St. Paul’s, Estoril 2019-12-11T15:52:48+00:00

St. Paul’s, Estoril

Church Address:

Avenida Bombeiros Voluntarios, 59,

2765-202 Estoril

Latitude: 38°42’15.1″N 9°23’40.0″W

Google Link: https://goo.gl/maps/sVMiZuPJDbG2

Getting to St Paul’s

The church is situated next door to the Fire Station (“Bombeiros”, in Portuguese).

Train: Estoril station + 5 to 10-minute walk uphill

Buses: Scotturb bus company has stops close to the church, in particular on the routes 406, 413, 419 and 423.

History of St Paul’s

The first record of an Anglican service held in the Estoril area was in the Spring of 1908, at the Hotel d’Italie in Monte Estoril. Among a group of English visitors staying at the hotel was a Church of England minister, who offered to hold a Sunday service for British visitors and those from two other local hotels.

It is thought that the Churchwardens of St George’s were instrumental in appointing a Chaplain, who would travel out from England to stay during the winter at the Hotel d’Italie, where he held services, as this was the popular time of year to visit Estoril. At some time in the late 1920s, the decision was made to transfer services from the Hotel d’Italie to the larger, more modern Hotel Paris in Estoril (now the Estoril Sana). After this change in arrangements, Sr. Vergani, the owner, decided to build a little chapel next to the hotel, no doubt influenced by the Anglican presence in his hotel. This chapel was never consecrated and was only used during the winter months. In 1936, the hotel required the land occupied by the chapel, and Sr. Vergani sold a plot of land behind the Hotel Paris for a very reasonable price as compensation, and a new chapel was built the same year. The subsequent period of 1936 to 1954 was a difficult one, particularly during the Second World War, resulting in fewer visitors. Later on it was decided to demolish the chapel in 1967, as the congregation had grown, partly because the services had become popular among exiled Heads of State, including King Umberto of Italy, who donated the large wooded cross which adorns the church to this day. The new church was designed by the young Lisbon architect, Gil Graça, and was completed by Christmas 1968, and was consecrated as the new St Paul’s on January 25, 1969, by the then Bishop of Gibraltar, the Right Reverend Stanley Eley.

The idea to join together the two Chaplaincies of Lisbon and Estoril was first discussed in 1976, on the pending retirement of the then longstanding Chaplain at St Paul’s, Canon John Humphries. This came to pass in 1984, with the creation of the Greater Lisbon Chaplaincy of St George and St Paul, under one Chaplain, with one Church Council and one set of accounts.

St Paul’s has had almost as many Chaplains as St George’s, although the latter enjoys a far longer history, which is the result of a shorter average time in office. Over 80 incumbents have served both churches since the Rev. Zachary Craddock first took up office in Lisbon in 1656. The longest serving Chaplain was Canon Thomas Godfrey Pope, of St George’s, who served for 35 years from 1867-1902, followed by Canon John Humphreys, of St Paul’s, who served for 27 years from 1957-1980.

It is thought that the Churchwardens of St George’s were instrumental in appointing a Chaplain, who would travel out from England to stay during the winter at the Hotel d’Italie, where he held services, as this was the popular time of year to visit Estoril. At some time in the late 1920s, the decision was made to transfer services from the Hotel d’Italie to the larger, more modern Hotel Paris in Estoril (later the Estoril Sana). After this change in arrangements, Sr. Vergani, the owner, decided to build a little chapel next to the hotel, no doubt influenced by the Anglican presence in his hotel. This chapel was never consecrated and was only used during the winter months. In 1936 the hotel needed the land occupied by the chapel, and Sr. Vergani sold a plot of land behind the Hotel Paris for a very reasonable price to compensate. A new chapel was built the same year. The subsequent period of 1936 to 1954 was a difficult one, particularly during the Second World War, resulting in fewer visitors. In 1967 it was decided to demolish the chapel, as the congregation had grown. This was in part because the services had become popular among exiled Heads of State, including King Umberto of Italy, who donated the large wooded cross which adorns the church to this day. The new church was designed by the young Lisbon architect, Gil Graça. It was completed by Christmas 1968, and was consecrated as the new St Paul’s on 25 January 1969, by the then Bishop of Gibraltar, the Right Reverend Stanley Eley.

The idea of uniting the separate Chaplaincies of Lisbon and Estoril was first discussed in 1976, on the retirement of the then longstanding Chaplain at St Paul’s, Canon John Humphries. The formal fusion of the two came about in 1984, with the creation of the Greater Lisbon Chaplaincy of St George and St Paul, under one Chaplain, with one Church Council and one set of accounts. After lengthy discussion and negotiation with local authorities, a revised constitution of the joint Chaplaincy was approved and registered. In this process the Chaplaincy’s official designation changed to “The Anglican Church of St George and St Paul, Lisbon”.  

St Paul’s has had almost as many Chaplains as St George’s, although the latter enjoys a far longer history, which is the result of a shorter average time in office. Over 80 incumbents have served both churches since the Rev. Zachary Craddock first took up office in Lisbon in 1656. The longest serving Chaplain was Canon Thomas Godfrey Pope, of St George’s, who served for 35 years from 1867-1902, followed by Canon John Humphreys, of St Paul’s, who served for 27 years from 1957-1980.

The congregation of St. Paul’s is made up of many nationalities. Some members have been resident in the Lisbon area for many years. Others may be living in the area for shorter periods, on fixed term contracts, studying, or doing business. There is also a regular flow of visitors from many countries. 

The principal service is a Family Eucharist held each Sunday at 9.30 am. A Service of Healing and Wholeness takes place once a month and women’s bible study once a week. Other study and home groups meet regularly. The church has an enthusiastic choir and many “community” groups use the facilities for their activities.

Further details of current activities at both churches can be found in Notices.