Services

Alcossebre: Holy Communion every Sunday at 12:00 at the Church of St. Christopher’s.

Vinaros: Every Sunday  Holy Communion at 8.45am at the Fisherman’s Church.

L’Ampolla: Holy Communion 1st and 3rd Mondays at 11.45am in the Centre D`Entitat ( the community rooms) whuich are situated between the Adjuntament and the Health Centre in L´Ampolla

The 5th Sunday a United Service to include each congregation is held, the venue being one of the Congregational Churches.

 

Baptisms, Confirmations and Weddings

We are currently without our own Priest-in-Charge, however we do have Locum cover from visiting Priests. Anyone who would like a child, or adult, to be baptised, please contact him on the telephone numbers below to discuss and organise a service.

Confirmation’s into the Anglican Church happen less frequently, but we currently have three candidates to be confirmed on 27th September. Anyone interested in joining them, please contact us.

Spanish law does not allow our priests to perform Church Weddings.However, marriage blessings can be performed, so again, please contact the priest on the numbers below.

Home no. 964454691

Mobile no. 633510715

or use the ‘Contact Us’ menu.

 

                     Funerals and Memorial Services

Funerals in this part of Spain normally occur within 24-72 hours after death. Sometimes there is time to organise this important last rite for a loved one, but in the event of a sudden death, that trauma is added to by the speed of the local funeral system.

The Funeral Services here are very well organised, and the Tanatori staff helpful and sympathetic. However, whether you want a Church service, a service at the Tanatori Chapel, or simply a pastoral visit, please do not hesitate to contact us. One of our pastoral care team will be happy to visit you at home, or at hospital. During that visit, we can help you to navigate the Funeral Services system if you don’t have an English speaking friend or contact to assist you.

Due to the short time within which to organise a funeral, sometimes people decide to hold a Memorial Service instead. This can be held at a convenient time after the cremation, allowing friends and loved ones time to attend.

Our Church Warden will be happy to assist you on:

0034 651844496

If there is no reply on this number, then please use the Contact Us method given elsewhere on this site, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

 

A comment on “The Spanish Funeral Process”

Following a very sad article, written by a bereaved husband, in the Northern Spain September 2016 edition of the Grapevine Magazine, led me to think about my own experiences of death and funerals in this part of Spain

Yes, the culture surrounding death here is very different to the British one. Indeed, funerals seem to happen with an indecent haste, and the Crematorium experience can be upsetting if one is not prepared.  There is nothing to cushion the reality such as gently closing curtains

I have attended the funerals of a couple of acquaintances, but more as a Reader (perhaps better known as a Lay Preacher), licensed to St. Christopher’s on the Costa Azahar, an Anglican Chaplaincy within the Diocese of Europe which covers this area: between Benicasim and L’Ametlla de Mar, with worship centres at Alcossebre, Vinaros and L’Ampolla. Thus I have dealt with funeral directors and Crematoria down as far as Castellon. I have spent time with people who are dying, comforted them and their families, taken funerals, and assisted at others, so have some experience in this matter.

At first, the arrival of funeral directors at a hospital to organise the funeral and obtain payment details before the person had died felt shocking: tasteless even. However, this is the process here and expected by grieving families. It is part of their culture. It is expected that people will have a funeral plan, paid through an insurance company or that they have sufficient funds to pay in cash before the funeral. Over the last two years I have known some funeral directors accept payment by credit card: this had previously been unheard of. The difficulty for us is that often:

  1. We have not planned for death at all, even when a spouse is ill;
  2. We normally speak inadequate Spanish/Catalan to understand what is expected or the choices that we have: a situation exacerbated by our grief;
  3. We do not know anyone who can translate for us and/or knows the system well enough to help us.

It is important to add here that hospital and funeral staff that I have had occasion to deal with have invariably been helpful and sympathetic. We live in their country and need to be prepared. Unpreparedness and inability to communicate can make such a painful experience more so.

I do not know which funeral firm was used, but some of the poor responses he received are not necessarily a common experience. For instance:-

  • Photographs, or symbolic objects have been allowed on the top of the coffin: in one instance a tiny stuffed mouse,
  • A choice of music has been offered to play before and during the cremation,
  • Some crematoria are less forbidding than others, but although the door to the furnace is open to receive the coffin, and the fire apertures glow, I have never seen it fired up in the presence of mourners.
  • Most funeral homes have a chapel which can be used for a service beforehand, or
  • A funeral can be held in a local church, taken by an Anglican priest, or Reader, or
  • A funeral service can be held in the funeral home even if it lacks a chapel,
  • If the family does not wish to attend the cremation, they can sign a form requesting that it take place without them,
  • The ashes are normally available a few hours after the cremation and handed over sympathetically to the bereaved person or their agent,
  • The funeral does not have to cost as much as the one in the article.

Most of the funerals I have taken part in have been of people who do not attend the Anglican, or any other, church. The Church of England is happy to assist people who call upon us when their loved one is dying. If anyone would like to contact us for advice on funerals, or for comfort and prayer prior to or after the death of a loved one, our contact details are:-

The Vicar: 964454691 or 633510715

We are without a permanent Vicar at the moment, using Locums, so if no reply from those numbers please try:

Church Wardens:

Ron Legg    618344562

Local contacts: Alcossebre, Phil Cornelius 964414573

L’Ampolla, Val Milton 609868220

Vinaros Paul Turner 618344562

The church website is:  www.stchristopherschurch.es

Written by Jenny Hoskins

(Reader to the Chaplaincy of St. Christopher’s on the Costa Azahar)