Pilgrimpace's Blog

Easter Hope
April 12, 2020, 8:54 am
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Here is a short reflection on behalf of the Camino Pilgrim Group

Happy Easter to you all in these strange and difficult times



anglican chaplaincy in santiago – starting!
The Anglican Chaplaincy in Santiago de Compostela gets underway this Sunday.
Full details are here:

Seasonal – Because, at least this year, this chaplaincy will only be offering its services during May/June and September/October 2018. Depending on how this pilot project works out, offers will be expanded in the years to come.

Anglican-led – Because the project originated among members of the Church of England, but ALL are welcome, both as visitors and as volunteers.

Camino – Because our main focus is on pilgrims, but the door is equally open to other visitors to Santiago and expats that live in the area.

Church of England (Diocese in Europe) – That is the ecclesiastical jurisdiction we operate under, or, in simpler words, the Anglican bishop in Europe, his suffragan bishop and staff

The first priest serving in this pilot project is the Revd Liska Stefko from Toronto (Anglican Church of Canada) who works both in parish ministry and as Pastoral Minister to L’Arche, see www.larche.org. She has walked her first Camino in 2014 and gives part of her sabbatical to our project.

Alan Pearce, fellow pilgrim, hospitalero in Rabanal/Miraz and volunteer in several Camino projects. A retired horticulturist and a licensed lay minister (lay reader) in the Anglican Church of Australia for the last 25 years, he has walked his first Camino in 2008.

These two are the first, but several others will follow in their foot steps and we will introduce them when the time comes.

What we offer

During the first year of the chaplaincy (13th May – 27th June 2018 // 2nd September – 23rd October 2018) there will be an Eucharist every Sunday and a more informal Eucharist every Wednesday.

The Sunday Eucharist will take place at 10:00 a.m. at the Parador Hotel (Hostal dos Reis Catolicos) here in Santiago. The hotel is giving us the free use of the lovely “Sala (salon) San Marcos” and the director told us “we are happy to do this for you, as this building has such a long history of caring for pilgrims”.

During the week there will be several events at Egeria House where the volunteers are also staying during the project:


Open Breakfast Door – As we volunteers need to breakfast anyway, we will keep the door open from Monday to Friday from 08:00 – 09:30 to share with the pilgrims that come by what we have ourselves for breakfast. There is no program per se, just good old fashioned practical hospitality.

The door will be also open each weekday afternoon from 15:00 – 18:00 (Wednesdays longer). Most of the time we simply offer a “drop-in, have a cup/glass of something and a chat with us about your Camino or whatever you like to chat about”.

At 17:00 each weekday we then invite people to join us for a “Journey Prayer” – a form of reflection about the Camino and its impact on us all. This Journey Prayer will take different forms depending on who is present.

On Wednesday we invite you to an informal Eucharist “around the table” followed by a simple, shared meal. Which brings me to a text that has spoken a lot to us, the members of the “starting team”:

“We saw a stranger yesterday.
We put food in the eating place,
Drink in the drinking place,
music in the listening place.
And with the sacred name of the triune God
He blessed us and our house,
Our cattle and our dear ones.
As the lark says in her song:
Often, often, often, goes the Christ
In the stranger’s guise.”​

If you are interested in joining us as a volunteer, we are still looking for lay volunteers for September/early October 2018, but we already have “priestly coverage” for the whole time of the project in 2018. If you like to volunteer in either position in 2019, or in the following years, or if you simply want to keep up to date with this new chaplaincy and what it offers, more details here: http://egeria.house/chaplaincy/ All volunteers need to have walked at least one Camino!

The above link is also the best one to share with your local Camino association, Facebook group and the like, if you want to help to get the word out.

And obviously we are very grateful for any prayer, good thoughts/wishes and general expressions of support.

camino de santiago anglican chaplaincy launched

Great news from the Diocese in Europe.  If you are in Anglican Orders, have walked the Camino, and are interested in volunteering, please contact Alasdair Kay (details below).

And details of how it works for pilgrims will follow soon.


A new initiative is being launched in the Gibraltar Archdeaconry – a fresh expression – to be known as the Camino de Santiago Chaplaincy. Working with the Revd Alasdair Kay from the Derby Diocese, Bishop David Hamid and Archdeacon Geoff Johnston will launch this new initiative in May in Santiago de Compostela.

Anglican clergy, all volunteers with Permission to Officiate, will stay in accommodation in the city to provide pastoral care and support for pilgrims and to celebrate the Holy Eucharist on Sundays and other Holy Days. Sybille Yates will be coordinating arrangements of clergy and volunteers on the ground, while the Revd Alastair Kay will advise, liaise and coordinate the Chaplains who will likely come from many parts of the Anglican Communion. Episcopal oversight is given by Bishop David and Archdeacon Geoff has general oversight of the project. Contacts have been make with key Roman Catholics in the city, especially Don Segundo, the Dean of the Cathedral, who is supporting this venture and who appreciates its ecumenical significance.

