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Monday, 7 September 2009

Torrevieja welcomes new priest

On Friday 4 September, the Revd Christopher Scargill was licensed as chaplain of St Peter and St Paul, Torrevieja in Los Balcones Church by Canon Hugh Broad, the Area Dean of Gibraltar.

Torrevieja is an active and growing parish with 6 congregations at present and over 200 on the electoral roll. Besides long-term British residents the parish ministers to many part-time residents - "swallows" - and holiday visitors. Younger English-speaking families moving to the area; Sunday schools now operate in some of the congregations and the Mother's Union has an active branch in the parish. Confirmations are normally held at regular intervals of 2 years. A pioneering outreach work is a bereavement drop-in centre which ministers to families, mostly unconnected to the Church, who have recently lost a loved one.

Fr Scargill will lead a ministry team which at present includes 3 retired clergy with Permission to Officiate, 2 Readers and a Reader-in-Training. With the growth in numbers and activity in the congregations, the parish hopes to explore the possibility of appointing an assistant priest in the future. Before coming to Torrevieja, Fr Scargill was vicar of Bradnop, Onecote, Berkhamstych and Ipstones in Staffordshire, and has been an advisor for local ministry and mission and a rural dean in the Stafford area of Lichfield diocese. We welcome him and his wife Sara and son Robert to our diocese. (Older sons, Timothy and William are further education).

Fr Scargill is pictured above with Sara, Robert and Churchwardens Annette Beagrie (left) and Joan Berry (right).

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