Chaplain 

Reverend Dr Frank Sawyer

Ministry Team
He writes about his background: I and my wife Ginnelle Elliott, whom I married in 1998, are originally from Canada We have two daughters, Maggie (11) and Pippa (6).   I completed my Bachelor of Arts in philosophy (1993) and my Master of Divinity (1997) at Trinity College, University of Toronto.  While an undergraduate, I served as a reserve officer of the 56th Field Regiment, Royal Canadian Artillery. I was ordained in the Anglican Church of Canada (Deacon 1997, Priest 1998) and served as an assistant curate in Toronto before moving with Ginnelle to the United States to minister in education in California, Georgia, Maryland, and most recently Florida.   I have served as a chaplain, upper division head, and headmaster in Episcopal schools.  I have taught theology, religious studies and philosophy.  While in California, I earned a Doctor of Ministry (2004) at Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley. My studies focused on education, developmental psychology, and issues of faith, ethnicity, culture and gender in learning. I and my family enjoy travel and living abroad.  In 2014-2015, I took a sabbatical from education and served as the Locum Chaplain of Holy Trinity Church in Corfu, Greece, and we also visited Italy, France and England.   I also taught English in the Czech Republic during a gap year from my university studies and Ginnelle has lived in Italy and England.  These experiences abroad confirmed our sense of God’s call to both ministry and family life abroad, leading me to take up the post of Chaplain of Greater Lisbon. While I have spent most of my ministry in education, I have been engaged liturgically and pastorally in the parishes associated with the schools where I served.  In my parish ministry, I have enjoyed teaching many Bible study and Christian formation programmes.  I have also led many school and parish charitable efforts from work in soup kitchens to environmental conservation. I was most recently the head of Upper School and Chaplain at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Academy in Fort Pierce, Florida.  This past year I stepped in as the Locum of St. Andrew’s Church for nearly three months between the retirement of the Rector and the appointment of the Interim Rector, an experience that further pointed me towards a return to parish ministry.

 

Reverend Paula Rennie

She writes about her background:
At a very early age I experienced a calling to follow Christ and since that moment much has happened in my life.  Today, when reflecting on the years that followed I recognise that they have been in many ways years of preparation and transformation for the Priest and the person I am today. I am a British Citizen and Portuguese by birth. These two nations have since childhood been part of my life; guiding me in my upbringing and education.  Portugal has always been and still is very much in the hearts of my family, as my husband lived and worked in this country for over thirty years.  In 1994 we returned to the UK and we spent the last 19 years in our home in Gunnislake, situated in the Tamar Valley in Cornwall; the first Cornish village after crossing the historical New Bridge over the River Tamar. This is an area considered to be of outstanding beauty, that I love with all my heart, and still consider ‘home’. Due to another moment that marked my life, I become part of the congregation of the Tavistock Parish Church and I was soon involved in different aspects of Ministry.  In the year 2000 I started my Theological training with the University of Exeter and with the South West Ministry Training Course and after being Ordained in Exeter Cathedral I served as a self-supporting Curate in St Eustachius’, the beautiful and old Tavistock Parish Church.  I will always be grateful for the training I received there and for the friendship and love that I continue to receive from some in St Eustachius’ Church.  Without fully realising, my involvement during all those years with the PCC, Deanery Synod, Pastoral Care Team, and with other Church ministries, have made me who I am, and what I continue to wish to offer to the Church of Christ.  After having been Ordained for some years now, I see my life and Ministry emerging from the Altar and the Sacraments; as I aim to follow Jesus’ command ‘Do this, in Remembrance of Me’. In the year 2011, I suffered the most painful event in my life, that suddenly changed all that the direction of my life and made me leave home and move to Portugal.  I am still adapting in many ways to life here but I am Blessed to have been allowed by the Bishop of Diocese of Europe to exercise my Priestly ministry within the Greater Lisbon Chaplaincy.  Now after four years since  I have been resident here, I feel God’s Holy Spirit moving in this Chaplaincy in a very special way, leading us with love, respect and conviction to offer Christ in and out our Churches’ doors. With all my love to you all.

Honorary Assistant Clergy

(clergy with permission to officiate)

She writes about her background: In my prayers, I often find this verse coming to mind: “How shall I repay the Lord for all the good things He has done for me?  I shall lift up the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord.”  (Ps. 116:12)  At the heart of my vocation as a priest is a profound sense of gratitude for His goodness and for the privilege of serving the people of God, bringing them the Good News of God’s infinitely merciful love as revealed in Jesus Christ. Ordained in the Episcopal Church (USA) in 1993, I was for over 23 years a full-time parish priest, having served parishes in New York, South Carolina, Massachusetts, and Maryland.  In May of 2016, I retired from full-time ministry, the last 12 of which were as the Rector of Christ Church, an historic Episcopal parish in Forest Hill, Maryland.   Originally from Manhattan, I am a graduate of the General Theological Seminary in that city.  (It is the oldest seminary of the Episcopal Church, built on land given by Clement Clarke Moore, author of the poem “A visit from St. Nicholas”… better known as “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”) Before answering to a call to the priesthood, I earned an M.B.A. degree (Master of Business Administration) from the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.  After several years as Director of Marketing for Steuben Glass on Fifth Avenue, I went on from there to be an Associate Director of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), also in New York, overseeing stores, advertising, and catalogue sales.  It happens that my mother was born to an Italian family from Tuscany that moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; I therefore speak fluent Portuguese with a Brazilian accent, but am very glad to receive pointers on the vocabulary and pronunciation of Portugal!  The name Le Blanc is obviously French… but that’s another story for another day.  Suffice it to say that French and Italian are part of the “language cocktail” in my background. My husband Fritz and I have relocated to Portugal with all our furniture, a significant theological library, and “Mademoiselle” (our Balinese cat).  We expect to be here for several years. I look forward to supporting the Chaplain in his ministry, and to serving the people of the Greater Lisbon Chaplaincy in any ways as may enhance the mission of this delightfully diverse Christian community.

Reverend Frances A. Le Blanc