BackgroundParts of the Portuguese coastline and countryside between Lisbon and Porto are known to English-speakers as the “Silver Coast”. The location attracted an influx of expatriates, and within the area the city of Caldas da Rainha also grew with improved transport links. Soon the need for the help of the Church, in English, became apparent, and, on occasions such as funerals, assistance was sought from Lisbon. Clergy visits by Fr Michael Bullock and others led to a custom of more regular meetings for worship taking place in people’s houses.Amongst the network of expats was the late Ms Verna Veritie, who worshipped at a Portuguese Baptist church. This then sprouted an Evangelical wing, in a modest but well-appointed building in a city side street. The pastor was the Rev Alan Pallister, also English by birth. As a result of such informal contacts and networks, the services of Worship in the English language led by Fr Michael came to be accommodated in the Igreja Evangélica Baptista [Igreja EB].
The Present SituationDuring 2012-2013, the focus of the situation changed, through changes in personnel, as well as the loss of Verna and the retirement of Fr Michael, followed by months of interregnum and the arrival of Fr Nigel Stimpson, who subsequently moved to Mallorca during 2014. In 2013, after the loss of Robert Patten, who was the organist at St. Paul’s and in Caldas da Rainha, there were other changes at the Igreja EB. Alan Pallister retired and the pastor at the church is now Paulo Francisco, supported by his wife and young family.Pamela Patten is the local warden and currently the Chaplain leads the Anglican evening service in the Evangelical Baptist Church on the second Sunday of alternating months starting at 5 pm. On the other months a service is held in Pamela's home on a Friday at 5pm. Times and dates of these services each month will be announced on the Lisbon Anglicans Facebook page. All are welcome.
The Baptist church in Caldas da Rainha where a monthly Anglican Evensong is held on the 2nd Sunday of every month
The CongregationThe worshipping English congregation, led by Fr Michael, was mostly small -- although at certain funerals, etc, upwards of 100 people were known to materialise! Fr Michael's visits were enhanced by members of the Estoril/Lisbon congregation who came along to support him during the road journeys, and to make up the numbers worshipping. Doubtless because of the small numbers involved, the Anglican church in Caldas da Rainha was never formally constituted, and neither was the accommodation-sharing arrangement with the Igreja EB.