Anne Oakley - Hon. Pasteur French Church,Canterbury.

Celebrating the Birthday of Odet de Coligny 500 years ago.

Anne Oakley - Hon. Pasteur French Church, Canterbury.  Celebrating the Birthday of Odet de Coligny 500 years ago. He was a Cardinal, Bishop of Beauvais but also a Huguenot.  He came to England to talk with Elizabeth 1st about giving refuge to French Huguenots and freedom from religious persecution.  He died at Canterbury - rumour has it that he may have been poisoned by Catholics.  He was buried in a very simple tomb in the expectation that his family would claim his remains and take them back to France.  This never happened and his simple tomb still stands in the Trinity Chapel of Canterbury Cathedral.  His brother Admiral Gaspard de Coligny was the first victim of the Eve of St. Bartholemew Massacre dying on 24th August 1572.

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This is the current Newsletter in the old format. It has yet to be decided whether we will continue with our occasional Newsletters or just post Items of Interest within the Blog from time to time.

You can download the Newsletter here.

PETER WARR – Team Tanzania

Peter spoke of the work Team Tanzania are doing in Tabora.  He is a charismatic speaker and story teller and gave us many examples of how, by spending very little, his team were able to do so much in various areas. 

It is sad to think that so many of the children go blind- partly because of their belief in the Medicine Man and going too late to receive help from Western Medicine.  And it is only a small thing but Team Tanzania provided several hundred white sticks and one young lady summed up the help this has been to her – she said ‘I am no longer invisible’ – people are able to see that I might need help and I am no longer ignored.

Team Tanzania have also ‘lined’ many wells and provided pumps as well as appointing ‘officials’ to look after the Wells and the water.  Clean water means a healthier life style.

Peter was inspirational and proved how much can be achieved with relatively little financial input.

Anne Oakley presented the Sunday collection to Peter and other members of the congregation added to the amount to help Peter and his team ‘keep up their invaluable work’.

The indefatiguable Hugh Norton with Peter Warr

Memorial Service for Mariette LaMaison

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On Sunday, 8th November, a Memorial Service was held in the Chapel for Mariette LaMaison.  Mariette had suffered illness for several years and sadly I did not get to meet her.  Despite this, I was very moved by the tributes to her read by Michéle Brown, Major Mandy Sands, Anne Reannie, and Jane Usten.  Jane read tributes from pupils of Wye School where Mariette and her husband set up the school library many years ago and which Mariette maintained even after her husband’s death.  The tributes were very moving and, despite not knowing her, they brought tears to my eyes as they did to many in the Congregation.  Mariette was a much loved and highly respected member of the Congregation at the French Church.  She will be missed.

When Mrs LaMaison was unable to go into Wye school anymore she donated £1000 to be used over the next few years to give awards at the end of each term to chosen boys & girls who had excelled in their reading.  

Anne Oakley gave the Sunday Collection to Wye school to help with the continuation of Marietta’s good work.

This donation will be used to give some additional awards to children in December, especially as it is the  Christmas season. By giving some extra awards it will  promote the scheme and hopefully encourage even more enthusiastic readers.

Jan Leeming 



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 On Sunday 28th June we had a visit from members of the Congregation of the French Protestant Church in Soho Square, London.

Pasteur Stéphane Desmarais and Thibault  Lavergne (President of their Consistory) and a party of 15 arrived at 12.30 for a picnic in the Precincts of Canterbury Cathedral.  Then they were given a short guided tour of the Cathedral followed by the regular Sunday Service in the Huguenot Chapel at 3.00pm.  We all repaired to Chom Chom for tea and cakes and a ‘great time was had by all’.

I was delighted that they all took such an interest in the main highlights in the history of Canterbury Cathedral and also our Stained Glass Ancestors Exhibition.  And the behaviour of the children was exemplary.

We hope this new found relationship will be the commencement of many exchange visits.

 Jan Leeming


You have come to this site either with an interest in the French Church, Huguenots, Walloons or the Black Prince’s Chantry.

Therefore you might like some links to other sites which could help further your search for information.

French Protestant Church, Soho Square, London.  Services every Sunday morning at 10.30 Pasteur - Stéphane Desmarais.   N.B. the link does not appear to work in Safari but does in Firefox

The New Huguenot Museum in Rochester 

Well worth a visit.  You will find the history of the Huguenots; fascinating artefacts including a Bible which was baked in a loaf of bread to hide it from the authorities; and various exhibitions.  It is not open every day so please check the website for opening times.  

The Huguenot Society of Great Britain and Ireland

All manner of fascinating information about the Huguenots and how to discover whether your name is Huguenot being the name given to the Walloons and the French escaping religious persecution. Over a long period of time some 50,000 settled in England.  At a time when the population was only a few million this has led to the conclusion that 1 in 6 of the population is of Huguenot Ancestry.

New Pasteur

On our new website, it is appropriate that the first Blog concerns Miss AnneOakley- a mainstay of the Huguenot Chapel for decades.

On 13th May 2015, Anne received a notification from Eglise Protestante Unie de Belgique that she is now recognised as the Pasteur for our Chapel.


Dated - Waterloo, le 13 mai 2015 

Headed - Délégation pastorale

The notification read -Le Conseil du District du Brabant francophone accorde la délégation pastorale à Madame Anne OAKLEYAvec les salutations fraternelles du CD

Émile CARP, président

Anne RICHARD, secrétaire

Hearty congratulations to Anne from the members of the Consistory and the Congregation of the Huguenot Chapel.