St Ursula's Church
Berne, Switzerland

A Church of the Anglican Communion, welcoming all who seek the Lord Jesus Christ

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Dates for your diary

What's New?


It's the time of year when the garden grows aggressively. We need help on Friday 16 (from 1700) and 23 June (from 1600) to get things under control. Ask Edi _Wildhaber for more details.


Those who gaze at the window behind our altar may ask who St Etheldreda was. Henry Hope has given the answer in a recent magazine article. 23 June is St Etheldreda's (or St Audrey's) Day.

On 23 June, the Church commemorates St Etheldreda and on 24 June another inspirational figure - St John the Baptist. We give thanks for their example at Evening Prayer on 23 June (6pm), which will be followed by a small celebratory drinks reception. There will be some snacks available and the BBQ will also be up and running, but do bring along any food that you would like to be barbecued.

Energy and Ethiopia

On 9 June we had a very successful and well-attended Ethiopian evening. There are some pictures here.

Our friends from the Ethiopian congregation which uses our premises cooked a delicious Ethiopian meal, giving many of us our first taste of a5;ԏԔzb; (injera) and cb;ԭ (wat). The meal was enlivened by a three-part quiz about Ethiopia, and was followed by a traditional coffee cermony, with the beans being roasted over a charcoal fire.

Not only was the evening well-attended, but a lot of money was given towards our Energy and Sustainability Appeal. Work has already started on the early stages, although we still have to wait for official planning permission before we start on the main part of the work. Like many building projects, the work is likely to cost more than originally planned, which is why we are grateful for your contributions to our appeal.

Our New Chaplain - Licensed and Installed

The Reverend Prebendary Stephen Stuckes is the new chaplain of St Ursula's. He took up his duties on 1 May. Stephen was previously Vicar of Alcombe, near Minehead in Somerset, was Rural Dean of Exmoor and a Prebendary Canon of Wells Cathedral. He is in his fifties, and before he was ordained was in the Somerset police. His wife Jane is currently teaching at a school near Taunton. We pray that Stephen's ministry will bear much fruit among us.

Stephen's first service at St Ursula's was on 7 May, and his formal installation service was on the 27th. It was a festive occasion, and there are some pictures of it here.

Our Summer Fête

Our Summer Fête on 20 May was a great success. The sun returned, and there was good fellowship. Although the bookstall reported a lower level of interest, the shortfall was made up by Georgina's cake stall, and by the usual success of Jana's English food. The restaurant, barbecue, Pimms on the Lawn and fun and games all contrinbuted to the good atmosphere.

And we took over Fr6'200 (not all profit, by any means!) - almost as much as last year, and more than the Fête in 2015.

(We've put some pictures of the fête in a photo album, and Ignaz Fluri has made a album with even more pictures - to see it click here).

Water, water, Uganda

We and our Junior Church have been taking a keen interest in a project to bring clean water to villages in the Kigezi diocese in Uganda. Some of our church members have been to the area and helped with the work, and he have dedicated our Harvest and Christmas collections to the plan, which is also supported by Tear Fund Schweiz. We have also become friends with Revd Reuben Byomuhangi, who has spoken to us on a number of occasions.

On 21 May, the Bishop of Kigezi, the Right Reverend George Bagamuhunda, came to St Ursula's, and updated us about what is going on in a brief illustrated talk during coffee time.

Our Building and Energy Project - An Update

We hope to bring you regular news about the building project. For the current state of progress, click here.

New Things in Biel/Bienne

Mark Pogson is establishing a pattern of English services in Biel/Bienne. Services will be held at 1700 on the first and third Sundays in the month, thanks to the hospitality of the Old Catholic community there, who have placed the Epiphany Church at Quellgasse/rue de la Source 27 at our disposal.

The church has its own website,, which gives more information.

New Things in Thun

We have held services in Thun for many years. They have always been on Thursday evenings, and for a long time were in rather a remote part of Thun.

Now we have moved, to the French Chapel at Frutigenstrasse 22, less than five minutes' walk from the station. Our first service there was on 19 January, and you can seem some pictures of it here. There is a flyer here - print one out for a friend! Details of how to find us can be found here.

Money, money, money

Many of our members pledge to give a regular sum to support the church. We receive no state support, and have to finance the ministry here ourselves. Our pledge appeal was sent out in October, but there is still time to add to the growing number of people who pledge to the church. You may fill in a form (there are several in the church hall) and give or send it to the Treasurer, or pledge online.

