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Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Church Welcome Centre Opens in Alcossebre, Spain

The Mayor of Alcalà de Xivert and Alcossebre welcomed a new initiative by St Christopher’s Church on the Costa Azahar, Spain, when he formally opened the El Camino welcome centre on Friday 10th September.

A former shop unit in Alcossebre has been renovated by church members and will serve as a drop-in centre for English speaking residents and visitors. It also offers an outlet for second hand books and bric-a-brac to help fund the permanent ministry of the church.

The Reverend Paul Needle, priest-in-charge of St. Christopher’s, led prayers and blessed the new project with holy water at the opening ceremony at which the Mayor, Francisco Juan Mars, (pictured with Fr Paul above) cut the ribbon which was held by the two churchwardens. The Mayor promised the support and assistance of the ajuntamiento (municipality) to the church and community.

Fr Paul Needle says the El Camino welcome centre has been an aspiration for the past four years. It will also provide a venue for small church meetings and discussion groups, and will be available for other communnity groups to use. El Camino means “The Way” and thus the project is dedicated to Christ who called himself The Way to peace, faith and salvation.

Fr Paul commented that “People sometimes talk about churches ‘preaching to the converted’ or worshipping behind closed doors. At the church here we often do close the doors to keep cool in Summer and warm in Winter! But our church and its mission is about being active in the community and El Camino is proof of our commitment to work to serve the local people and visitors here”. St Christopher's is building on its experience of operating a similar centre in Vinaros every week for the past 15 months.

Information on the work of the parish in Alcossebre and Vinaros can be found on their website here.

1 comment:

  1. brenda Pennington8 May 2011 at 22:02

    El Camino has evolved into a great social centre, where people meet for a cup of coffee, some home made cake and a chat with friends. There are plenty of bargains to be had from the variety of bric-a-brac and second-hand clothes on sale. One need never be short of a good read from the huge selection of books available for only 1€ each.A win-win venture for church and local people of all nationalities.