The American Church in Paris – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Si votre requête concerne une aide de logement ou d'emploi, nous vous prions de noter que l'Eglise américaine n'offre pas un tel soutien. Merci également de prendre note que nous n'avons pas de programme de stages.

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Our Mission, Faith Statement, and Polity

Mission: Our congregation is an interdenominational and international Christian community whose mission is to bear witness by word and deed to the love of God as revealed in Jesus Christ, to provide a place of English language worship in the American Protestant tradition, and to engage in ministries and services that enrich the lives of residents and visitors in Paris.

Faith Statement: Theologically, the ACP could be characterized as belonging to the historic Christian mainstream. Our constitution states:

The Church recognizes the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the revelation of God in matters of faith and practice, and it accepts as a symbol of our union with the great body of Christians living and dead, the spiritual truths embodied in the Apostle's Creed. The church asserts its belief in the freedom and responsibility of the individual and the right of private judgment exercised under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Church Polity: The ACP is a self-governing congregation with a representative governing body called the Church Council. Each year, two General Congregational meetings are held, one to receive annual reports from the leadership and vote on the proposed budget; and the other to elect new officers and members of the Church Council.

The elected officers of the congregation are the Moderator, Vice-Moderator, the Secretary, the Assistant Secretary, and the Treasurer. These officers, together with the Senior and Associate pastors, form the Executive Committee. The Senior Pastor is defined in the constitution as the "chief administrative officer" of the congregation, and reports both to the congregation and to the AFCU, who are his official employers.

The officers, together with the elected chairs and vice-chairs of the standing committees form the Church Council. Council Leaders normally serve a 3-year-term.

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Worship Services

We offer three services on Sunday: http://www.acparis.org/worship-mission/worship-services.

Looking for other English-speaking Protestant churches in Paris? CESC provides a list: http://cesc.online.fr/religious.html.

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Concerts and Music

If you would like to:

  • Subscribe to the mailing list for the Sunday Atelier Concert Series
  • Be considered as a performer for the series
  • Have information on the adult vocal choir or adult handbell choirs

Please email the Music Director.


If you would like to have information about:

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Sacraments

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English Conversation

The American Church in Paris doesn't offer language classes, but does offer a weekly French/English conversation exchange on Thursday nights from 18h-19h30. It's free, for all ages and no reservation needed.

The public is also invited to participate in any of the activities at the church which might incorporate English. You may also wish to consult the list of cultural organizations at the Council for the English-Speaking Community website: http://cesc.online.fr/cultural.html.

FUSAC also lists a number of language schools and language exchanges.

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Room Rentals and Reservations

If you would like information about renting a room for an activity, see the conditions, schedules and information: http://www.acparis.org/community-activities/activity-room-reservations.

For further information or to reserve an activity space, please email the Business Administrator.

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Housing, Lodging, Hotels

The American Church in Paris cannot provide housing or accommodations information in Paris, although we provide a bulletin board with notices at the Church house, open 9h-22h Mon-Sat, 13h-18 Sunday.

For short-term affordable Christian housing, however, we can recommend the Adveniat Youth Hostel: http://www.adveniat-paris.org/AJ-Adveniat/uk/0-AccueilAJ.php?l=uk.

Otherwise, please consult other tourist services, including consulting FUSAC: http://fusac.fr/en/annonces_detail.php?&cat=Housing+Offers+Paris%0D%0A.

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Employment

The American Church in Paris cannot help you to find work, although we provide a bulletin board with notices at the Church house, open 9h-22h Mon-Sat, 13h-18 Sunday. Note that foreigners need the appropriate documentation to work legally in France.

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Visas, Immigration

Please contact the embassy for your country of origin.

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Aid Request and Mission Aid

The Council for the English-Speaking Community provides a list of aid agencies in town: http://cesc.online.fr/support.html.

You may also email ACP Mission Outreach.

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Bloom Orientation Program

This popular orientation program is designed to help English-speaking newcomers settle into life in Paris. Information: http://www.acparis.org/bloom-where-youre-planted.

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Volunteers

We are grateful for the enthusiasm and support of all our volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering your services, please look at our list of committees and select one which corresponds to the mission you would like to serve, and contact that committee directly.

Christian education (Sunday school, Bible study)
Communications (website, Spire, social media, radio)
Community life (Thurber Thursdays, Easter breakfast, etc)
Development & property
Finance & stewardship
Human resources
Mission outreach
Worship & music
Contemporary music

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Historical Information

The American Church in Paris is the first American church established on foreign soil. Begun in 1814, by the mid-1800s the congregation had grown and decided to build its own church. In 1837, the congregation became affiliated with the American and Foreign Christian Union [AFCU], a mission organization doing work in Europe. The American Church in Paris was officially chartered under French law in 1856 and the first sanctuary built in 1857 on the rue de Berri. Our church constitution states:

The American Church in Paris is the instrument of the American and Foreign Christian Union, which is charged with the responsibility of maintaining a place and program of Protestant worship designed particularly for the American community, but open to all residents and visitors in Paris.

Today, the AFCU board is made up of alumni of the church who serve as volunteers and give generously of their time and financial resources to make the continued ministry of the ACP possible.

Following World War I, the congregation grew too large for the rue de Berri site, and construction on the present facilities began in 1926. Major grants for the present building came from two American philanthropic foundations, the Curtiss James Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation. The style is neo-gothic, and the stained-glass windows are remarkably beautiful. Most of the windows were designed by Connick Studios of Boston, Massachusetts, and commissioned by Connick to be built by the ateliers of Lorin and Gruber at Chartres. There are two Tiffany windows on the lower level which were brought from the first church to the present one. They were donated in 1901 and are on the list of both French and American national historic treasures.

From its beginning, the American Church in Paris has been intentionally interdenominational. While officially Protestant, it has welcomed Christians of all denominations, and even numbers approximately 20% Roman Catholic among the regular worshipping congregation. The liturgy for the service is drawn from the prayer books of several of the major Protestant denominations, and is very similar to the current Roman Catholic liturgy as well.

In addition to being a spiritual home for English-speakers in Paris, the American Church also serves the larger community in Paris as well, through educational, cultural and social programs. Through its offspring, the Franco-American Community Center, many activities and services are available through the week. Thousands of people use the church every week.

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Technical Problems with Website

Please email Web Maintenance.

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Other

If none of these respond to your needs, please use this contact form.

Support Us

Gifts in support of the ministries and mission of the American Church in Paris may be made directly to the Church or to our United States sponsor, the American and Foreign Christian Union (AFCU).
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The Spire & ACP Today

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