“It has long been thought that English-speaking pilgrims, especially those from the Anglican Communion would value coming together in Santiago at the end of a pilgrimage to worship, pray and share their experiences and how much walking the Camino means to them and their Christian lives” said Archdeacon Geoff. “This is becoming increasingly necessary as the numbers taking part in the pilgrimage are growing steadily every year with about 300,000 walking just one of the caminos last year. We are recruiting Anglican chaplains to serve in the city from May to June and again from September to October. Each Chaplain will be there for about two weeks and will be available to talk with pilgrims and pray with them as well as celebrating the Eucharist together on Sundays.”

This is a new and inclusive ministry serving not only Anglicans, but English-speaking Christians of other denominations as well as others who arrive in Santiago searching for spiritual meaning in their lives.

Anglican clergy who have walked the Camino, and who would like to volunteer to share in this ministry and can give of their time and travel at their own expense, are invited to contact the Revd Alasdair Kay (revaskay@gmail.com) for further information.

Anglican Led Ecumenical Chaplaincy in Santiago


The Camino Chaplaincy has announced the development of a new, inclusive Anglican led ministry for pilgrims arriving in Santiago as the third and final part of its strategic plan.

The Chaplaincy piloted the first organised Welcome Service for pilgrims in Santiago which is now funded permanently by the Pilgrims’ Office. The Chaplaincy then went on to provide daily RC Mass in English in the Cathedral for three years. This is now permanently provided by a priest on the staff of the Cathedral who improved his language skills sufficiently in English through participating in the three year pilot.
The Anglican Led Ecumenical Chaplaincy will run for a 12 week pilot period in 2018 and will provide support, prayer and Mass for people of all faiths and everyone searching for deeper spiritual meaning in their lives.

This new initiative is supported by the Anglican Diocese in Europe and has been approved by Bishop David Hamid.

The ministry will be developed and directed by a Steering Committee chaired by the Rev Alasdair Kay. Other members include:
Rev Karen Spray
Rev Andy Delmege
Rev Liska Lasko
Rev Paul Smith

Sybille Yates who lives in Santiago and runs Egaria House will coordinate the ministry.

This is a new service for pilgrims and visitors to Santiago. It is expected that ordained priests of churches in the Anglican Communion will serve for a minimum of two weeks, although longer placements are welcome. The Chaplaincy will provide accommodation in Santiago. Volunteer priests must meet all other expenses.

For further information see:www.caminochaplaincy.blogspot.com.

To apply please email: caminochaplaincy@gmail.com.

camino chaplaincy

Chaplaincy Services 1


I’m lucky enough to have a few weeks of Study Leave early next year which will fall into two parts. There  will be a pilgrimage and retreat with a group of friends to Santiago for a week or so.

During the rest of the time I will be doing some reading and thinking and writing about the Spanish Carmelite Mystics – Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross – specifically looking at why they speak to me so much in my context as a parish priest in urban areas of deprivation.

Can anyone suggest anything I ought to read around this?  There are obviously the works of John and Teresa.  Ken Leech and Rowan Williams have touched on this.  I really enjoy Peter Tyler’s books on the Carmelites.  Anyone else?  Particularly any women’s perspectives?

If anyone has any thoughts, comments or suggestions, I would be extremely grateful.

opportunity to volunteer at the pilgrims office
August 29, 2013, 8:53 am
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Pilgrims Office Santiago – volunteers wanted October 2013 – April 2014


For many years volunteers have been engaged in the Pilgrims’ Office often on an informal basis. Now the Cathedral wishes to offer more defined, planned opportunities for pilgrims to volunteer to receive pilgrims, issue the sello of the cathedral and the Compostela.


Therefore we are inviting applications from experienced pilgrims to volunteer in the office from October 2013.


The volunteers will pay for their own transport and subsistence. Accommodation will be provided.


Successful applicants will have walked a Camino and will have good language skills including being able to speak Spanish at intermediate level.  From October 2013 – April 2014 we are seeking 2 volunteers who would come usually for a minimum of 2 weeks.


Please inform your pilgrim friends and networks about this opportunity.


Further information and an application pack available from:



lenten journey 8

I have not blogged as much as I intended on this Lenten Journey.  I had a week away on retreat when I was away from the computer; last week was over-full.  We’ll try to make up for this, especially when we enter Passiontide in a week.

In the meantime, an invitation:

If you have not encountered Johnnie Walker’s excellent Camino to Santiago blog, then read it.  John, who is a good friend, volunteers at the Pilgrim’s Office in Santiago and is concerned with making the welcome given to pilgrims as good as possible.

