to these events. ʻI feel that the church has the capacity to be even more present and visible in the community than it already is.ʼ ʻ(Hold) more social/community events e.g. Concerts, exhibitions, talks, courses to bring in wider community.ʼ Many respondents stressed the importance of ʻbetter publicity for Evensong, services and eventsʼ and ʻevents which are not too openly religiousʼ. We have a notice sheet on Sundays and a good website but have not yet found a way of persuading everyone to look at it.
Church-State relations in Luxembourg
Religious observance in general has declined sharply in the last 40 years, from a country where nearly everyone went to Mass every week to one where few people do. The Roman Catholic Church here has strong links to a political party, the CSV2, which is out of power at the moment.
Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, in power since 2014, is keen to curb Government spending on the Church and has concluded a new agreement (Convention) between Church and State which came into force in 2016. Funding for all faith groups has been reduced, but we still are due to receive a fairly generous grant (see under ʻFinanceʼ). The Catholic Church will have to reduce drastically the number of its churches and parishes; it remains to be seen how this will work in practice.
ʻ(Our church should) move out of its comfort zone more often. Many of the churches in Luxembourg have grown in the last few years but the Anglican Church not so much. I think we need to try and understand why.ʼ There are several other English-speaking churches in Luxembourg. We cooperate with the English-speaking Catholics of the International Parish and sometimes hold joint services, typically one or two per year. We do not have such close links with the All Nations, Oasis or Christian Community churches, though there is some to and fro by congregation members between them and us. There is room for development here. Generally the congregation considers it important to maintain good relations with other churches. One respondent called for ʻmore effective outreach in the expatriate community; develop better relations with a wide range of other churches and religious groups.ʼ
Since 2004 the Anglican Church of Luxembourg has been conventionnée, which means that it is recognised as a Church by the Luxembourg Government and governed by a Convention between the Government and the Church. Adoption of the new Convention (see above) involved extensive negotiations between the Government and the six faith groups that are members of the Conseil des Cultes Conventionnés. Relations between these faith groups (Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim and Anglican) were cordial during these negotiations and remain so on ceremonial occasions when representatives of all of them are invited.
Other Anglican churches are some distance away, the nearest in our Archdeaconry being Liège and Brussels. Bonn, Cologne, Frankfurt and Heidelberg are 2-3 hoursʼ drive away. There are no other ordained Anglican clergy, or none in full communion, in Luxembourg who could help take services.
The Council recently appointed a licensed lay pastoral assistant who will work part-time in conjunction with training as an ordinand which she began in 2016. At present she has particular responsibility for Christian education. As she will most likely continue with the chaplaincy as a curate in her title post, it is expected that the next chaplain will serve as her training incumbent.
The office is staffed by a parish coordinator and an administrative assistant who work 10 and 12 hours per week respectively. We have two churchwardens and a 10-member Church Council which meets once a month. Five subcommittees, some of which include people from the wider congregation as well as Council members, meet irregularly when the need arises, and report back to the Council: Finance and Communications follow up on these matters in more depth than is possible in Council. Charities does due diligence on the causes that we propose to support. Fun and Fundraising thinks up ideas for social activities that raise money for good causes, puts these ideas into practice, and seeks to raise our profile among the wider community. The Music subcommittee advised on the appointment of our Music Director and discusses music policy.
The chaplaincy does not own a church building, and some in the congregation are not happy with this situation, wanting us to ʻrevive the building fund and have a real goal to find the home we should have hadʼ. At present services are held in the Roman Catholic Archbishopʼs private chapel, known as the Konvikt chapel, which he rarely uses. (Konvikt is the Luxembourgish word for a seminary.) The building as it currently stands dates from the 1970s; the chapel itself is a decade or two older. We have worshipped there for about 50 years; it is well placed in the city centre and conveniently next to a hotel but has been under threat of demolition for many years, which means that little maintenance or repair work has been carried out. The roof leaks slightly in wet weather. There is no lift or facilities for disabled people. We pay rent for the chapel and for the use on Sunday mornings of a large meeting room underneath for Junior Church and coffee. The latest news on demolition is that the chapel will be preserved (it has some fine stained glass), but the building that gives access to it will be demolished.