Our Chaplaincy Survey

As part of our preparation for a new chaplain, we conducted a short survey to get solid facts about our congregation - they are not all over 70, they are not all women, they are not all cradle Anglicans, they are not all English (or even British). We also asked what the church meant to them, and how they saw its future.

Isabelle Wienand, did the hard work of sifting through the answers and preparing a report for Council (to help us draw up the profile) and for the congregation. You can find a copy of it by clicking on this link.

Energy and Sustainability

Over the past three years, a team headed by Hans Goepfert has been studying and analyzing the church's energy use. We have also taken expert advice, and where possible have made use of the cantonal energy programme.

Our plans are now mature. The 2016 energy report is available here along with Annexes I, II, III, V, VI, VII, VIII and IX. The aim (in no particular order!) is to have a warmer church, to make major savings in our heating and energy costs and at the same time to benefit the environment. This will cost money - more than we have!

We are pressing forward with planning the work and raising the money. It makes little sense to delay, or to do the work in stages - like many things in this world, our many projects are bound up together. Doing them by stages would increase the overall cost of the work, and mean a series of small appeals, which would be less assured of success than a single big one!

We placed a contract in August for managing the project, and the preliminary work is under way for getting building and planning permission where it is needed (for all the complex is listed and under Denkmalschutz).

Our Sustainability Appeal has already had a spectactular response. An anonymous donor has given us the Fr250,000 which was the original target suggested by the GEAK report. Alleluia!. This does not mean that the appeal is over - we have several projects (church lighting, church sound system, hall kitchen update) which need funding - and with building work, one never knows if an estimate of Fr250,000 will turn into a bill for Fr350,000 - or more! So our appeal team will continue in place, and you can help consolidate its strength by sending a donation to Postfinance account 60-666488-7 (IBAN: CH61 0900 0000 6066 6488 7), St Ursula's Charitable Association. Donations are tax deductible.

There is more information on our Appeal pages.


As an English-speaking church in a German-speaking land, we have few direct contacts with the flood of refugees who come from the Middle East. We donate money to our sister congregation in Athens, who are directly involved in the hardships there. We give to specific projects run by Refuge Egypt, Tear Fund and Partner Sein, and other charities which are directly involved in this problem.

Books for our Book Sales

Our book sale team have produced some notes on how you can help them by briniging the right kind of book, and not bringing the wrong kind of book. You can read their notes here.


Many of our members have responded to our appeal, which we have tried to keep simple and direct. Trying to move with the times, we are introducing the possibility of pledging "on-line" - the pledge page on our website has details. We hope that paying on line will come later. In any case, every rappen is appreciated!

Our Library

We have started a series of reviews to bring interesting books to people's attention. These consist of short talks in church, or articles in the magazine. We hope this leads to wider use of the library.

Our librarians have been very busy over the past few months drawing up a catalogue of books available in our library (although we haven't catalogued the abundant children's books (yet)). You can see their catalogue here. The library is open most Sundays after church during coffee time, and everyone is welcome then to browse or to borrow.

Breakfast at Church

Since May 2014, we have enjoyed a church breakfast on the first Sunday of the month. We provide the food (cereals, fruit, juice, yoghurt, croissants, bread, tea, coffee), you provide the company.

Some 20 people have turned up for these regular breakfasts, which have been greatly appreciated. There are some pictures on our Picasa site.

Our next breakfast at church is on Sunday, 4 June. See you there?


There's up-to-the-minute news as well on the church's Facebook site. Take a look!

Dates for your Diary

Sat2 September 20171000-1400Autumn Book and Food Sale
Fri-Sun8-10 September 2017 Archdeaconry Retreat at Männedorf ZH led by Rt Revd George, Lord Carey.
Sat 28 October 20171000-1200Children's Toy and Equipment Sale
1 December 2017
2 December 2017
Christmas Bazaar
Other Events
Every Wednesday0915Parents and Tots
Every Friday0930Patchwork Group
Every Saturday0930Choir Practice

Flyer with details of our Lent and Easter Services and activities

What's Happened Recently?

A Time of Transition

After Peter's departure and before Stephen's arrival, we had the chance of experiencing different styles of ministry, and the Diocese arranged for us to be served by a variety of "locum" chaplains (the Latin locum tenentes means "standing in place of"). These have included

  • Mark Pogson (24 July to 31 August)
  • Rajinder Daniel, who wrote about himself in the August magazine (1 September to 10 October)
  • Douglas Pratt (14 October to 28 November)
  • Ian Eglin (3 December to 8 January)
  • Jan Jensen (15 January to 5 February)
  • Brian Rodford (12 February to 19 March)
  • Michael Tristram (26 March to 23 April)

We are grateful for all they have done for us, and for the change to enjoy the rich diversity of their ministry.

