Letter to the community of St. Thomas à Becket – from Father Leslie

Dear Sisters and Brothers

Never have I left a position with more sadness than leaving St.
Thomas à Becket. Julie, my wife, feels the same way.

I went through much soul-searching before deciding to apply for the role of Archdeacon of Germany and Northern Europe as well as the East. I have done so at the encouragement from persons I respect, and because I felt called to offer my particular international and ecumenical experiences of working for the church to the wider Diocese in Europe. Things happened very quickly between the advertisement of the post and the interviews, the outcome of which was anything but a foregone conclusion. I received the formal confirmation on 2nd September and on 12th the Diocese announced it on its website.

This offers me the opportunity to say how much our community has come to mean to me. As your chaplain I regard you as my extended family with all the joys and sorrows, the ups and downs, the celebrations and the struggles that close and committed relationships involve.  Through my ministry here in this great city of Hamburg, and our very special church community, I have learned a good deal more which, no doubt, will inform my future ministry as archdeacon. In this role I look forward to keeping in touch.

Let us take forward the work and witness of our Englische Kirche in Hamburg during the remaining weeks before my departure. I am assured that there are so many of you who will be continuing your engagement in this spirit after I leave as your chaplain. May the next incumbent experience the same excitement and challenge in taking up his or her role among you as I did.

You remain in our prayers. God bless you all.

Leslie Nathaniel

New Archdeacon of the East, Germany and Northern Europe

Post will be based near Stuttgart.

Our Chaplain, Revd Canon Dr Leslie Nathaniel, has been invited to take up the post of Archdeacon of the East, Germany and Northern Europe, which means that he will be leaving St Thomas à Becket this autumn. Father Leslie is a man of many talents, with the knowledge and competence the Archdeacon must have. He speaks several languages and has wide experience in ecumenical matters, developing close relations with the Nordic churches, the Old Catholic Church, Oriental Orthodox Churches and the Roman Catholic Church while serving as the International Ecumenical Secretary at Lambeth Palace and European Secretary at Church House, London. He knows the German context particularly well as he is a member of the Council of Anglican and Episcopal Churches in Germany.

Thus, although we are very sad to be losing him as Chaplain, we welcome him as Archdeacon and know that we will be able to turn to him for help and advice in the future. Fr Leslie has stressed that he has been greatly enriched by our vibrant congregation and the wide ecumenical relationships that we enjoy in Hamburg. So let us congratulate him, wish him all the very best in his new role and continue in the spirit of outreach, inclusion, growth, stability and joy which has marked his time with us.

Wearing his Archdeacon’s hat, Fr Leslie will be with us for the bazaar on 16th November and his farewell service will be on Sunday, November, 17th.

An article by the Diocese in Europe on the appointment can be found here.

Don’t miss our wonderful concert!

Tickets are still available for our fundraising concert ‘Magic and Myths’ in the church on Wednesday, 18 September at 19:00.

The concert features the Austrian-born soprano Christina Gansch and bass baritone Martin Hässler, both accompanied by Sholto Kynoch, pianist and director of the now world-renowned Oxford Lieder Festival which he established.

‘Magic and Myths’ celebrates the ‘glittering ballads and expressive songs’ of Carl Loewe, as 2019 marks the 150th anniversary of Loewe’s death. Though perhaps not a household name today, Carl Loewe was in his day a prolific and brilliant song composer with an astonishing gift for storytelling and for composing profound and beautiful lyric songs. He deserves to be better known. The artists will also be performing songs by Robert and Clara Schumann and Franz Schubert.

Tickets for the concert cost €50, which includes post-performance refreshments, and can be ordered by email to konzert@anglican-church-hamburg.de.