On 5 June, Mrs Jenny Hoskins was admitted to the office of Reader and licensed for that ministry in the parish of St Christopher's Costa Azahar, Spain. The parish consists of 3 worship centres in Alcossebre, Vinaros and L'Ampolla, and also runs three "drop-in centres" which are key elements in the outreach mission of the Church.
Members from all three congregations came together at the Fisherman's Church in Vinaros for this festive service, including one senior member, John, who does not get to church very often any more but who was determined to be present for the great day, as was Jenny's mother-in-law. The support from the members for Jenny was palpable - it is a long journey to be a Reader, normally 3 to 4 years of intensive study, and there was much joy when, after taking the usual oaths and declaration of assent and her vows of Reader ministry, I placed the blue preaching scarf around her neck and gave her a copy of the New Testament, the symbols of the office of Reader. Over 40 attended a celebration lunch at a local restaurant following the service.
St Christopher's is one of the newer parishes of the diocese. It was founded in 2007 following on the pioneering work of a retired priest in the area, the Revd John Phillips. The first priest-in-charge of St Christopher's was the Revd Paul Needle who is now our Diocesan Communications Officer. Fr Paul was on hand for Jenny's big day, and it is good to have him in the picture, as he is normally on the other side of the camera!
Jenny is the first reader in this parish. Another is in training. At present, St Christopher's is without a priest-in-charge, If any readers of this blog are interested in applying or know of someone who might be interested, please do not hesitate to be in touch with our Appointments Secretary, Catherine Jackson (firstname.lastname@example.org). A stunning location on the Spanish coast, welcoming parishioners, and an enthusiastic corps of lay leaders await the next priest-in-charge!