Photo Credit: NeilsB / Wikimedia
[ACNS, by Gavin Drake] The Iglesia Española Reformada Episcopal (IERE) – the Reformed Episcopal Church of Spain – is proposing to build an Anglican Centre at Santiago de Compostela in north-west Spain; considered by many to be the third holiest pilgrimage site after Jerusalem and Rome. Santiago de Compostela has been a major international destination for pilgrims since at least the ninth century and is said to be the burial site of Jesus’ disciple Saint James.
The new Anglican Centre at the end of the Camino de Santiago – or Way of St James – will cost in the region of $5 million USD (approximately £3.8 million GBP) and the IERE has established a US-based charitable organisation – the Friends of the Anglican Centre for Santiago de Compostela – with the help of supporters based at Trinity Church, Wall Street, as a means of fund-raising for the new centre. They and have already received a grant from the US-based Episcopal Church’s United Thank Offering (UTO) scheme.
“We convened [an] initial meeting [in New York] to explore the viability of building an Anglican Centre in Santiago,” the Revd Spencer Reece, national secretary for the Bishop of Spain, Carlos Lopez-Lozáno, said. “The message seemed clear. We need one! Why? Currently there are more Protestants on the Camino than Catholics.
“However, Spain, being one of the most Catholic countries on earth, there has never been a place for Protestant pilgrims to receive Eucharist when they finish the Camino.
“Furthermore, there are Anglican centres in Jerusalem and Rome, but none in third most holy site on earth: Santiago.”
He added: “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.”
- This story was corrected on 29 July to show that the charitable organisation established to support the prposed centre is the Friends of the Anglican Centre for Santiago de Compostela rather than the American Friends of the Anglican Centre for Santiago de Compostela.