Location

Nestled on the eastern side of the Massif Central mountain range in the heart of France, Clermont-Ferrand is approximately 4 hours south of Paris, 4 hours north of the Mediterranean, 3 hours west of Lyon and 5 hours west of Geneva.  The city of Clermont-Ferrand, a merger of the ancient cities of Clermont and Montferrand, is 10 KM from Puy de Dôme, the impressive volcano which overlooks the city.   Clermont is located slightly north of the level of the Canadian/U.S. border.

La place de la Victoire

La place de la Victoire

The Auvergne region is renowned throughout Europe for hiking and skiing opportunities. The area is full of vast open spaces dotted with lakes, forests and dormant volcanoes known as “puys”.  Clermont has all four seasons, with warm and sunny summers and appropriately cold and cloudy winters. There are approximately 142,000 residents in the core of Clermont-Ferrand and nearly 468,000 living in the metropolitan area.  While we may be somewhat isolated from other parts of France this is a significant city in its own right with a wide range of industry, services, culture and civic life.

Universities

Clermont is home to a collection of universities including the Groupe Ecole Supérieure de Commerce, the Université Blaise Pascal, the Université d’Auvergne and the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture de Clermont-Ferrand.  Between the Universities there are approximately 45,000 students living in Clermont and its environs, including 5,000 international students. Several of the universities maintain exchange programs with schools in the U.S. Japan and China.

clermongCulture

Clermont has three major museums – Musée Bargoin for Gallo-Roman architecture and a diverse textile exhibition, Musée Henri-Lecoq, the natural history museum for the Massif Centrale and the Musée d’Art Roger-Quillot containing painting, sculpture, decorative and graphic arts and photography.  Clermont also has a vibrant theatre and music community.  The Polydome at Place Premier Mai and the Grand Hall at the Zenith are regularly visited by larger concerts and musicals.

The city welcomes a large global audience to the International Short Film Festival each March and celebrates the Annual Fête de la Musique in June.  This this one must add a myriad of activities (concerts, agricultural shows and brocantes) in the surrounding towns and villages throughout the year.

The Church

Christ Church is the newest parish of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe.  Our membership is made up of expatriated employees in Clermont-Ferrand, university students, Anglophones who have settled permanently in France as well as local Clermontois who enjoy our common life and worship.  This parish church began in May 1996 as the home church of a small group of English-speaking residents who felt the desire to come together and worship in their native IMG_3593language. We are approaching our twentieth year together.  We have grown from that small dedicated house group to an enthusiastic mission and now to the active self-supporting parish that we are today.  The dedication and commitment of so many expat families over the years has resulted in a strong, united community of Christians who continue to support one another, worship together and ensure the church remains strong for future incoming families.  The bonds developed in this community are solid and enduring ones and it is common to welcome back former members who make a point of attending our services during their business trips to France and who maintain their associations upon returning to their home countries.

Our varied cIMG_3760ultural backgrounds and denominations are our strength.  Christ Church continues to focus on the common points which unite us rather than the differences which divide us as we worship together in Christ.  We, along with the eight other parishes and ten mission congregations of the Convocation located throughout Continental Europe,  enjoy the unwavering support of our Bishop-in-charge, the Rt Rev’d Pierre Whalon who is based in Paris.

 

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