Where we are
The Overseas Mission work in France is centred in Orvault, in the northwest of greater Nantes, an agglomeration with a population of almost 600,000 in the Loire Valley in the northwest of France. Nantes is the administrative capital of the Loire region and is one of the most important centres of population in France. (www.nantes-tourisme.com)
Visit the fellowship's website.
History of RP work in France:
The Church in Ireland first sent a team of missionaries to France in 1986. Having done language study in Massy the team, made up of Rev Malcolm Ball and Rev Blair McFarland with their families and Miss Margaret McMullan, moved to Nantes in 1988. Margaret McMullan retired from the work in 2000 and in 2006 Rev McFarland returned to Ireland and took up the pastoral charge of the Bready congregation. Malcolm and Muriel Ball were joined in Nantes in 2011 by Rev Andrew Lytle and his wife Heather.
Rev Malcolm & Mrs Muriel Ball
Rev Andrew & Mrs Heather Lytle
Church in Nantes:
The church known as l’Eglise Réformée Evangélique has been meeting in the same premises situated at 141 route de Rennes, Orvault since 1991.
The meeting place is easiest found from the ring road. At porte de Rennes, instead of following direction Rennes, follow direction Orvault-Grand Val. This takes you on to route de Rennes. Continue straight for 800yds and the meeting place is on the right at the corner with rue de Reynière. 141 route de Rennes, 44700 Orvault.
For Satnavs - the latitiude/longitude is: 47.256319°, -1.578733°.
The worship service every Lord’s Day morning is at 10:30 with Malcolm and Andrew sharing the preaching. The service is conducted in French but an English translation of the sermon is available. Every two months a church lunch is held after the service in a nearby hall.
On Lord’s Day evenings, fortnightly, in the Lytle’s home, we hold a Bible Study for students and young adults in French and on Monday evenings the Bible study is in English.
On Wednesdays, in the afternoon there are English classes in the church meeting place. The regular midweek Bible study is on Wednesday evening.
On Thursday evening there is an English Café for students which meets in a café beside the university and which brings together students from many different nationalities and backgrounds. This student work comes under the umbrella of the association DAC (Discuter, Apprendre, Croire) the website for which is www.nantesdac.blogspot.fr.
Each month, on the 3rd Thursday, a « friendship meal » is provided for people in the area who come for a chat and a light lunch.
Every other Friday evening the youth group meets and on the first Friday of each month there is a prayer meeting.
Once a month, on a Saturday morning, there is a club for children up to the age of 11.
One-off events such as Irish evenings and special evangelistic meetings are also organized from time to time.
On the Web:
The church website www.ere-presbyterienne.com is an invaluable means of outreach and communication and is attracting an ever-growing number of visitors.
There is also a Facebook site under “Eglise Réformée Evangélique d'Orvault”
Outreach teams have been coming to Nantes at Easter each year since 1990 to help with different aspects of the work. The main part of their work is the distribution of over 30,000 copies of an evangelistic leaflet “Réflexions”. As well as participating in many of the regular activities, the team also organizes a musical evening to which friends and neighbours are invited. Every two years a summer mission team from the RPCNA is welcomed.
How can you help:-
Prayer is a vital element in the work and the prayer support of hundreds of Christian friends throughout the world is greatly appreciated. Each month prayer requests and updates are sent to supporting churches and individuals. Prayer letters which give a more personal insight into missionary life in France are also sent. If you would like to receive these, contact either Malcolm or Andrew and ask to be added to the email lists.
Many congregations pray regularly for the work in France but we would also encourage individuals to set up prayer groups to pray specifically for France with people who share a similar burden for the work.
Visit Nantes and worship with us –
Nantes is easily reached. By plane there are flights from many airports throughout Europe. Trains come from most major cities elsewhere in France. The missionaries will be able to suggest accommodation possibilities in the area.
For those going by car, the meeting place is easiest found from the ring road (périphérique) exiting at Porte de Rennes and following direction Orvault-Grand Val and then Nantes Centre. This leads to route de Rennes. After crossed the tramway continue straight for a further 800yds and the meeting place is on the right at the corner with rue de Reynière.
Take a gap year/career break to work or study in Nantes
There are many international students who go to Nantes to study, many of whom have little or no French. Others go as part of their university language studies. Whatever the reason, the Mission team is always delighted to welcome those who go with a desire to serve and be involved in the life of the fellowship. There are opportunities to be involved with most aspects of the work but especially with the work among students and the teenagers in the church.
Opportunities are not just limited to students. If someone is willing to be flexible in terms of their work and willing to make an effort to learn enough of the language to get by, then there is a place for them in Nantes. If you would like to investigate the possibility of moving to Nantes to be involved with the fellowship there, contact any of the missionaries.
Continue to support the mission financially
As with all missionary situations, the work in Nantes is maintained thanks to the generous, sacrificial giving of God’s people throughout the world. This generosity is gratefully acknowledged by the mission team and fellowship in Nantes. Most giving takes place within the context of local congregations but it is also possible for individuals to make contributions directly to the Mission Committee treasurer William McCollum or directly to the fellowship in Nantes through one of the missionaries.