Thinking that this indicated an uncertain future for our worship, we have been looking round for another church to move to. For special occasions when we need more space we sometimes use the church in Cents, a suburban district of Luxembourg city. We have had talks with the priest and parish council of Cents about moving there permanently, but these have so far been inconclusive, largely because of the uncertain situation of Catholic churches in Luxembourg as described above. The Catholic authorities have promised to provide us with a building, and this is likely to become easier for them as they will have to cut down the number of buildings they use, but we will need to maintain good relations and be able to negotiate with the Catholic Church and City authorities. The desire to have our own church has been expressed many times over the years; many people are dissatisfied with the Konvikt and would like to move to a different church but few feel that Cents is the answer. ʻIf there was ever an available building with suitable parking, an old-fashioned church hall for coffee, library, teenage clubs, play-groups, choirs, meetings, rehearsals – what a dream!ʼ
We own two flats. The chaplainʼs accommodation is a modern, well-equipped first-floor flat in a residential area conveniently close to both the city centre and the countryside. It has:
- kitchen/living room
- one double and one single bedrooms
- second toilet
- patio and small garden
This flat is comfortable for a single person, snug for a couple and a tight squeeze for a family, although the previous owners brought up two children there.
The other flat is nearby, slightly larger and still under construction (completion scheduled for July 2017), and was intended for the chaplaincy office but could be used for living accommodation and/or rented out. If the next incumbent had a large family we would need to look at renting a suitably-sized house.
At present we rent two offices in the Centre Jean XXIII, which houses the Luxembourg School of Religion and Society, an academic institution which researches various aspects of religion and holds numerous conferences. The Centre is in a very pleasant wooded setting, close to the European Institutions and city centre. One of the advantages of this arrangement is that the chaplain and office staff can meet and have lunch with other people. Also, the building has a number of meeting rooms of different sizes which we can hire when necessary. A disadvantage is that it is a good 10 minutesʼ walk from the nearest bus stop.
The church, flat and office are not within easy walking distance of each other. It is possible to reach all of them by public transport, but easier with a car.
Our funding comes from a Government grant and regular giving by our congregation, via standing orders, envelopes or collections in church. For the previous 12 years the Government paid the salaries of a chaplain and assistant chaplain, but this is no longer the case. Under the new Convention (2016) we are due to receive an annual sum, roughly corresponding to two basic-rate salaries, to be spent as we see fit. The last few years have been a period of financial uncertainty. We decided to sell the old vicarage building, bought in 1996, which housed the chaplain and office, as it was becoming expensive to maintain. The sale took four years to complete, during which time we were not sure what the final selling price would be, and we agreed to buy the two flats. When the sale and the purchase of the second flat were finally completed last year, we raised more on the sale than the purchase price of the two flats. We are keen that this money should be kept for a major project (such as renovations to a church building) and not be spent on day-to-day expenditure, but this is proving difficult, as in 2016 expenditure was more than income month by month.
Our Treasurer has been wanting to retire from this post for two years, but it has been difficult to replace him. We decided to employ a fiduciary company to pay the bills and keep the accounts, meaning that in future the treasurer would no longer need accounting skills, and we have now found someone willing to take on this task. With all this financial uncertainty it has been impossible to organise a stewardship campaign. Our finances are in a healthy state, but if we want to take on any ambitious projects we need to encourage the congregation to increase their regular giving.
Luxembourg as a place to live
See Wikipedia for basic facts about Luxembourg. One of its particular features is that it is possible to live in a rural village where the main activity is farming, and be in the centre of the capital city in less than 15 minutes (except by car in the rush hour, when journey times can treble). Most of our congregation live in Luxembourg city or in one of the many villages within a 15-km radius, though there are people who come from further afield. The geographical spread is likely to increase, as rising house prices in the centre push the less well-off out to the periphery or even over the borders to Belgium, France or Germany where prices are cheaper. It is estimated that 180 000 people commute from the three neighbouring countries every day to work in Luxembourg.
Another feature is multilingualism. The mother tongue for Luxembourgers is Luxembourgish. At school they learn German from age 6, French from age 8 and English at secondary school. Many Luxembourgers come from a Portuguese background and also speak Portuguese. As a tourist it is possible to get by in Luxembourg speaking only English, but to work here it is essential to have a good command of French, as this is the main language for administrative matters, and also for shopping. Foreigners who make an effort to learn Luxembourgish will be congratulated by the Luxembourgers but may be disappointed when trying to use their Luxembourgish in shops as the shop staff are likely to be French-speakers from Belgium or France.
