ECO

The Ecumenical Church Of Occitanie

An English-Speaking Church which is always open

Walking With You During Life's Events

 

Please note: ECO do not charge any fees - only our actual expenses incurred in travelling

Two hands wearing wedding rings
A rose
Bible open at Psalm 23
Janet Varty with a happy couple
Example copy of blessing commemorative certificate
Linda Billenness officiating at a blessing of a marriage

Ecclesiastes 3: "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing"

 

There are three major moments when Christians want to share their lives and invite God to be present:

 

At The Birth Of A Child

 

It is customary in many faiths to give thanks for the birth of a child and to ask for God's blessing on this new life. In this way, the Child is welcomed into God's Kingdom, named and blessed with water.

 

In many denominations, baptism is the path to being confirmed and even to being married later on. For this reason, ECO encourage parents of newly-born children desiring a baptismal ceremony to consider whether they should undertake this in the denomination in which they were raised. We will always be happy to put you in touch with a member of any denomination of Christian Church which is operating in the Occitanie to enable you to arrange this. As an Ecumenical Church, while we are always only too happy to formally welcome a new member of the Community of Faith, we do appreciate that not every denomination will 'recognise' our baptismal ceremonies (which are performed using the Iona liturgy) nor be willing to allow us to use their church for the ceremony.

 

However, if it is your wish that your child be baptised by an ECO Minister, we will of course be only too pleased to discuss with you how this might be performed and to arrange baptismal classes for the parent(s) and godparent(s).

 

Please send an e-mail to contact@ourchurch.fr

 

At the Blessing of a Marriage

 

The Occitanie is a beautiful region of France in which to celebrate the creation of new union, and there are many wonderful venues which will offer couples the opportunity to share in their celebration with their friends and family in breathtaking scenery.

 

It is important to understand, however, that in France, it is illegal for any Church to claim to perform a marriage ceremony, since only a Mayor or other duly authorised representative of the French Government may conduct a 'marriage'.

Churches can, however, peform ceremonies to bless a marriage, and a number of ECO Ministers are normally happy to perform such a ceremony following any marriage or civil union which is recognised under the laws of France including same-sex unions and those where one or both parties have undergone gender re-assignmentWe welcome all of God's people. We require only that the union is legally recognised in France (which can include civil ceremonies performed in other countries including the United Kingdom). Blessing ceremonies can be performed in any location selected by the parties to the marriage (subject to common-sense restrictions relating to practicality and decency - sorry: no hot air balloons or naturist beaches !).

 

ECO Ministers do not charge any fee for conducting the blessing of a marriage, but ask that you re-imburse any travel costs actually incurred based on the current rates as published and approved by the French Government within their tax regime (currently €0.60.6 cents per kilometre) together with any tolls we have to pay (which often reduces the distance to be travelled) which we would agree with you in advance.

 

At the end of the ceremony, we will give you a commemorative certificate of your blessing which you can keep with your official certificate of marriage and, perhaps, your wedding photographs.

 

Please send an e-mail to contact@ourchurch.fr

 

Funerals and Other Ceremonies at the End of a Life

 

In France, funerals are usually held within 3 - 6 days of someone's death and the pressures of time and unfamiliarity with the French laws and procedures for organising a funeral can add greatly to the pressures and distress of those left behind. If you wish to arrange religious funeral, a service of committal at a crematorium or a memorial service to give thanks for a life, or would simply like to speak to a minister, please feel free to contact us. A ceremony to scatter the ashes of a deceased person can be arranged later on. A number of members of the ECO Ministry Team who are fully trained in conducting funerals have been authorised to attend and lead a funeral service.  We recognise that both English and French friends and neighbours may wish to attend a service, and we will therefore conduct them bi-lingually where requested.

 

As with Blessings of Marriages,  ECO Ministers do not charge any fee of any kind for conducting funerals,

but ask you to re-imburse any travel costs incurred.

 

Please contact us either by sending an e-mail to contact@ourchurch.fr or, if your enquiry is urgent, please telephone this French mobile telephone number : (+33)  O6.O2.6O.73.17 or this UK one (+44) (O)772O - O6O916