La Côte Anglican Church - Our History
It all started in 1986 when a small group of Christians, who mainly attended Holy Trinity Church in Geneva, met regularly for prayer and Bible study in the La Côte region. Encouraged by Fr. Sunipa Tevi, Assisting Priest at HTC, they realized that there were a good number of them scattered along the shores of the lake Léman and that there could be scope for more. Thanks to their efforts, La Côte has grown into the church family we have today, with two worshipping centres in Gingins, Switzerland and in neighbouring France at Divonne.
The first Anglican service was held in the Temple de Trélex, Vaud, in November 1986, and thereafter at the larger church at Gingins. Mervyn Puleston, the chaplain of Holy Trinity, Geneva at that time, conducted the services held once a month, later moving to two services a month. We maintained our close links with Holy Trinity, supported by succeeding chaplains, who all helped us towards our goal of becoming an independent congregation led by our own chaplain. This was achieved in 2003, and by that time we were holding weekly services in Gingins. Shortly afterwards, our first La Côte chaplaincy council and churchwardens were elected. In 2005, a second congregation was established at Divonne. This demonstrated the dynamic Christian faith in the lives of many who have attended. Julia Chambeyron, now Assistant Chaplain, who mainly takes care of the Divonne congregation, has long been a member of our community and was licensed as a Reader in 2002. She went on to pursue further theological training and formation. She was ordained deacon in 2006, and priest in 2007. By this time the two congregations were each running a lively Sunday Club for our youngsters and the first of our four youth interns arrived in 2004. They helped with the development of our work with young people together with many other dedicated volunteers from both congregations.
In 2010 a new Constitution was adopted and La Côte finally achieved the status of an independent chaplaincy within the Diocese in Europe. Carolyn Cooke was appointed chaplain after Paul Holley, our first chaplain resigned in order to follow another career direction after almost 7 years of ministry among us. In 2011, Julia Chambeyron was appointed Assistant Chaplain of La Côte. Bishop Geoffrey said that the La Côte chaplaincy was one of the success stories of the Diocese during the past decade and that it had been good to see how this congregation had grown through the years to a point where it could support a full-time chaplain.