Torrevieja’s Anglican Chaplaincy of St Peter and St Paul will no longer provide services at four of it’s centre’s of worship.
In a letter distributed last week by the Right Reverend David Hamid, Suffragan Bishop in the Diocese in Europe, the church leader announced that the Chaplaincy of Saints Peter and Paul, Torrevieja, will no longer provide worship services in 4 centres in the Chaplaincy, Cristo Resucitado in La Zenia, La Manga, San Fulgencio and Campoverde.
The Bishop said that it had been a painful decision that had been reached after consultations with the Chaplain and Churchwardens of the Chaplaincy about the future shape of ministry in this significant parish. He explained that with only one full-time priest, Fr Richard Seabrook, it was no longer possible to sustain the seven centres of worship and services would no longer be carried out in the four centres from 26 January.
In a letter released to parishioners Bishop David said “The sustainability of the present pattern of 7 worship centres has been under review for some time now. After a full discussion, and with prayerful deliberation, the Church Council has decided that the time has come for a difficult decision to be made.”
The Bishop explained that members of the Chaplaincy Council had voted overwhelmingly in favour of this decision, albeit with considerable sadness.
He also confirmed that members who, up to this point, had been associated with one of these centres, will continue on the electoral roll of the parish and he encouraged them all to join with one of the remaining centres where worship continues: Lago Jardín, La Siesta or Los Balcones.
Quite whether the decision to withdraw services from the four centres is as a result of financial considerations is not known, but with the Church of England Chaplaincy wholly reliant on the faithful giving of its members to keep its services going it must have been a significant influence.
Bishop David will now meet with Bishop Jesús, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Orihuela-Alicante to inform him of this decision.
In closing his letter to parishioners he wrote that the Churchwardens and members of the Council are grateful for the support of all members of the Chaplaincy, and particularly for the dedicated work of so many whose work, stewardship and commitment sustain the life of the Church in the Chaplaincy.
He said that he was completely confident that in the years ahead, God will continue to bless the congregations in Torrevieja, as the Anglican Chaplaincy continues to serve the English-speaking population in the area.
Despite the withdrawal of the Anglican Services from Cristo Resucitado in La Zenia, La Manga, San Fulgencio and Campoverde Church, the four centres will each continue providing religious support to other faiths in their own communities.