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Diocese of Southwark welcomes first bilingual parish

8 months, 1 week ago

When the Revd Hugo Adan Fernandez was licensed as Vicar of Southwark, Holy Trinity with St Matthew on Tuesday 10 July by the Bishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, it marked a new chapter in the history of the Diocese. By giving a permanent home to the Hispanic Mission, founded by Hugo two years ago to serve Spanish speaking Anglicans in south London, St Matthew’s at the Elephant (as it is known) has become the first fully bilingual parish in the Diocese - possibly in the country.

Hugo said “The model of St Matthew’s is two congregations in one parish. We will worship daily in English and daily in Spanish, offering not just occasional services in a foreign language but a full time Spanish-speaking presence. There will be just one (bilingual) PCC and the whole community will gather together at special events like the patronal festival, Holy Week, etc. But the idea is to keep the identity and the idiosyncrasy of both congregations”.

Bishop Christopher said “I am delighted that the licensing of Hugo to St Matthew’s will give a new and permanent home to the Diocese’s Hispanic Mission. This is another way in which the Diocese of Southwark is fulfilling its Vision of ‘Walking, Welcoming, Growing’ and I look forward to seeing the parish grow as it becomes a home for the Spanish speaking Anglican community, both at the Elephant and Castle and beyond”.

Bishop Graham Kings, who was interim Priest-in-Charge at St Matthew’s until Hugo’s arrival has agreed to stay on and support Hugo in his new role.

Images from the licensing can be found at: https://flic.kr/s/aHskBeh8xX