I made my way down by car to 'The Portico' for the ten o'clock Eucharist and was grateful to find a parking space so easily. There were sixteen of us. In addition to our regular Euphonium accompaniment, we had the pleasure of Fr Paul Needle, the former chaplain playing keyboard, adding just a dash of jazz harmony to the hymnody here and there. Afterwards I was apprehensive about the timing of my journey to Alcossebre for the next Eucharist as it was the first occasion for me to drive from the port out to the main N350 road south. Thankfully there was little traffic, and I was able to guess my exit route without much grief. Carefully observing speed limits, it took forty minutes to get there, but I can see that traffic getting out of Vinaròs or into Alcossebre could easily have eroded the fifteen minute time margin I had on arrival.
Alcossebre services take place at the Parish Church of San Cristobal, an attractive modern building in one of the main streets, where Anglicans were welcomed to hold their services from very early on in the history of the chaplaincy. There were over thirty in the congregation, musically supported by Sue, playing an electronic keyboard which is kept in the church but belongs to a local group which uses it as part of their amateur theatricals. After the service, there was an apertif with nibbles in the sun on the forecourt outside the church main doors. This congregation has a strong core group plus many loyal people who come and go for different periods of the year. All feel they are stakeholders in the church community, but with comings and goings, it will take a new chaplain a year if not longer to know and be known by his people. I'm just amazed at how gracious everyone is to a clerical bird of passage such as I am.
My drive home was uneventful. I cooked an experimental lunch with chicken I'd marinaded overnight with lemon juice and spices, and was quite pleased with the result. I coped only with the first set of the tennis final at Wimbledon. Unconvinced that it would be worth watching and waiting for a Murray win against the mighty Federer, I Skyped away the rest of the afternoon and evening, then went for a walk in the cool of the evening, and did some calming Tai Chi & Chi Gung on the beach nearest to home, to the sound of waves crashing on the pebbles.