A new Chaplain for St. George's
On Saturday 1 August, the congregation of Saint George’s Church in Malaga welcomed the Revd. Louis Peter Darrant as their new Chaplain. With churches throughout Spain beginning to emerge from lockdown and welcome back their congregations, the members of Saint George’s see Fr. Louis’ appointment as a symbol of renewal and hope, both for the church itself and for the English-speaking community of Malaga which it is its mission to serve.
The Licensing Service for Fr. Louis, where he is officially apointed as Chaplain at St George’s, was led by the Venerable David Waller, Archdeacon of Gibraltar in the Diocese of Europe. This Diocese is geographically by far the largest diocese of the Church of England and numbers almost 300 congregations in over 40 countries across Europe plus Turkey, Morocco and Russia. St. George’s is one of the oldest Churches in the Diocese, having been built originally as the chapel of Malaga’s iconic English Cemetery and the dwelling for the caretaker, and converted in 1890-91 to become the present St George’s Church.
Its new Chaplain is no stranger to Spain and indeed to the Costa del Sol, having often visited his parents when they lived for a few years near Estepona and most recently serving as priest in Vinaros on the Costa Azahar. He is learning Spanish and is immensely attracted by Spain’s rich cultural and artistic heritage, of which Malaga offers so many outstanding examples.
Born in Plaistow, East London, and proud to be a true Londoner from within the sound of Bow Bells, Louis moved with his family to Essex, eventually travelling North to study Divinity at the University of Aberdeen, only to return to London after training at the College of the Resurrection in Mirfield, West Yorkshire . Following ordination at Southwark Cathedral he served his curacy at St John the Divine, Kennington, before returning to Essex to serve as rector of St Mary’s Maldon on the Blackwater Estuary. It was here that Louis discovered a passion for birdwatching and hiking and was even persuaded to take up rugby with the local 3rd XV at the tender age of 36. These days he claims to prefer to avoid contact injuries and opts for training at the gym, running and swimming in the sea; nevertheless, the congregation in Malaga are hopeful that they may one day persuade him to repeat the feat of a parachute jump that he undertook to help raise money for church funds in Vinaros!
Fr. Louis says that he is delighted to have been been appointed to serve as Chaplain of St George’s . “I feel very at home in this part of Spain” he states “ and look forward to exploring the life of the city and beyond. My desire is to help the church grow as a place of prayer, hospitality and service for all people in the city and surrounding region. I look forward to working with friends from other churches and everyone in the local community committed to the flourishing of all people.”