Church of England services in Lisbon can be traced back to 1654 when Oliver Cromwell and the representative of Portuguese King John IV signed a treaty giving English residents in Portugal freedom to profess their religion privately. The first resident Anglican priest was appointed in 1658, the Revd Zachary Craddock. He was young, only 23 years old!
Recently I celebrated the 125th anniversary of the consecration of the second St George's Church building (the first was destroyed by fire in 1886). The present building (photo of the west front above) was consecrated on St Patrick's Day, 17 March 1889.
The present priest, the Revd Nigel Stimpson, is not quite as young in years as his very first predecessor, although he is very young in outlook and vision! And the congregation is now serving not only English residents, but Anglicans and other English speakers from around the world. This was celebrated during the anniversary service with the confirmation of two candidates, both of Nigerian background. As in the early days of the congregation in Lisbon, diplomats were present, but this time led by Her Excellency Ambassador Bristol, of the Republic of Nigeria! (The Ambassador is on the left, below).
|Reader in Training Joao Soares, Fr Nigel Stimpson and Assistant Priest|