|L to R: Fr John Ball and Ruth, Fr Bob Bates and Diane, Archdeacon David and Megan, Dean John Paddock and Jennifer|
A coincidence of anniversaries led to a joyful celebration on Monday 27 June in Costa del Sol East. The Venerable David Sutch, the Chaplain of St Andrew's Fuengirola, Spain, and Archdeacon of Gibraltar, celebrated his 40th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood. At the same time, the Revd John Ball, Assistant Chaplain in the Chaplaincy celebrated his 40th anniversary of ordination as a deacon and the Revd Bob Bates and his wife Diane, of St Vincent’s in the Algarve, Portugal, celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary.
The anniversaries were jointly celebrated at a service of Holy Communion in St Andrew’s Church, attended by people from Costa de Sol East, other Spanish coastal chaplaincies, other denominations and former parishioners from Fr David’s many years of ministry in England.
The Dean of Gibraltar, the Very Revd John Paddock, preached a witty sermon sprinkled with biblical references to 40 years, such as Moses leading the people of Israel for 40 years in the desert! But through his humour he brought a profound message about God's call and the life of public ministry. A collection was taken in aid of the Diocesan Ordination Candidates' Fund.
Archdeacon David and Fr John were both presented with engraved crystal decanters while Fr Bob Bates and Diane were given crystal goblets.
After the service the company transferred for lunch to a local chiringuito, beach bar, which in typical Spanish style didn’t end until well after 4:00pm!
|Archdeacon Sutch with the stole his wife Megan made for him 40 years ago|