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Place in Spain planned for Anglican pilgrims

05 August 2016

ALAMY

Towers: the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, where many pilgrims conclude their pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago

Towers: the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, where many pilgrims conclude their pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago

THE Reformed Episcopal Church of Spain is to build an Anglican Centre at the pilgrimage site of Santiago de Compostela, in the north-west of the country, to give Protestants in the city the opportunity to share the eucharist.

The Roman Catholic Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, where St James, a disciple of Jesus, is thought to be buried, has been a popular destination for pilgrims for more than 1000 years.

The new £3.8-million Anglican Centre will be located on the same road, the Camino de Santiago (way of St James). It will be supported by a new group, the Friends of the Anglican Centre for Santiago de Compostela, which was set up by, and will be based at, Trinity, Wall Street, New York City, in the United States.

Trinity Church has received a grant from the United Thank Offering (UTO) scheme of the Episcopal Church to start the fund-raising process.

The Revd Spencer Reece, who is the national secretary for the Bishop of Spain, the Rt Revd Carlos Lopez-Lozáno, told the Anglican Communion News Service last week that a meeting had been organised in New York to explore the “viability” of such a building.

“The message seemed clear,” he said. “We need one [because] there are more Protestants on the Camino than Catholics. . . There has never been a place for Protestant pilgrims to receive the eucharist when they finish the Camino.” There were Anglican Centres in Jerusalem and Rome, he said, but none in Santiago, the third-holiest site on earth.

He went on: “This is a big project, naturally, and one that seeks the help of all corners of the Anglican Communion, as well as pilgrims outside the Church who want to see a place of healing built in Santiago, overseen by our Church.”

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