The Church and social activities in Mallorca

Many people see the church as a place where people only come to convert, worship and receive the sacraments and they hardly see the church as a big family with social functions as well. Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury believed strongly that the church should be socially involved. A church that is not involved in the social life of its community ceases to be prophetic. Therefore, in addition to meeting for spiritual needs, church members gather for festive, social and charitable purposes. It is the ministry that has been heavily affected by the Covid 19 pandemic over the past three years. Although as a church we must use technology in serving our people through virtual means, these cannot replace the value of in-person gatherings. We give glory to God that things are almost back to normal.

On Sunday I had the opportunity to pick up visitors at the airport who were coming to attend the retreat of the clergy group from northern Spain, and the influx of tourists from all over the world is a great testimony that things return to normal. I have never witnessed such congestion since arriving on the island last year in May. The diocese in Europe for the first time in three has an in-person synod in Cologne. Other churches have already reintroduced the sharing of the cup during Holy Communion. All of these are positive signs that life has returned to normal although the pandemic is with us. We have now learned to live with it. The Majorca Anglican Chaplaincies have reopened their doors for social activities and these activities are meant to create a fellowship for church members and non-members alike. The function of these fellowships is to create an atmosphere in which members can get to know each other better and take a genuine interest in each other.

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Sunday Last week the church held such a big social event and many people had the opportunity to fellowship with people they didn’t know before. Memories of the golden old days before the pandemic have been rekindled. In the same spirit of bringing communities together outside the place of worship, the chaplaincy of SS Philip and James has organized several social activities which will be held this summer.

Significantly, this week is a famous piece: Educating Rita at the church on June 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m. Educating Rita is a play by British writer Willy Russell and features two actors in the office of an Open University tutor. I will not reveal the content of the play to those who have never watched it. The number will be performed live by Ray Gidley and Fiona Laird who are members of our church. I never imagined the altar space being converted into an office space and it looks exquisite. I invite you to join in the fun for a ten euro donation as these two talented comedians take you through the memory of this four-decade-old play. As a church, we continue to create an environment of friendly fellowship for families and individuals, so remember to bring children with you. We continue to pray for the total eradication of the pandemic which has caused untold suffering to people around the world.

Joel C. Hicks