For the three years 2017 to 2019 we are now a worship centre of St George’s Barcelona, under the supervision of the chaplain in Barcelona, Revd John Chapman and represented at synod by their synod reps. We have no churchwardens, officers or church council and will be represented at Barcelona church council meetings by John Pinnell, who will also keep our books under the supervision of the Treasurer in Barcelona, and act as local safeguarding contact for the Barcelona Safeguarding Officer. We have a small informal worship committee which will coordinate services and we have the invaluable assistance of Revd Deborah Chapman who will visit us eight tomes a year while Revd john Chapman will visit us four times a year. For our second monthly services we will continue to use worship CDs prepared for us by Revd Canon Mel Smith who is visiting us in April to renew his contacts with us and plan the next series of worship CDs.
We held the annual church meeting very early this year – on January 22 to be precise – before lunch at the Valet restaurant in Arinsal and after holy Communion led by Revd Deborah Chapman, who also presided at the meeting.
There was a very positive surprise presented by then Treasurer in his report – we have been then recipient of some very generous donations during 2016 and recorded what (for us) is a substantial annual surplus, sufficient to see us through the coming year or two and ensure that we can fund the new status we will have as a worship centre of St George’s Barcelona.
The first consequence of this status change is that Revd Deborah Chapman as agreed to visit us eight times a year for the next three years and to stay with us for a few extra nights when she comes so that she can get to know people and provide pastoral care to those who may need it.
The second and, from an organisational point of view, the more important consequence, is that Revd John Chapman has formally take responsibility for overusing us as part of his chaplaincy and will himself visit us four times a year.
At the annual church meeting, we thanked Michael Derham for his many years of services as churchwarden, noted that we no longer would have other churchwardens or a church council, noted that John would continue to act as treasurer and administrative liaison, and welcomed our new status with a general feeling of relief and positive motivation for the future.
Brenda and John went to synod for ten last of their three year stint as synod reps and potentially as the last synod reps from Andorra, as we are now organising ourselves as a worship centre of St George’s Barcelona under the guidance of Revd John Chapman, the chaplain there.
John and Revd John met with Bishop David during synod and “cleared” the arrangements that had been approved by both church councils and the annual church meeting in Andorra for this change.
Synod was full of things we need to know and a great opportunity to meet with reps from other chaplaincies and contrast and compare their life with ours. It seems that Andorra actually manages very well compared to chaplaincies used to having a resident chaplain but with a vacancy needing to be filled and that we have a good reputation for looking after visiting chaplains.
We went down from nine reedings to eight and moved the carols around and cut out some verses. As a result, the service ran exactly one hour and seemed to move along better – perhaps because out guest organist, Adrian Leonard, is more used to the pace of hymns and carols than our Andorran guest organist of the last two years. Outside the mulled wine crew of Tom, Jan and George had everything set up with lots of hot wine, and the mince pies were briefly there as well, but seemed to vanish down multiple throats in a very short time. Everybody seemed happy and pleased with the result. We have over e500 from the collection to give to St Luke’s Homecare too.
Leela and Tiffany arrived very early to reserve the only pitch with shade on the whole site – just as well as the day was very hot with the sun burning down from a clear blue sky and no wind. We had a small stall by our standards but sold briskly and raised money for the church general funds. Our thanks to helpers who are not part of our regular congregation as well as to Clare for sorting and transporting everything.
Canon Keith Hugo has returned to Poole after spending three months with us during which time he officiated at four of our monthly Holy Communion services and three other services, attended our church council meetings and joined in life in Andorra.
Luckily Canon Keith likes walking in the hills – and he did a lot of that, including the climb up from Ordino village to the top of the Coll d’Ordino at almost 2,000 metres.
We will miss his good company, his quiet way of giving advice and his laughter with us.
Across the first weekend of June we hosted eleven visitors from the congregation of Toulouse chaplaincy. We organized things for them to do and see in Andorra during the day o the Saturday and then held a successful fellowship, songs and silly games evening at the Hotel del Bisset where we also ate well from a pot luck supper and drank reasonable wines and soft drinks. On Sunday we held our monthly Holy Communjon service at the top of the Coll d’Ordino with beautiful views from nearly 2,000 metres up and Canon Kieth Hugo celebrating his highest ever communion service. This was followed by a glass of cava and then a picnic lunch. The visitors seem to have returned home happy with the experience of spending a weekend with us in Andorra – while we were very glad of their good company.
Robert Innes was one of the keynote speakers at the Archdeaconry Synod at La Zenia, Alicante this last week. A huge change from Bishop Geoffrey – a “modern man” rather than a traditional figure, a man who has a family, has worked in consulting after leaving university, a man who has recent parish experience in the diocese as the chaplain in Brussels. But on the other hand somebody who has had little contact in the past with our archdeaconry. Approachable, affable and businesslike and looking to set a strategy for the future growth of the diocese which will be presented to the diocesan synod in June. The key will come when we participate in implementation as setting strategies is one thing and actually implementing them much more like hard work!
Revd Keith Hugo will be joining us for three months starting in mid March and will be taking our services in March, April, May and early June. He has sent us the following brief biographical note.
“I’m looking forward to coming and spending three months with you next year.
I grew up in the north of England and, after university and theological college, was ordained there fifty years ago. I then gradually moved south and west, serving in parishes both rural and urban, until I came to a stop on the south coast. My final seventeen years in full-time ministry were in the Dorset coastal town of Weymouth. I managed to fit in some work with the media in the early days of local radio and as Salisbury’s first diocesan communications officer.
In retirement I live in Poole, also a Dorset coastal town. During a year-long interregnum in the local parish I was asked to lead the clergy team. I have done locums for the Church of Ireland at Cork Cathedral and also for a number of chaplaincies in the diocese in Europe.”
Please do plan to come and meet Revd Keith – and do also look at his smiling photo in our “visiting chaplains” page.
Coinciding with then last weekend that Revd Stephen Whaley was with us we had a pastoral visit from the Dean of Gibraltar – which enabled us to have a holy communion service led by Revd Stephen and with a sermon from the Very Revd John Paddock and a very lively bible study with both of them on the Saturday afternoon (in which we had to call “time” after two hours of discussion). John had not realized just how important a role in the diocese is played by the Dean of Gibraltar – who has responsibility stat reach out to every one of the almost 300 chaplaincies that make up the Diocese in Europe. We were certainly privileged to receive this visit – and the Dean and his wife proved to be very entertaining and enlightening guests to have with us.