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Anglican churches in Spain

#1
Most of the church buildings I saw in 2001 were Roman Catholic.

Are there Anglican Churches along the Camino? I assume the bigger cities, yes and the smaller ones, no.

michael
 

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Trudy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2006) Roncesvalles to Leon (2007) Leon to Compostela
#2
I've been to Spain three times now, and I honestly can't recall any Protestant churches there. For an Anglican church to exist you'd need a large percentage of English speaking residents. So while there might be some churches in southern Spain, where the ex-pat Brits live and Madrid with it's large tourist population, I can't see that there would be a need anywhere else.

Spain never underwent the Reformation that took place in the rest of Europe, and has always been pre-dominantly Catholic, so Protestantism of any form has never made any inroads. It would be interesting to know if there are Protestant churches hidden away somewhere.
 

William Marques

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#5
Judging by the age of most congregatons in Spain although it may be a Catholic nation in name, not too many of the younger people feel the need to attend chrch.

In this way it is similar to England nominally Anglican but a country where only a minority of Anglicans attend chuch.
 

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Arn

Moderator
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#6
Trudy wrote:Spain never underwent the Reformation t
Between 1526-1527 St Ignatius of Loyola (Basque country)was not yet "educated" by the Church, but he had a calling that was unstoppable. He preached and spoke to the masses, worked in hospitals to atone for his sins and, for all this, the Inquisition took notice and put him into prison. Soon after, he was found not guilty of heresy (being a Protestant or an Illuminati, but rather teaching without credentials. To continue his search, he goes to Paris where he gains his degree(s).

Now St Ignacius got off easy. He wasn't burned at the stake, tortured and such. To say that Spain never underwent the Reformation isn't exactly correct. They underwent and rejected it!

This is the double edged sword of State religions. In one, the State recognizes one religion for "official" patronage, while rejecting, or limiting the benefits to those not of the recognized religion.

That there appears to be a decrease in attendance at Church by younger folks, that's how it's been since the government began organizing the school system. Prior to that, town and cities hired a teacher that "worked for the parents" and taught what the parents wanted taught...basically, reading, writing and math. In many cases, the only "learned" folks at the time were Church trained. Thus keeping the flock immersed in religion from cradle to grave.

Though there is the appearance of less young, it's like the situation where a country wonders why so many adults, especially between the ages of 21 and 35 don't carry health insurance. The reason is simple...they spend their money on "things" they need now and health insurance is a waste of their money.

So it is with religion. If you've grown up in the Church, are educated, married and your children are raised in the Church...we will see you in Church. But, if you move away from home, say go off to college...it's no longer a personal "gotto" go to Church and, some of your friends might think you're uncool for going. So you don't. By the time you find the right person, decide to marry and have children things begin to change. If you can afford to send your children to private school, it's probably going to be a Church run school and the kids will have questions. and, the circle begun by your parents comes full circle.

Is this always the case...no, but for those of Faith it's one of the answers.

Buen Making my own Way Camino
Arn
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Donating Member
#7
I should have added to the earlier post that the Anglicanos referred to is the Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church which is a member of the world wide Anglican Communion - being Anglican is nothing to do with English people attending and the church is genuinely Spanish with ancient roots and is not English speaking. It is a reformed or protestant church and is part of the the Anglican tradition because of its democtratic internal structures including the vital fact that there is no Pope with all of the powers invested in that office in the Roman Catholic tradition.
 

Arn

Moderator
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#8
Johnnie Walker wrote:eek:f its democtratic internal structures including the vital fact that there is no Pope with all of the powers invested in that office in the Roman Catholic tradition.
A discussion for another time and place...maybe the party in SDC in May.

Buen Ecumenical Camino,
Arn
 

oursonpolaire

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
#9
I may have mentioned on another thread that there is an Anglican church in Madrid (Saint George's, of the Diocese of Europe ex-Gibraltar) and there is now a Spanish Reformed Episcopal chaplaincy to students in Salamanca. If you're walking the Cami de San Jaume, you could drop into the very snakebelly Church of England chaplaincy in Barcelona-- I suppose that it would be an interesting juxtaposition to the Abbey of the Black Madonna of Montserrat, the next stop out.

Outside the Camino, there are several dozen chaplaincies for English expatriates in the south east of Spain. Many of the urban chaplaincies are attended by African students and migrants, as well as expatriate English folk.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#11
JohnnieWalker said:
Discussing the facts about church structures ain't my idea of a party! :)
As a candidate for priestly formation, I'll drink to that! Luckily, I'll be late for the party in Santiago as I'll be trudging through France in May (probably in torrential rain). Suggest a better topic for conversation would be seafood!

