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Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Now here is a heart-warming reaction from a confirmation candidate!

"Costa Almería and Costa Cálida" is a lengthy name for one of our Spanish parishes which covers the most eastern province of Andalucia, and the neighbouring region of Murcia. There are three regular centres of worship, served by their Chaplain, the Revd Vincent Oram, an assistant priest, Canon Alan Bennett, a Reader, Duncan Burr and Church Army Captain Edwin Bates. They are supported by an active group of worship leaders and a Reader in training. Fr Vincent and his wife Robyn come originally from South Africa, and bring a rich experience of ministry in a very different context, and indeed during some of the most difficult times in South Africa.

Fr Vincent with his wife Robyn
I have been pleased over the years to see this chaplaincy continue to flourish. Fr Vincent, who has only been in post for a couple of months, has already identified persons who may be called to further ministry in the Church, which is very exciting indeed. Another positive sign of Christian life in the chaplaincy is the fact that it regularly produces candidates for Confirmation. I visited the parish on Lent 5 and confirmed three members at a very joyful occasion. And as is the custom in so many of our Spanish churches, major celebrations such as confirmations are regularly followed by a parish meal.

Testimonies were given by the candidates during the eucharist, when they were able to express some of the reasons they were each taking the step to receive the sacrament of confirmation. It is a brave thing to do, to stand before a packed Church and speak about one's faith journey, but the three candidates shared some moving words.

Confirmation Candidate Roger gives his testimony, The Virgin Mary looks on!
But a highlight for me was right after the mass when the enthusiasm of one candidate brought joy to many! Her emotion is captured in this marvellous short video:

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