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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Dates in the life of St James's Porto: 1671 and 1815.

On Saturday 25th July a special service took place in St James's Church, Porto. It was both the patronal festival of the parish, the Feast of St James the Apostle, and the 200th anniversary of the commencement of the present church building.

200 years is a good stretch for a church, but the Anglican community in Porto in fact dates from long before 1815. The first priest to serve the British community was appointed in 1671. Porto, like several of our older Diocese in Europe parishes,and along with the likes of Bordeaux, Málaga, Madeira, Marsala, was founded in a place associated with wine! The British merchants who established the church in Porto were engaged in the exporting of wine to England and the importing of dried cod – the basis of the Portuguese specialty bacalhao –  from the seas off the British Colony of Newfoundland and Labrador. So it was from the start a very happy mutually beneficial arrangement for both Portugal and England.

Following the festive eucharist, the parish centre called "The Well House" was inaugurated and dedicated.

Fr Carlos, Fr Bob, Pastor José Manuel, Judith Murray
The Chaplain of St James's is the Revd Bob Bates who was joined at the service by the parish Reader, Judith Murray. Fr Bob is also the Area Dean of Portugal with Madeira. Bishop Jorge Pina Cabral of the Igreja Lusitana, Católica, Apostólica, Evangélica was represented by the Revd Carlos Duarte. The Revd José Manuel Cerqueira, a Methodist pastor, who has permission to preach in St James's under the provisions of the Ecumenical Canons of the Church of England, was also present, along with Capitão Filipe Gonçalves from the Salvation Army.

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