Half Time Chaplain - Fontainebleau

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Location and Surrounding Area:

Fontainebleau is a historic château town, 60 km south of Paris, bordered by the River Seine and on the edge of one of the largest forests in France. Recently the town and its region were judged to be one of the most desirable yet expensive residential locations in France for quality of life and the environment. It is multinational in flavour, with several international corporations in residence, plus Europe’s largest global business school, INSEAD, and the renowned French “Grande Ecole” of Engineering, l’Ecole des Mines, in addition to the thousands of tourists each year who come to visit the magnificent and imposing château. The town and forest provide excellent facilities for those interested in hiking, rockclimbing, and equestrian pursuits. The surrounding countryside holds many places of cultural interest - nearby Barbizon was the birthplace of the Impressionist movement, the walled towns of Moret-sur-Loing and Provins hark back to medieval times and there are numerous châteaux in the area, including the exquisite Vaux le Vicomte, which was the inspiration for the Château of Versailles and the downfall of its intrepidly ambitious owner, Nicolas Fouquet. The town has two well-established English-speaking schools catering for children from 3 to 18 years old and a variety of associations providing a full range of activities for all age groups and interests. The town centre comprises individual shops offering the quality traditional goods that are the trademark of France, a theatre and two cinemas, with a lively market spilling through the spacious town square three mornings a week. Fontainebleau is a focal point for the 26 village/small town communities in the area, and these make up the wider agglomeration of about 70,000 inhabitants.


St Luke’s roots lie in a vibrant Bible Study group which grew into a daughter church of St Michael’s Paris in the late 80s. We initially met in the Eglise Réformée, offering services for the main church festivals. This progressed to monthly services supported by a team of singers and a preacher from St Michael’s. In 1991 we had our first, non-stipendiary, chaplain. We moved to the chapel of the local Roman Catholic high School, Jeanne d’Arc / St Aspais, in 1993 just in time for the arrival of our first stipendiary chaplain. We became an independent chaplaincy, St Luke’s, in 2011. In 2017, we renewed the 10-year contract which allows us access on Sundays, one Saturday a month and other specific dates, to the pleasant and recently renovated chapel located on the school grounds. It seats 150 people comfortably. We have a vestry that is for our use only where we store bibles, hymn books, notice boards, Sunday school material, coffee & refreshment supplies, etc. We also have access to classrooms for Sunday School and Young Peoples’ groups, and to the extensive playground area which they enjoy after their classes. It all is available and is made possible thanks to the generosity of the school and with the blessing of the local Roman Catholic Diocese of Meaux, to whom St -Luke’s makes an annual contribution (approximately 4K€/year) which is approved annually by the Church Council. The congregation has shared numerous joys and overcome many challenges over the years, and we would like to come out of this interregnum stronger, more united, and determined to answer God’s call for His presence in this community. We are an Anglican church with a membership that comes from different Christian denominations. We are multinational, multi-racial, multicultural, and multigenerational. Over the last year our chaplaincy has worked creatively on how to stay united.

What unites us is our love of Jesus Christ and our shared belief that we are his children, and all valued in his sight. We are rich in diversity and commitment. St Luke’s is an English-speaking congregation, but its members’ first language may be German, French, Malagasy, Danish, or other languages. Our congregation longs to grow in numbers and grow in our spiritual understanding of our call as Christians. We enjoy worshipping together and enjoy refreshments after church. We strive in all circumstances to care for each other. We love to worship through song and music, and some of the congregation form a choir for special occasions. We are longing for solid, strong long-term pastoral care and spiritual guidance alongside a dedicated and caring pastor. If you have a loving heart, if you long to share your Christian journey with us, if you are called to help us in our progression as Christians, we are the community for you. We have the basis for several Bible study and fellowship groups with great potential for growth and in need of nurture. We are an open inclusive Anglican church that welcomes everyone. The chaplaincy of St Luke’s is part of the Diocese in Europe whose Bishop, since 2014, is Bishop Robert Innes. H shares oversight of St Luke’s Church with the Archdeacon of France, the Venerable Peter Hooper, and the Area Dean of North-Eastern France, the Reverend Charlotte Sullivan. The Paris area chaplains meet for fellowship and mutual support throughout the year.

To fulfil the calling & responsibilities of the clergy as described in the Canons, the Ordinal, the Code of Professional Conduct for the Clergy, and other relevant legislation. To collaborate with the Bishops, Archdeacon, Area Dean and any ordained and lay colleagues in any initiative within the Diocese, Archdeaconry and Deanery. To develop the local chaplaincy’s mission. To ensure the provision of a high standard of worship, preaching and pastoral care.

- To care for and minister effectively to the faithful and encourage others to join us

- Encourage the congregation to love and serve the Lord through the service to the community

a) At least 3 years experience of responsibility for leading a parish

b) Working with congregations with people from different church traditions and cultures in an international environment

c) Developing and working with a collaborative ministry team

d) Developing youth programs

e) Creating an atmosphere of welcome for all ages

f) Community involvement including higher education, ecumenical partners, local community organisations (creating networks, outreach groups)

g) Embracing and encouraging a variety of musical styles, nurturing musicians and singers

h) Making prayer central to the life of a worshiping community

i) Capable of living in a foreign country and accepting cultural differences

j) Ability to work with diverse people, including young and old, and with differences of opinions

k) Communication skills across all age groups and comfortable with a variety of media and social platforms

l) Leadership and discernment / encouragement of individuals and groups, skilled in delegation and team working

m) Ability to create and offer different styles of worship

n) Good interpersonal skills and ability to represent the church to outside organisations

o) Working knowledge of French or willingness to acquire this

p) Prayer leader and teacher with the ability to pray for and with the community


We do not own our chapel, obligating us to have an extensive rota that includes people to open and close the premises, set up and dismantle for worship, set up the welcoming cart. We have volunteers who welcome worshippers, provide flowers for the altar, set up for Holy Communion and assist with the chalice, read the scriptures and lead intercessions during worship, provide music and prepare refreshments. But we need to encourage new volunteers. Within St Luke’s there are several lay people well able to lead Sunday School, Youth Group and Home Group/Bible Study. We have one Congregational Worship Leader, and we would welcome others. Our newly revived Ministry Team has started to lead us through a time of reflection (with the permission of Archdeacon Peter) during Churchwarden-led services. There is much support for our future permanent Chaplain in the form of a strong and united Chaplaincy Council (*). We have faith that a Chaplain with a pastoral heart would enable us to “grow our gifts”