Looking to the future after lockdown…
4th July 2020
I am most grateful for the help and support of Caroline, Rev’d John Sutton and Fr Peter Ford in providing thoughtful Reflections and Intercessions for our twice weekly Service Orders that have now been sent out each week, for over three months. We also need to send our very heartfelt thanks to Sue Brown who has prepared every single Order of Service so they could be sent out in the Newsletter format and also on our website and social media each week. That work represents an enormous commitment, for which I am so grateful.
Now that we have begun returning to church, things will need to change to avoid all of us who work ‘behind the scenes’ to produce on-line material and now our Church services, being faced with unrealistic pressures & demands.
We are aware that there are a few people in our congregations who are still self-isolating at the moment, while some will not be able to use public transport - although I know various people are kindly offering lifts. In order to judge whether there is now a real need for Orders of Service to be sent out on Sundays, please drop me a line if you would welcome a copy, because you are continuing to self-isolate or have difficulty attending church: CdSEpewsheet@gmail.com
A shorter version will gladly be sent out as a pdf document. Thank you. Fr Nigel
Our phased return for worship includes:
Wednesdays at 10.30am – Eucharist at Los Boliches
Sundays at 9.30am - Eucharist at Calahonda and 11.30am - Eucharist at Alhaurin
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4th July 2020
On Thursday 2nd July, there was a special Eucharist at Los Boliches to celebrate 25 years since our Chaplain, Fr Nigel Stimpson, was ordained Priest.
Twenty of us were able to join in the celebration, including some “Jazz Hands” to share the Peace, and humming along to hymns (we are told singing is not recommended at the moment).
This was a ‘quiet,’ said celebration. We were planning a thanksgiving celebration with a visiting preacher etc. but this had to be postponed due to present circumstances. We now plan to do this later in the year incorporating a celebration of all ministry.
Re-opening our Churches –
some good news!
14th June 2020
Following the early move to Phase 3 of the de-escalation plans, I am delighted to announce the following plans for re-starting services in our Chaplaincy. It will be a staged return for some weeks to come, as listed below. Please remember that our return is strictly governed but the Spanish Government’s laws, FEREDE (the Ministry of Justice agency governing non-Catholic churches) and our own Diocesan guidelines.
Starting on Wednesday 24 June, and then each Wednesday:
10.30am Said Eucharist at St Andrew’s, Los Boliches
Starting on Sunday 28 June, and then each Sunday:
9.30am Said Eucharist at Calahonda Church
11.30am Said Eucharist at Alhaurin Chapel
Sadly, we cannot meet all the rules & regs to make it possible to safely use the chapel at Benalmadena at the moment.
To meet the rules and regulations governing our return, we will need your help - and ask everyone attending to please:
Make use of hand gel as you enter the church (even if you are gloved)
Wear face masks
Sit in the allocated seats – starting from the front and where a service order has been placed. Those from the same household may sit together.
Keep to the 2m social distancing.
Holy Communion will be given in one kind (wafer alone) and please make sure your hand is open to receive the wafer.
There will be a retiring collection
Please leave as directed, starting from the back of church.
Sadly there can be no singing in these early weeks of returning.
Clearly this is not Church as we know it – hopefully as restrictions continue to be eased, we can slowly return to our usual pattern of worship.
I strongly believe it is worth following these simple rules and regs, so that we can start to gather together again for worship, and to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion, denied to all of us for so many weeks now.
Thank you for your help to make our return run as smoothly as possible. Fr Nigel
Different ways of staying in touch
As we explore different ways of staying in touch and providing resources for our Chaplaincy, we offer:
A Holy Hour:
By way of moving forward and as an experiment, we will open St Andrew’s, Los Boliches on Wednesday 10 June from 10am - 11am for private prayer - often referred to in church circles as a ‘Holy Hour’. Social distancing will be required, as will the wearing of masks and using hand gel as you enter and leave the building. It will not be a social gathering, just an opportunity to provide space for silent prayer and reflection. Come and go as you wish during that time. If this is found to be helpful, then we will make it a regular time. It will also provide an opportunity for those who have expressed concern about not being able to give their offerings as usual for Chaplaincy Ministry. So it will be possible to safely leave your weekly envelopes during this time.
A new way to keep in touch is through our newly developed YouTube channel.
We will try to regularly keep this updated with new thoughts and reflections.
More Tea Vicar
10th May 2020
A Zoom ‘Afternoon-tea’ gathering…
We are trying to organise a virtual afternoon tea gathering, using Zoom on Thursday 21 May. Details of the time and links will be available soon. If you are interested in joining us, please drop Fr Nigel an email by Tuesday 19 May at the latest, so the ‘invitation’ to join the gathering - which has all the necessary information from Zoom can be sent out. Look forward to seeing you then – firstname.lastname@example.org
6th May 2020
A small dedicated team who will pray for you or those you may be concerned about. It is done in complete confidence, and you will never be approached by a member of the Prayer Chain about your requests. Only first names are used and details are kept to a minimum. For information about the Prayer Chain please contact Mike or Wendy Edwards at email@example.com or have a word with Caroline or Fr Nigel.
