Simon and Clare Brignall are into their final year, ministering in Chile. Here, they look back on the past year.

'Christmas collides with the end of the school year here in Chile, and it is a busy time for everyone. We remembered 100 years since the end of WW1 with a wonderful service at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Valparaiso, joining with several schools and members of the German community, as well as our ambassador and archbishop. It was a moving service, the more so here in Valparaíso where the German and British communities lived so closely together. The Advent Carol service followed two weeks later, with a choir from a local school as well as an adult choir from Santiago. The combination of the children voices and the adult voices was very moving. We rounded this up with a Christingle Service in St. Peter’s in Viña, with an encouraging number of young children, giving us hope for the future. 

It has also been the end of the school year in the two prisons where Clare is working, teaching English and social skills. It has been a good year, with so many things to be grateful for: a great team, responsive students as well as the constant realisation of how very privileged we are, and how very hard life is for some people, who never had a real chance from the beginning. The graduation ceremony was moving, as we saw many old and young men and women completing their primary or secondary education. Some learnt to read during the year and many had the chance to talk with someone from outside their environment.

Clare also had the opportunity to pray with many of the women, and to give them Bibles. We have also had great fun weaving, joining squares woven by around fifty different students and teachers to make an Andean Cross that will become a wall hanging for the prison common room.

The Anglican church of Chile was inaugurated as the 40th and newest Province in the Anglican communion by Archbishop Justin Welby on 4 November this year. There are now four Dioceses in Chile of which Valparaíso is the largest, stretching all the way north to Arica. St. Paul´s is however the only Cathedral in the Province and Archbishop Tito remains our Bishop.

St. Paul’s 160th anniversary this year has really given us the opportunity to push ahead with projects that have long been waiting for the right moment. The floodlighting project came together with a wonderful evening of music. The Cathedral now has a sound system which has really improved the quality of the services that we hold on major festivals. The Restoration Committee has worked hard for the last twenty years to bring St. Paul’s back from near dereliction to its present splendour with very slender resources. St. Paul´s is a source of great pride and visitors come from all over Chile to visit this historic building. The Victoria Memorial Organ is a particular attraction and at the weekly organ concert ’Musica en las Alturas’, we invite visitors to a short service of worship and prayer. There is a constant stream of tourists passing by St. Paul´s and now that we can open the doors on most days we hope to welcome everyone to come inside to see what has previously been hidden away. 

Sadly, the generation of young Chileans of British descent, is not represented in our congregation so it was a lovely surprise to be asked to lead Confirmation classes for five young adults. The Confirmation Service was the highlight of the year as Archbishop Tito welcomed them into the Anglican Communion.

Please join us in prayer for:
• A future Pastor for St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s.
• Weekly worship at St. Peter’s.
• The ministry of ‘Musica en las Alturas’.
• The Confirmation Group.
• The visitors who come to our English-language Service.
• The Chileans who come to learn English.
• The ‘Gringos’ married to Chileans who come to St. Peter’s.
• The Restoration Committee.
• Simon and Clare as we look forward to ministry back in UK.
• Clare’s work in the women’s and men’s prisons.

More information on the chaplaincy in Chile.