He is currently asking pilgrims to fill in a short questionnaire.

You can do this here.

You might want to think about hospitality and welcome in your own situation – how do you offer hospitality to others?  How do you make a welcome?


May you be like a candle

set in the window of the house

welcoming the stranger in from the storm

retreat in santiago

Dear Friends, 

I am honoured to be able to share this with you.  If you would like to come or have any questions, please ask.  And please share; I really hope we have enough interest for it to go ahead,


Under the auspices of the
Archicofradía Universal del Apóstol Santiago
Pilgrim Retreat in English
Walking becomes praying
Three days and two nights’ reflection and prayer
… led by Fr Andy Delmege, a pilgrim …
Hotel San Martín Pinario
Santiago de Compostela
29th – 31st January 2013
bed, breakfast and evening meal approx 35€ per day
Expressions of interest by e mail to johnniewalker-santiago@hotmail.com
The retreat will be held if sufficient pilgrims are interested
The Archicofradia is the organisation commissioned by the monarchs of Spain and inaugurated in 1499 to build a hospital for pilgrims. It was to be “a Confraternity ordered and instituted, of both sexes, from whichever province or nation, in any part of the world”. Build and run a hospital it did in the building which is now the Parador, the Hostal los Reyes Catolicos. In modern times this religious organisation supports projects to help pilgrims and to encourage pilgrims to be of service to other pilgrims.

camino ingles
November 7, 2011, 8:00 pm
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As promised a route report.

We flew from Heathrow to La Coruna with Vueling, arriving on Saturday evening.  We stayed in Hostal Mara which is of good quality, friendly and central.  We spent two nights in Coruna which gave us a good opportunity to explore a lovely city (and to shelter from a terrible storm!).

We were able to have a proper beginning to our pilgrimage with Sunday morning Mass at the Church of Santiago, the traditional starting point of the Camino Ingles

and then some well spent tourist hours walking the city, visiting the Tower of Hercules, the only lighthouse of antiquity still in use, and Sunday dinner, which in Coruna means pulpo.

The first day walking was long, around 19 miles from Coruna to Hospital de Bruma, with a long climb near to the end.  Our fitness was enough for this.  I had a worry that we might not finish before dark, but we were fine (although anyone walking this in winter would have to break the journey using bus or taxi or be able to walk briskly).  We did not have a long lunch break but there were opportunities for refreshment

note that my cake is the biggest

The route is easy to follow.  A combination of the CSJ Guidebook and route marking meant we had no problems at all.  Locals we met along the way were keen to chat and very helpful with directions.

As I have said before, I like the Camino’s combination of urban and rural walking.  The first day included walking out of Coruna, a lovely stretch of promenade along a river, the odd bit of industrial zone, villages, and quiet country and forest paths.

We spent the night in the excellent Xunta Albergue at Bruma, looked after by Carmen the Hospitalera (see Johnnie Walker’s interview with her here) and in the company of a few other pilgrims.  I think this was very important for Meenakshi who had not walked before; it gave a good experience of pilgrim life.  Bruma is small but Carmen has arranged for a local restaurant to deliver food.  We ate a very good menu – mine was Russian Salad, salmon and chips, fruit, bread and a carafe of vino tinto.

The second day was around 15 miles walking to the town of Sigueiro.  This was a lovely walk on a mixture of quiet roads and paths giving precious views like this beautiful Church appearing across a field

Just before arriving in Sigueiro there is a 4km straight stretch along this forest path which tests the spirit and the feet

We stayed in the Hostal Miras which is basic but clean and friendly.  The restaurant there is a particular gem – cheap, good home cooking and the best fish supper I have ever eaten.

The Church of St Andrew, across the river, was beautiful and welcoming, although you may want to check the Mass time; we arrived as the people were leaving, although we were graciously given a sello and time to pray.

Our final day was about 10 miles.  The weather was terrible, continual driving rain and strong winds.  In good weather, this would have been a beautiful walk; on this occasion it was heads down and walking as fast as we could.  The first view of Santiago Cathedral on this route is about half an hour before you get there

Into the Cathedral to give thanks for arrival and for the pilgrimage, then a wonderful welcome at the Pilgrim’s Office (this route is not long enough for a Compostela, but it was definitely a testing pilgrimage and our certificates were earned), before hot showers and dry clothes at our hotel, the excellent Pension Girasol

and a good dinner with Johnnie Walker and the Big Man.  The Botafumeiro swung at the evening Mass, we heard “two English pilgrims walked from A Coruna” at Pilgrim Mass the next day, there was plenty of time to absorb something of Santiago and time to put our feet up