Greetings from Rhode Island, where summer has arrived.
I have just returned from another trip to Spain and Santiago. I was able to stay at the newly purchased and opened Casa Anglicana on Rua da Porta da Pena, 3, in the historic district of Santiago, a mere five-minute walk from the Cathedral. It was fantastic.
The purchase of this facility, by the La Iglesia Española Reformada Episcopal (the Episcopal Church’s sister Church in Spain), with funds donated by the Friends of the Anglican Pilgrim Centre in Santiago, is a direct result of the ongoing commitment and generosity of our donors. Thank you!
Our seasoned and solid partnership with the Rt. Rev’d. Carlos López Lozano, Bishop of La Iglesia Española Reformada Episcopal continues to flourish, and while the procurement of a building is a significant step towards the “ministry of presence” we all envision, much work remains to be accomplished.
My time there gave me the opportunity to observe the day to day running of Casa Anglicana and the ongoing ministry of Mother Anna Noon.
Facilities Manager Roberto Martinez’s experience in hotel management both in the USA and Spain is a real asset. His excellent English is invaluable in interactions with large numbers of American, British, and European pilgrims who are coming through our doors.
Casa Anglicana had been up and running for 17 days when I arrived. Bishop Carlos had done a fine job of furnishing the breakfast room and reception area with temporary furniture for the ground level. My two weeks stay allowed me to find and buy permanent furnishings that will enable the Centre to function more efficiently and fulfill its mission of hospitality.
Thanks to the generosity of The Rev. Nancy and Paul Gossling, our breakfast room, named in honor of their grandchildren, has been equipped with tables, benches, and a sideboard as well as everything to set a table for pilgrim dinners. More improvements are coming.
Eero Pikat, after whom our kitchen will be named, made it possible for the kitchen to serve what one pilgrim called “the second-best breakfast on the Camino”. The high-tech coffee machine is a hit with both guests and staff as is the tarta de Santiago which is delivered fresh every day.
A proper desk has been ordered for the reception area and is due to arrive this week. It will make Roberto’s job easier and more efficient. The lockers are being replaced by a more secure place to store luggage. Chairs and a table have been ordered for an alcove where it will be possible to have quiet conversations.
We cleaned up the patio, took away dead plants, rearranged the furniture, scrubbed and moved the fountain, and restored it to working condition. Unused breakfast chairs and tables have been moved to the patio and made more comfortable with padded seat covers.
It was a pleasure speaking with the pilgrims who were staying at the Centre as well as others who were interested in seeing Casa Anglicana. If you are in Santiago, drop by and meet Roberto and seetheCentre. Visitors are always welcome.
The opening of Casa Anglicana is not the only place where we have been busy.
It was a privilege to see first-hand the wonderful work Mother Anna Noon has been doing.
To witness reunion after reunion of pilgrims she has helped and prayed for before and during their Caminos was an emotional experience. Whether on the street, in the square, at Santa Susana’s or at the Casa, Mother Anna is a familiar face. With the record-breaking number of pilgrims in the city, she is busier than ever.
If you or anyone you know is walking or intends to walk, please share your plans with Mother Anna through the “contact us” form here: https://www.anglicancentresantiago.org/contact/.
Post Camino, come up the hill through the beautiful Alameda Park oak grove and visit Mother Anna at lovely Santa Susana, one of ten churches mentioned in the Codex Calixtinus. Come to one of the services she offers or speak with her about your time on the Way.
During Ascensiontide, Santiago is busier than ever and there is a huge fair set up in the Alameda Park. The gigantic Ferris Wheel beside the church made some evening services a challenge but the views of the church and city from the Ferris Wheel were beautiful.
Opening Casa Anglicana in the midst of one of the busiest pilgrim seasons in history has been full of learning experiences which will provide useful data for the Board of the Friends of the Anglican PIlgrim Centre in Santiago as we continue to raise support for both the Centre’s important ministry of hospitality in partnership with Bishop Carlos and La Iglesia Española Reformada Episcopal, and the invaluable, in-person ministry of Pilgrim Missioner, the Rev’d. Anna Noon.
To learn more, please join us for a Zoom of Celebration and Anticipation. We will have more “before and after” photos of progress at Casa Anglicana, more news of Mother Anna’s ministry, and plans for the next phase of our project.
As always, thank you for your prayers and your support to get us to this huge milestone. I look forward to seeing you on Zoom as we look to the future.