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Thursday, 29 October 2015

The young, the not-quite-so-young, and the bold in our growing parish of Holy Spirit, Costa Blanca

The parish of the Holy Spirit Costa Blanca comprises 8 worship centres on this part of the Spanish Coast. It is one of our parishes where the majority are people from the UK who have settled for retirement, and sometimes for work. The Senior Chaplain, Fr Marcus Ronchetti, reports that newcomers continue to be attracted to the Church, and the potential for further growth is great.

In terms of Church growth, he teaches his people that "it is not about hustling people, or ramming religion or the Bible down their throats; it is about creating opportunities where natural discussion can be about things to do with faith, which can lead to an appropriate invitation". He holds before his people an impressive list of opportunities and ways that can help them reach out to enable others to explore faith.

But as well as integrating newcomers, the Church community honours those who have a long history among them, and two special birthdays of parishioners were recently marked in one of the congregations in the Ermita Church, Javea.

Nona Hale
Peggy Skipwith reached 100 years, with Nona Hale following closely behind with an impressive 95. In true Spanish style, both occasions were celebrated with a cava reception after the 9.45 am service.

One of the younger members of the parish, just 10 years old, presented Peggy, who is 10 times yer age, with a 100 badge. We join the church members in send their best wishes to these women on these significant occasions.

Meanwhile, I heard a rumour that Fr Marcus and his wife Sandra recently threw themselves out of an aeroplane (with a parachute) to raise funds for the chaplaincy. I am not sure that this was in Fr Marcus's terms and conditions when he signed on as parish priest, but well done to you both!

Holy Spirit, Costa Blanca's website is here.

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