Reverend Elisabeth Dean
The Chaplain at Saint Luke’s Church Fontainebleau is Reverend Elisabeth Dean, who began her appointment on August 1, 2018 and completed her Licensing Ceremony on September 9, 2018. Here are a few words about Elisabeth:
Elisabeth was born and raised in Melbourne, Australia where her first career was in healthcare. She was ordained in 1992 – part of the first group of women ordained as priests in the Anglican Church in Australia. She subsequently served as Priest-in-Charge and Incumbent of three Melbourne parishes, two in the inner-city and one on the outskirts of Melbourne. She undertook several chaplaincy-related roles, including ecumenical ministry, and the churches in which she served were deeply committed to social care of many different kinds.
In 2009 Elisabeth and Noël moved to South West France where they became much involved and fully integrated into the local community especially through the local Catholic church and the Pilgrims Welcome Team, which ministers to pilgrims on their way to Compostella in Spain. Elisabeth has also led services at St. Andrew’s Anglican church in Pau and helped on the locum team during their recent time of vacancy.
In their small town of Navarrenx they renovated an old house and were welcomed by the local community, making many good friends along the way. They also found time to enjoy their artistic pursuits and Elisabeth was part of the local choir. Noël and Elisabeth gained French citizenship in 2017.
Elisabeth has a daughter and three grandchildren in Australia, while their small dog, Henri, completes their household here in France.
In discussing her work and those aspects that particularly inspire her, Elisabeth emphasizes her enjoyment of preaching and “the vital importance of bringing God’s word to life through exegesis (explanation and interpretation of Scripture) and making contextual connections with people’s lives”. She says “People should ‘Go in peace to love and serve the Lord…..in the name of Christ’ feeling nurtured, inspired and empowered to do just that.” She values highly the pastoral work of being alongside people “through all the changing scenes of life”, and in all of these things she is a strong advocate of team ministry.
In sharing what had attracted her to St. Luke’s she said that she felt resonance with the vibrant description given in the vacancy pack, feeling that our profile and her experience, outlook and approach would be a good fit for this stage of our church’s life and her own.