The Bishop's Lent Appeal

The Bishop's Appeal this year was for the Menedékház Foundation in Budapest. Menedékház is Hungarian for "shelter", and the Menedékház, founded in 2005 on the outskirts of Budapest, helps homeless families with children reintegrate into the workplace and society at large. Further information about the appeal is on the diocesan website.

The church has been be supporting this appeal. Although Lent is past, you can still give your own donation by a payment to the charitable association's Postfinance account, 60-666488-7, marking the payment clearly "For the Bishop's Appeal".

Mission Sunday - 26 February

For many years we have been supporting the Holy Land Institute for the Deaf at Salt in Jordan. With the support of the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem, they have bben providing schooling and training for deaf people in that part of the Middle East. They run a boarding school, and have been perfecting a sign language for local Arabic speakers.

With the war in Syria, their task has become harder, with the large influx of refugees coming to Jordan. We made them the focus of our Mission Sunday service. Gerhard Tschanz, who is active in support for the mission from the Swiss side, and who knows their work well, told us something about their work, with some practical demonstrations for us all of what it is like to be deaf, or even daf and blind. After the service, there was a bring-and-share lunch.

Pancakes and Ashes

28 Feburary was Shrove Tuesday, and we held our traditional pancake evening, with copious pancakes for all tastes - from chili con carne to sugar and lemon! And, of course, a quiz...

The next day, 1 March, was Ash Wednesday, withour traditional service and imposition of ashes.

Our Christmas Bazaar

Our Christmas Bazaar on 25 and 26 November was well-attended as always. People commented on the warmth of the welcome and the usual wide selection of stalls. You can find some pictures on our Facebook pages and our Google photo albums.

Our takings were a very satisfactory Fr22,000. Food, cakes, patchwork, books, bric à brac all did well, as well as our guest stalls, with fudge, with aloe vera products, and with mulled wine, samosas and mince pies. The roast turkey lunch on the Saturday and the raclette on the Friday evening were well appreciated.

Nativity Play Our annual Nativity Play was a successful adaptation of the theme. The children had written their own take on the events at Bethlehem from the viewpoint of the principal characters - Mary, Elizabeth, a shepherd, the wise men, Herod, even the donkey! You can see some pictures here.

Christmas Baking & Crafts Day Thanks to Ruby Wildhaber, we held a Christmas season day of baking and craft-making for young and old on Saturday, 10 December. The cookies and other products were sold after the Nativity Service the next day, and raised over Fr400 for Tear Fund. There are some pictures here.

Old Pictures

Do you know that we regularly put pictures of church events on our Google website? They are worth taking a look at to see if there are faces you recognize, or memories you recall. Take a look!

Welcome Cards

We also want to keep our address lists up to date, so that we can contact you if the need arises. There are cards in the porch and in the hall for newcomers to give us their details. If you have not yet filled one of these cards in, please help us by doing so and leaving it in the box in the porch, or giving it to the sidesperson. And if you change your address, please let us know!


We want you to make the most of the information we have on the web. Have you looked at our sitemap to see just what there is you can find out about? Have you tried clicking on some of the links on our pages to find out more?

In addition to photographs on this website (see the magazine index page for a list), the church has a Picasa site, with pictures of church events, new and old, and many of the sermons in St Ursula's in recent years have been recorded for you to listen to.

If you have ideas for improving the information we can give, or if you have pictures of the church or our activities that you would be willing to share on this site, do please contact us.

The church magazine appears every two months, in paper format and on the web. If you are interested in saving paper and reading the magazine on line, please use this link to ask us to provide you with details.

And you can see the weekly notices by clicking here. The readings are available too.

Shrinking the Footprint

We are committed to the Church of England's environmental campaign, Shrinking the Footprint, which aims to make church members more aware of their place in the world around us. It also aims to reduce the church's consumption of non-renewable resources, and specifically to cut carbon emissions by 60% by 2050.

Walter Bisig is our chaplaincy's environmental officer, working on making our activities greener.

A team of church members is helping with measurement, evaluation and proposals, drawing up an energy audit of the church's premises, which should lead to a long-term strategy for reducing our consumption. See the item above for details of what they have achieved.

Welcome to St Ursula's


HD - Page last modified 13 June 2017