Gareth
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#12
William Marques said:
In this way it is similar to England nominally Anglican but a country where only a minority of Anglicans attend chuch.
Up to a point, yes, William. But there are huge differences too. I went to school in Spain in the 1960s. We had a uniformed army officer teaching us history, a portrait of the Generalissimo above the teacher's desk, and the church was seen to be part of the whole dismal thing. If young people in a young democracy have gone off the Catholic Church it is partly through their ignorance of the Church and partly because the Church has still not recognized the need to recover lost ground and rebuild trust. The old attitudes are still there. As a Catholic I sometimes find the Spanish church embarrassingly out of touch and at times quite offensive and I have this argument frequently with Spanish priests and religious brothers! Unlike Arn, however, I don't think it would be a very clever topic for a party! 8)

Gareth
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#13
oursonpolaire said:
If you're walking the Cami de San Jaume, you could drop into the very snakebelly Church of England chaplaincy in Barcelona
What a turn of phrase! I have personal experience of that chaplaincy, when I was working in Barcelona a few years ago. That's your view... I couldn't possibly comment. :lol:

Gareth
 
#14
Mostly off topic but since Arn said something about the party at the end of the Camino I must recount a short story from 2001. At the end, my brother-in-law and I found ourselves sitting with an Irishman, (I'm 1.2 Irish) in Santiago. He was sitting in a outdoor pub with a glass of dark beer looking reflective. We asked, "What are you thinking?"

After a few seconds to think, most likely reflecting on the entire of his Camino experience, he looked at the sky and said, "Ah, the world's just so, f-ing beautiful"

yes, indeed, it is beautiful and I will never forget his words!
 

Peter Robins

Veteran Member
Donating Member
#15
Gareth Thomas said:
Up to a point, yes, William. But there are huge differences too. I went to school in Spain in the 1960s. We had a uniformed army officer teaching us history, a portrait of the Generalissimo above the teacher's desk, and the church was seen to be part of the whole dismal thing.
'seen to be'? - it was part of it! And the cult of Santiago, the national saint, was part of it too. Fortunately for those who don't like 'the whole dismal thing', Spain has moved on considerably from when you were at school. :)
Gareth Thomas said:
If young people in a young democracy have gone off the Catholic Church it is partly through their ignorance of the Church and partly because the Church has still not recognized the need to recover lost ground and rebuild trust. The old attitudes are still there.
don't think it's anything to do with ignorance. For many who support the changes in Spain over the last 30 years, and not just the young, the Church is increasingly irrelevant to everyday life, which is why it's losing influence. The Spanish Church remains more important to the average Spaniard than the CoE is to the average English person, but for me the trend in Spain is unmistakable.

That the decline in the Church has coincided with the growth in popularity of 'The Camino' is one of the more intriguing features of modern Spain.
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Donating Member
#16
Peter

I agree with all you say on this. Whilst many churches are still pretty busy compared to the UK the decline is obvious. Speaking to young people their rejection of the Catholic church is more than a general "I don't believe and its all nonsense" it is a fundamental questioning of its role in a modern democratic Spain. Imho that is all to the good. But whilst there is ready scorn for matters ecclesiastical there is still an intriguing interest as you say in making pilgrimage and Spaniards still make up half the numbers...perhaps it was ever thus. What I find disappointing is that whilst people in general are welcoming, with the exception some notable pilgrim friendly priests along the way other parish priests simply make no effort to welcome or reach out to pilgrims.

John
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#17
JohnnieWalker said:
the decline is obvious
That was my take. In the smaller towns, the church mass services were filled mainly with old women, and not many at that. When I took a Segway tour at Burgos during a break day, the woman guide told me that a number of church-related buildings had been converted to public use. I mentioned the dearth of younger people at church, and she affirmed that to me, with a joke that the old women are there "praying for us."

I spent some time with a group of Spanish men and women of varying ages (20s to 40s) during the last two weeks of my Camino. None seemed particularly religious - at least one opted for the "secular" compostela in Santiago. I also hooked up with an older group of Spanish (40s, 50s) for a couple of days early in my pilgrimage, and they weren't too religious either. For them, the Camino seemed to be more of a way to make friends, have fun, and think things over.

The most religious Spanish I found were a group of evangelical Christians in Leon. My old seminary roommate (I'm basically an agnostic now, though) is an assistant pastor for a 150-member church there (his father-in-law is the senior pastor). I spent a couple of days with him & his family, and attended a service where he gave the message. For them, a relationship with God - and serving Him - is paramount.

Bottom line, Catholicism in Spain appears to be more of an aspect of culture vs. a vital, abiding faith - at least with the younger generations. And the only fervent religious practice I saw was in my friend's church (evangelical Xianity is a small minority in Spain, especially compared to the US), and possibly in Santiago - although again, what I saw at the cathedral may be more of a cultural ceremony vs. an act of deep devotion... :arrow:
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#18
We can "pontificate" all we want as to what is and what isn't, that's why God gave us free will.

So as the great Yogi Berra once said, "it ain't over until it's over"...then we all will know!

Buen "You've got to stand for something..or you'll fall for anything" Camino
Arn
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
#19
vinotinto said:
Bottom line, Catholicism in Spain appears to be more of an aspect of culture
OK, that's one bottom line... But, as with everything, there are several possible bottom lines. The relics of St James are what brought into being this particular Catholic tradition, and while there are many people walking, cycling and riding the Camino for a whole range of motives, the pilgrim's attitude to what lies in that reliquary at the end of the road determines whether this is pilgrimage or an enjoyable walk in the sun.

There are many variations. Yes, of course. There are also changes of motivation on the road and that's wonderful: pilgrimage is about conversion! Perhaps it's unfashionable to notice the fact, but it's a Catholic road, and that's my bottom line!

On the other hand... a better subject for party conversation in Santiago is still the seafood!

Gareth
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#20
Gareth wrote:a better subject for party conversation in Santiago is still the seafood!
Now you're talking...I'll drink to that!

Buen "please pass the cerveza, por favor" Camino

Arn
 

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