Spending 7 months as part of the Rouen Branch meant that, in a way, they become our family, and the Caen District, which covered all of Normandy, became our extended family. Our last week in "France" was actually spent with the District at the Temple in Frankfurt. We knew that District Conference was this last weekend, and we were a little disappointed to come home just before it, but I was very surprised to receive this email:
Etes vous bien arriver chez vous? Merci pour tout ce que vous avez fait ici a Rouen. Dimanche nous étions a Caen pour notre conférence de District. Il y avait la Présidence de Pieu d'Anger la Présidence de Pieu de Paris La Présidence de Missionet le Patriarche Rouen, le Havre, et Caensont rattaché au Pieu de Paris et Alençon est rattaché au Pieu d'Anger. Le District de Caen n'existe plus. Voilà pour les nouvelles.
Comment allez vous? Nous ça va, nous sommes heureux d'etres rattaché au Pieu de Paris. Nous vous disons a Bientôt.
La Famille Decaudin
So, the Caen District has ceased to exist! The Branches of Rouen, Le Havre, and Caen have been moved to the Paris Stake (based out of Versailles), and the Alençon Branch has been moved to the Angers Stake. What I don't know is what happened to the Branches of Coutances or Cherbourg. Possibilities include them also be part of the Paris Stake, the Angers Stake or the Lorient District (informally, the "Brittany District"), or possibly they are directly under the Mission! (The Evereax Branch was closed down a year or two ago and merged with the Mantes-la-Jolie Ward in the suburbs of Paris).
On one hand, I'm sad to see the District go, but I know there has been a lot of talk over the years on how the Caen District could become the Caen Stake but the numbers just we're there. I think this will be a good way to reach the same result of offering the members in Normandy the strength of being in a Stake.
I'm always excited to watch the Church progress in France!
Stakes, Districts, Wards and Branches: I should explain, for those not familiar, what a "Stake," etc is. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the "Mormon Church"), the members are organized geographically. The local units are Wards. About a dozen Wards are grouped together into a Stake. Branches and Districts are similar to Wards and Stakes, but used when there are less members. Wards are about have 150 to 300 members, and can vary is size. In some parts of the United States, a Ward will correspond to a neighbourhood, but in France a Branch or two would often cover a Department.