People moving here with children have to decide whether to educate them in the Luxembourg system or at one of the fee-paying international schools. As mentioned above, the Luxembourg system is now making an effort to accommodate English speakers by setting up schools which will teach the Luxembourg curriculum but use English as the main language. Alternatives are the two European Schools (primarily for children of EU officials), the International School, St Georgeʼs, which follows a British curriculum, and Over the Rainbow, which teaches in English and French. Annual fees vary between €8000 and €18 000 depending on the school and the age of the child. These schools are potential sources of employment for spouses as they need English-speaking teachers for all subjects, including religion in the European Schools.
Luxembourg has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, and this shows in the generally well-kept appearance of public buildings and amenities. Most of our congregation have good pensions or well-paid jobs, which can make things even more difficult for those who donʼt have a lot of money. A few years ago the Government decided to respond to Luxembourgʼs low birth rate by encouraging immigration. Since then population density has increased considerably, and in some areas public services are struggling to keep up, such as the tramway in the city which while it is under construction is making the traffic problem worse rather than better. Luxembourg has welcomed a large number of refugees in proportion to its population, from Syria, Iraq and elsewhere. There is a lot of help, financial and otherwise, available to them, provided by both Government and voluntary agencies. Luxembourg is a good place for:
- Country walks – for such a small country the landscape is varied and often beautiful; there are well-marked trails, most of which are accessible by bus or train.
- Eating well – Luxembourg restaurants used to boast ʻFrench quality, German quantityʼ. This is still largely true, but there is now also a large choice of other cuisines from all over the world.
- Wine – alcoholic drinks in general are fairly cheap, and Luxembourg makes its own wine, very little of which is exported.
- Cinema – the latest American movies often reach us before they are released in the UK; there are also films from the UK, France, Germany and further afield, and Luxembourg has its own thriving film industry. Films are shown in the original language with subtitles.
- Music – touring opera and ballet in the Grand Théâtre, Luxembourgʼs own professional orchestra, and top musicians from all over the world, in the new concert hall; and innumerable professional or amateur groups that perform in venues – often churches – all over the country.
- Swimming pools – indoor or (in summer) outdoor, well maintained and plentiful.
- Participating in sport – there are football clubs and facilities in many villages and urban neighbourhoods, and large numbers of expats take part in the increasingly well organised leagues and clubs playing cricket, rugby, squash, badminton, tennis, etc.
Luxembourg is not so good for:
- Trips to the seaside – four hours to the Belgian coast
- Living cheaply – the cost of living, particularly housing, is high.
- Mountaineering – no mountains.
Qualities we are looking for in our next Chaplain
- A vibrant faith and spiritual approach to all aspects of ministry.
- ʻAn open, friendly and compassionate chaplain who is at ease with welcoming new members to our congregation …. also has the ability to continue good relations with other religious communities here in Luxembourg and be interested in Luxembourg society as a whole.ʼ
- Readiness to enjoy working with the young, the middle-aged and the elderly, and with all the diverse strands of churchmanship in our congregation, and to help them perceive this diversity as enriching rather than problematic.
- The ability to conduct services in a way that engages, inspires and nourishes our questioning and intellectually demanding congregation. ʻWe would welcome a thoughtful, spiritual chaplain with a good sense of humourʼ – someone with real theological knowledge who takes the Gospel seriously and engages with issues in todayʼs world.
- The experience, energy, insight and empathy required to perceive the problems facing people not living in the country of their birth and to tackle an unusual, complex and heavy pastoral load.
- The personality, experience, and excellent command of French required to represent the Anglican Church at national ceremonial occasions, maintain cordial relations with members of Government, senior civil servants and senior representatives of other faith groups, and conduct negotiations with politicians and civil servants about funding and buildings.
- The experience and competencies required to support and train our ordinand and lay assistant Evelyn Sweerts; also to develop the capacities of members of the congregation to support each other pastorally and take responsibility for certain aspects of church life.
- The patience and persistence to work with us in our efforts to discern the right path towards finding a place of worship for the long term.
- We expect that our next Chaplain will have many excellent qualities; we hope that one such quality will be an awareness of any weak points and a willingness to delegate these areas of the work.
1 Everyone on our contact list, and some others, have been asked their views on our churchʼs values, characteristics and activities. Quotes in italics are responses to this survey.
2 Chrëstlech-Sozial Vollekspartei, roughly comparable for example to Germanyʼs ruling centre-right Christlich Demokratische Union, CDU, was in government for many years before 2014.
3 See annex for more information about the buildings we own and rent.