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26 Mar 2018

Camino de Santiago Chaplaincy launched

A new initiative is being launched in the Gibraltar Archdeaconry – a fresh expression – to be known as the Camino de Santiago Chaplaincy. Working with the Revd Alasdair Kay from the Derby Diocese, Bishop David Hamid and Archdeacon Geoff Johnston will launch this new initiative in May in Santiago de Compostela.

Anglican clergy, all volunteers with Permission to Officiate, will stay in accommodation in the city to provide pastoral care and support for pilgrims and to celebrate the Holy Eucharist on Sundays and other Holy Days. Sybille Yates will be coordinating arrangements of clergy and volunteers on the ground, while the Revd Alastair Kay will advise, liaise and coordinate the Chaplains who will likely come from many parts of the Anglican Communion. Episcopal oversight is given by Bishop David and Archdeacon Geoff has general oversight of the project. Contacts have been make with key Roman Catholics in the city, especially Don Segundo, the Dean of the Cathedral, who is supporting this venture and who appreciates its ecumenical significance.

“It has long been thought that English-speaking pilgrims, especially those from the Anglican Communion would value coming together in Santiago at the end of a pilgrimage to worship, pray and share their experiences and how much walking the Camino means to them and their Christian lives” said Archdeacon Geoff. “This is becoming increasingly necessary as the numbers taking part in the pilgrimage are growing steadily every year with about 300,000 walking just one of the caminos last year. We are recruiting Anglican chaplains to serve in the city from May to June and again from September to October. Each Chaplain will be there for about two weeks and will be available to talk with pilgrims and pray with them as well as celebrating the Eucharist together on Sundays.”

This is a new and inclusive ministry serving not only Anglicans, but English-speaking Christians of other denominations as well as others who arrive in Santiago searching for spiritual meaning in their lives.

Anglican clergy who have walked the Camino, and who would like to volunteer to share in this ministry and can give of their time and travel at their own expense, are invited to contact the Revd Alasdair Kay (revaskay@gmail.com) for further information.