Who We Are

We are a group of people from different nationalities and churches who feel called by God to plant a church in Valencia.

The vision is to build a strong, vibrant, Spirit-filled international church offering services in both Spanish and English. Our desire is to establish a family-oriented community, committed to the Lord Jesus, the Bible and to one another; a strong church from which we can send out teams to build and strengthen other churches in Spain and beyond.

 

Our Mission

Our mission is to build an international church made up of all the nationalities that are represented in the city of Valencia without difference or differentiation by colour, race, or culture. We work to see people from all backgrounds united in Jesus Christ, professing Him as their Lord and Saviour, and following Him in their daily lives.

The church was started in 2008 with a group of six people who had come to Valencia with the express purpose of planting the church. This was the culmination of several years’ research, prayer and seeking God’s will. It was felt within Newfronters in 2004 that God was saying the time was right for planting churches in Spain. Goff Hope from Norwich, who at the time was covering Spain for Newfrontiers, had made several visits to Spain and had met with many church leaders here. He then came on a fact-finding mission with Tony Thompson after which they both felt that God was saying that the first step was to plant a church in a city. That city was to be Valencia and the church was to be a strong, vibrant, grace-filled church. That is to say, a solid Biblical church, well taught, experiencing the grace and gifts of the Holy Spirit, drawing people to Christ; strong enough to help plant and strengthen other churches in Spain and beyond.

Paul and Susanna Godfrey were asked whether, as a family, they would be willing to build a team and go together to start a pioneer church plant in Valencia. Their positive response was confirmed by dramatic and unexpected prophetic words. During the initial research and strategy trip held early in 2007, thirty people visited Valencia, organizing surveys and questionnaires, interviewing many ordinary people in Valencia, and praying around the city for a week. Several significant prophetic words came about building a big church. One significant word was that hundreds would come and be a part of the church including many who did not yet know or love Jesus.

Another prophetic word was that there would be many torches or lights lit in the city through the work of the church. Our name, El Faro – The Beacon, came from a prophetic picture of an Olympic torch being run through the city. There were several prophecies that it would be able to resource other churches in Spain and plant new works. This is why we run conferences three times a year, to help strengthen and build up other churches.

Our vision is for the church to be an international gathering of people from many diverse cultures. To this end we have many evangelistic activities including Alpha courses, social events, and small group meetings across the city.

 

What we believe

We believe that...

  • God has revealed Himself as, and is, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three persons but only one God.
  • God has revealed Himself especially through the life and teaching of God the Son, Jesus Christ, and through the Bible, whose human authors were inspired by the Holy Spirit.
  • The Holy Spirit still speaks through the Bible today, and it is our authority for life and all matters of faith.
  • God created everything which exists, material and spiritual, other than Himself, and He did it with nothing but his command.
  • Sin came into the world when Adam and Eve, deceived by the serpent, disobeyed God.
  • As a result, humanity and all of creation came under God's judgement, and death also entered the world: physical, moral, and spiritual death.
  • However, God has reserved full judgement for a day which has not yet arrived.
  • No-one was able to restore our personal situation or the world's situation except God, who put into action a divine rescue mission. God the Son, Jesus Christ, was born as a baby, lived a perfect life, died the undeserved death of a criminal on a cross, and came back to life on the third day.
  • Through this life and death Jesus Christ, the only sinless, perfect, man, made atonement for sin and satisfied the wrath of God the Father against sin once and forever.
  • This atonement is freely offered, but it must be accepted. Whoever accepts it and comes to God seeking mercy on the basis only of the finished work of Jesus on the cross will receive salvation from sin. This is a work of grace from God, which we can do nothing to deserve or earn.
  • The Church is the community of Jesus' followers. After the final judgement of all things, Jesus will present the Church to the Father as His bride.
  • In the meantime it is through the Church that God demonstrates His love and power for the world to see, and powerfully affects the society around it. Within the Church, changed life and miracles are the norm.

As a local church we want to...

  • Worship and glorify Jesus
  • Consistently proclaim the gospel by word, deed and lifestyle
  • Promote discipleship and care in smaller groups
  • Impact the area with a large Christian community consisting of all ages, races and backgrounds
  • Apply the Bible to everyday life
  • Share fellowship, breaking bread and praying together
  • See all believers baptised in water and in the Holy Spirit
  • Equip every member to play his/her part
  • Impart all of the above to Spain, Europe and the rest of the world, in particular though our links with the Newfrontiers family of churches

Leaders

 

Paul & Susanna

Paul and Susanna Godfrey moved to Valencia in 2008 with a passion and a calling to see an international church planted in this thriving city. Paul is the lead leader, and has felt called to church planting in mainland Europe for many years. He originally trained for Christian ministry at West Wales Evangelical School of Theology. Having served as the planter and first pastor of the Oasis church in Thame, Oxfordshire, UK, Paul moved to Valencia with Susanna and their four young children to lead the church-plant team. Paul enjoys reading, tutoring in English, and spending time with the family.

Paul and Susanna enjoy giving hospitality and spending time with people from all cultures and backgrounds, especially Spanish speakers.

 

Henk & Jackie

Henk and Jackie Paarhuis have been living in Valencia since 2006 and having felt so much at home here they bought a house in 2008. Learning Spanish has been a real struggle for Henk, especially since he thought that it would be easy: after all, he already spoke 3 languages more or less fluently. Jackie had lived in Valencia before so understood Spanish and the Spanish very well. It is only recently that he has been able to express himself well in Spanish as he works for a Spanish company. As part of the leadership team Henk brings a well ordered mind and first class admin skills to the building of the church. Henk enjoys playing volleyball and has been an active player in his first years here. Nowadays most of his limited free time is used in their lovely garden.

They joined El Faro in the first year of the church plant and enjoy actively participating in church life, particularly organizing social activities and working with the children and youth.

 

Peter

Peter Taylor has long felt a call to serve God and the church in Latin America, and was surprised when God told him to go to Spain as a step towards that. He moved to Valencia in 2008 as part of the church-plant team. He works full time in software development, and applies some of the same skills as the church's general techie. He also leads the translation team, and is responsible for any mistakes in the Spanish on this website. He enjoys cooking for other people, playing board games, and photographing wildlife.