The Church of England in the southern Costa Blanca is celebrating its 20th birthday on Saturday 24th October with a special celebration of the Holy Eucharist at La Siesta Ecumenical Church, Calle Granados at 1700.
Whilst there had been informal Church of England services before that, it was in 2000 that the Chaplaincy of Ss Peter and Paul, Torrevieja began to serve members of the Church of England (and other English speaking Christians who wanted to worship in the ethos of the Church of England) living in this part of Spain.
Father Richard A. Seabrook SSC, who has been in Torrevieja since 2015, is the fourth priest to be the “Chaplain” – the name given to parish priests in the Diocese in Europe, part of the Church of the England. The Diocese in Europe stretches, incredibly, from Madeira to Moscow with its two Bishops based in London and Brussels and the Cathedral in Gibraltar.
“All over Europe there are congregations of members of the Church of England who worship and serve the Lord and Ss Peter and Paul, Torrevieja is just one of them,” said Father Seabrook. “At the heart of our common life is the Eucharist whereby we gather around the Altar for the liturgy that Christ himself began.”
The Chaplaincy of Ss Peter and Paul, Torrevieja normally gathers at Los Balcones Catholic Church, Lago Jardín Urbanisation Church and La Siesta Ecumenical Church. “We rejoice in the ecumenical partnerships we have,” said Father Seabrook. “However, Los Balcones Church is closed for restoration at the moment and Lago Jardín is too small because of the social-distancing in place.
Speaking of the Pandemic, Father Seabrook continued: “The Pandemic has changed all our lives but the Church of England´s presence here is assured and continuing because of our twenty year old roots in the Southern Costa Blanca. This is our field of faith. Here our work of prayer, worship and service continues.”
The Chaplaincy, because of the Pandemic, now has a fourth “place” of worship during the Pandemic. Since Holy Week it has been broadcasting a daily Mass and Evening Prayer online.
In the Costa Blanca there are only two Church of England Chaplaincies – one north of Alicante and one based in the Torrevieja area. “As the only Church of England presence in the Southern Costa Blanca we look forward to welcoming more and more people to join our community – they are assured of a warm welcome,” said Father Seabrook.
“We look forward to giving God thanks for what has been achieved so far and we seek God´s continued strength and blessing in the years ahead.”
The Chaplaincy can be contacted at: @anglicantorrevieja on Facebook