Supporting your Chaplaincy during this difficult time:
As the period of lock-down continues and looks set to be extended for a further period, there is now some concern about our Chaplaincy finances. Jen & John, our Churchwardens, would encourage those who are able, to consider making a bank transfer for their stewardship giving.
We are so grateful to all who have made recent offerings by bank transfers - these will help us enormously. They fully support Billy Dawson’s (our Stewardship Officer) suggestion that all who use the Stewardship envelopes can continue to put their stewardship in them and bring them along when we are next able to gather together. But as the period of lock-down is now far longer than anyone expected, whether we meet together or not, there are still monthly bills to meet and as time goes on, the chaplaincy’s finances will be more and more challenged, therefore, they suggest that perhaps now is time to consider supporting our ministry by using a bank transfer instead, either to our Spanish or UK accounts:
Account Name: Iglesias Anglicana De La Costa Del Sol Este
IBAN: ES39 2103 0194 6500 3001 0341
Please note these important changes to our UK account details:
Bank: Barclays Bank plc
Account name: Diocese in Europe Fund
Account number: 40317039
Sort code: 20-06-13
IBAN: GB16 BUKB 2006 1340 3170 39
Please include the reference: CdSEast
It is very important that you include the reference CdSEast – otherwise any offering may get lost in this account, which serves every Chaplaincy in the Diocese!
Thank you for your continued practical support. Fr Nigel
Pastoral Care in the Chaplaincy continues
Saturday 21st March 2020
Please be assured that while we may be unable to meet for worship or socially, pastoral care and concern is still very much part of our life together. Please make contact should you simply need a chat, prayerful support or just quiet reassurance at this difficult time. Our Reader, Caroline, and Churchwardens, John and Jen are also available:
Fr Nigel - 608 403 024 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Caroline - 697 867 377 - email@example.com
Jen - 622 252 074 - firstname.lastname@example.org
John – 655 342 874 - Jrbafc@aol.com
National Day of Prayer and Action
Sunday 22nd March 2020
This Mothering Sunday Churches Together in England are calling all churches to a National Day of Prayer and Action.
At 7pm, light a candle as a symbol of the light of life, Jesus Christ, our source and hope in prayer.
Find out more and join us: www.cte.org.uk/calltoprayer
On Friday 21st February we were entertained by the superb local guitarist Matt McGurk. Matt played a selection of modern and traditional Spanish pieces to which he added his own inspired interpretation. Linda and Peter Hammond hosted the evening and Linda prepared a wonderful spread of tapas which was really delicious! Billy was in charge of the raffle. Proceeds from the raffle, tickets and part of the CD sales all went towards Chaplaincy funds raising 713€. All in all, a very successful evening.
The Calahonda church fellowship Chinese lunch on Thursday 6th February at the Golden Sun, Riviera was enjoyed by all. Thank you to everyone who was able to join us in great food and fellowship with the added bonus of 100€ in donations to the Chaplaincy
The annual Gibraltar Archdeaconry Synod was held during the last week of January 2020. It took place at Torrevieja where it has been held for the past 10 years. It is a level of governance of the Church of England and involves churches from across Spain and Portugal.
Our Chaplaincy was represented by Father Nigel and Caroline Macfarlane. There were approximately 130 elected delegates and clergy from 28 Chaplaincies along with Bishop David, staff from the Diocesan Office, and various visitors.
The synod allows for presentations and discussion on current issues affecting the church, there are bible studies and worship each day along with speakers relating to the theme, which this year was 'Caring for God's Creation'.
It provided a great opportunity for sharing of areas of good practice, and discussing any problems affecting our Chaplaincies. It is also a good opportunity to meet up with friends old and new.
Fr Nigel appointed as an Area Dean
This year was very special as it was announced that the Bishop has appointed Fr Nigel as an Area Dean in the Archdeaconry, with responsibility for Southern Spain and Gibraltar.
In collaboration with the Archdeacon this post essentially provides pastoral care of clergy in the area, and support when necessary, for the chaplaincies, especially in time of a vacancy.
This sort of pastoral care hasn’t been on offer for our area of Spain for quite a while. Fr Nigel says; “It is a real privilege to have been appointed and also a good reflection on our Chaplaincy in being considered able to give the necessary support for this important work to happen. Fear not - this work doesn’t involve missing Sundays or a large time commitment!!”
Fr Nigel appointed Area Dean