Last Easter Day a major changes came about in the largest of parishes (in terms of numbers on electoral roll) in the Diocese in Europe: the Revd Canon Peter Edwards retired from the post of Senior Chaplain of the Costa Blanca Anglican Chaplaincy of the Holy Spirit.
Fr Peter was the longest serving Church of England priest in the Iberian peninsula. For the past 12 years he has served Holy Spirit parish, first as an associate priest then as Senior Chaplain, collaborating with and then leading a team of priests and readers who serve the 7 congregations in the pastoral area, from Valencia to Alicante. It has been a fruitful ministry, with regular confirmations, many weddings and funerals (which are key evangelistic as well as pastoral opportunities) and celebrations and activities which support the English-speaking community in this part of Spain. As our Church uses Roman Catholic buildings, Fr Peter has had a key role in nurturing and strengthening our partnership and friendships with the Roman Catholic clergy. It has been a very busy 12 years!
Fr Peter is seen below, looking very relaxed, receiving a gift to mark his retirement from his former colleague Fr Marcus and Churchwardens, Andrew Johnson and Stephen Carden.
Fr Peter's successor, the Revd Marcus Ronchetti (who is being licensed today!), in his address to the AGM of the parish said " I believe we are in a good place, and we have a great team", and is ready to build on the solid work of Fr Peter and carry forward the life and mission of the parish. Fr Marcus is assisted by the Revd Steve Foster and the Revd Ray Andrew, licensed Lay Minister (Reader) Stephen Carden and several clergy with permission to officiate.
|Fr Marcus Ronchetti centre, with Fr Steve Foster (his right) and Fr Ray Andrew (his left) and the Chaplaincy Council|