1976-2015

The idea of joining the chaplaincies of St George's and St Paul's into a single Chaplaincy was first raised in 1976 when the British Ambassador had mentioned the possibility to the St George's Church Council. This "marriage" of Chaplaincies was to coincide with the retirement of the then Chaplain at St Paul's, Canon John Humphreys. In the event, discussions started in 1980 and continued until July 1984, when the Greater Lisbon Chaplaincy of St George and St Paul came into being under one Chaplain, one Church Council and with the finances of both churches being merged into that of a single entity. When John Humphreys retired as Chaplain at St Paul's in 1980, accommodation had to be found for the replacement Chaplain, Brian Smith, because John had lived in his own house. Therefore St Paul's bought a flat in Monte Estoril in 1981 to be occupied by Brian Smith, John's replacement. In the case of St George's, Victor Ravensdale lived in the Parsonage on the Estrela site, as had all the St George's Chaplains in recent times.. Following the formation of the Greater Lisbon Chaplaincy in July 1984, there was a transitional period (July 1984-June 1985). Kenneth Roberts was instituted in July 1984 as the first Chaplain of  the Greater Lisbon Chaplaincy with Victor Ravensdale staying on as Assistant Chaplain until June 1985. During this transitional period Victor Ravensdale continued to live in the Parsonage and Kenneth Roberts in the rented flat. In June 1985, Victor Ravensdale left Portugal, thereby vacating his accommodation, so shortly after this, Kenneth Roberts left the flat in Monte Estoril, and moved into the Parsonage. Kenneth Roberts returned to the UK in April 1986 "for reasons of health" and would not return to the Greater Lisbon Chaplaincy. In June 1986 Tony Ashdown took over as Chaplain, initially living in the rented flat. Two years after this, he moved out of the flat when a house in Alcoitão, near Estoril, was bought by the Chaplaincy for the use of the Chaplain. Tony Ashdown resigned in 1989 and, after an interregnum filled by Locums, Ken Robinson was instituted as Chaplain in 1991. ln the late 1980's the Parsonage was rented out, initially to the British Embassy and later to the European University. The rental income was administered by the three trustees of the investments of St George’s Church and the British Cemetery. This was decided by the British ambassador, who also recommended that most of the rental income should be passed over to the Chaplaincy and Cemetery. Ken Robinson (1991-2000) stayed for nine years and was followed by Michael Bullock in 2000. He retired as Chaplain in August 2012. Nigel Stimpson, was instituted on May 2, 2013 and left the Chaplaincy on August 31, 2014. After two years of Locum Chaplains, the current Chaplain, the Reverend Dr Frank Sawyer, was instituted on October 2, 2016.

The Parsonage

For nearly ten years the rental income from the Parsonage on the Estrela site had bolstered the chaplaincy and cemetery finances. This happy state of affairs came to an end in the late 1990’s when the then tenant of the Parsonage, namely the European university, closed down and left. After due consideration by all the parties considered to be stakeholders in the Estrela site, it was decided to put up for sale the Parsonage and other buildings on the periphery of the Estrela site. It is anticipated that a sale may well materialize in the near future and thus considerably strengthen the financial situation of the Chaplaincy and Cemetery.   
History of the Chaplaincy