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New French Retreat Blessed

Tuesday July 2 2019

From left: Rev Irene Bom, Moderator of the International Presbytery, Père Jean, Archimandrite Russian Orthodox Church, Ds Rolf Boiten Community Spe Gaudentes, Rev Joanne Evans-Boiten , chaplain Colomba le Roc, Père Florent Vicar General Cahors, Rev June Hutchinson Anglican Church midi Pyrennnes Aude, Pasteur Herizo Ratovomanana Eglise Protestante unie de France, Pasteur Frederic Nicolas Eglise Evangelique. Photo: Gilles Chevriau 


A new centre for Christian retreat in France, created by a Church of Scotland minister, was blessed last month.

The blessing of Colomba le Roc, in the Lot region of south-west France, and the dedication of their chapel to St Hild of Whitby, took place on June 9 – the feast day of St Columba and this year the Sunday of Pentecost.

Colomba le Roc is the work of the Rev Joanne Evans-Boiten, a minister who hails from the Netherlands but who is ordained in the Church of Scotland and a member of the International Presbytery.

It is a place of hospitality and sanctuary where all are welcome and where daily life is inspired by the Christian faith. Joanne said: “We hope you will find Colomba le Roc to be a safe place where you can shelter for a while and allow yourself to be strengthened and encouraged, so that, refreshed and inspired by God’s love, you can return to your everyday life.”

The centre is ecumenical in outlook, and its liturgy is inspired by the Celtic tradition. Joanne added: “The name Colomba le Roc not only points to the Scottish Celtic Christian tradition, but it also reminds us that the Holy Spirit guides us; that Jesus Christ, through his life and ministry, is the rock on which we build; and that peace, God’s shalom, is what we pray and aim for in life.”

The blessing was carried out by the Rev Irene Bom, Moderator of the International Presbytery, and the ecumenical service of dedication was led by the Vicar General of Cahors, Père Florent Millet. Also involved in the service were representatives of the Russian Orthodox Church, Eglise Protestante Unie de France, the Anglican Diocese of Midi Pyrenees-Aude, and the French Evangelical Church. A multi-denominational choir sang in both French and English.

Representatives of the church in Athelstaneford, East Lothian, and the Scots International Church in Rotterdam took part in the blessing of the bell.

The service was followed by the traditional French ‘vin de l’amitié’ and a ‘Scottish tea’.


For more information on Colomba le Roc, write to 510 Chemin du Faurat Belmontet, 46800 Montcuq en Quercy Blanc, telephone 0033 565221311 or 0033 (0)631274990 (mobile) or email Joanne.evansboiten@gmail.com or JEvans-boiten@churchofscotland.org.uk


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