Many cleaners who work in the Aldgate part of the City of London are Spanish speakers originally from Latin and South America. Some arrived as asylum seekers, while most travelled to the UK for work directly or via European countries including Spain. However they came to be in London, few offices in the City would be as clean if it wasn't for the hard work of Spanish speaking cleaners. Recognising their contribution to the prosperity of the City is one reason our London Cleaners Carol Service was in Spanish (as well as English and Portuguese).
The majority of our English learners at classes on Saturdays and conversation groups during the week are Spanish speakers, and so it was a natural extension of this to begin exploring whether some would be interested in joining a regular act of Christian worship. This development has been led by our Spanish speaking chaplaincy team members, Claire and Ivonne.
We now have a weekly Rosary Group which meets on Fridays at 3:00pm and is led in Spanish, and our Saturday Bible study has grown so that we have now three times gathered for a Spanish language Eucharist on the first Saturday of the month directly following our English classes. It's a beautiful service - and the two priests at St Katharine's, Fr Angus and Fr Josh, have enjoyed learning to preside in Spanish as we continue to meet the spiritual as well as practical needs of workers in the City.
Most of our activities take a break over August and the next Spanish language Eucharist will be on Saturday 2nd September at 12 noon.