Thursday, 20 July 2006

Algarve Chaplaincy

Updated Friday evening and Saturday morning

The Church of England Newspaper carries a front page news story about the Anglican chaplaincy in the Algarve, which is in the Church of England’s Diocese in Europe: Algarve parish seeks alternative oversight. There is a further column, also by Andrew Carey, in the same issue, about this matter, which is now available, in an expanded form here.

The Diocese in Europe has issued this statement: St Vincent’s Anglican Church in the Algarve.

The trade union Amicus has issued this statement: Amicus wins pay out for bullied clergyman.

And from the Algarve comes this report: Controversy over new church for Algarve. Update Another report is here.

Friday’s Guardian has a report by Stephen Bates Clergyman compensated after ‘bullying’ by Algarve retirees.

Saturday’s Telegraph has a report by Jonathan Petre Sunshine parishes split as chaplain is forced from job.

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Categorised as: Church of England

Algarve parish

'Alternative oversight' is really going to take off --just as flying bishops did. Every disaffected person will be tempted to invoke it.

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Friday, 21 July 2006 at 12:11am BST


Thank goodness someone is now, prepared to stand up for the clergy. It has always been sorely needed, and now more tahn ever with the erosion of 'parson's freehold'; and the attempt to introduce into Southwark diocese, among others,management culture,targets, 'value-for-money', and all the stuff that is failing the Home Office, the NHS and so many aspects of life today.

Oh, for greater irrelevance, inefficincey & timw wasting !

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Friday, 21 July 2006 at 12:29am BST

"value for money" ....what a concept - is the CofE not supposed to provide housing, pensions and salaries for anyone who wants this support regardless of what they believe, teach or do ......or how "successful" they are at emptying churches year after year???

Posted by: NP on Friday, 21 July 2006 at 8:40am BST

'Value for money' is another gospel--Thatcherism. It is no basis for spirituality, gospel or trying to be disciplies today.

I believe I was motivated by love when I was a parish priest and chaplain to 2 hopitals, and on call by bleeper & phone 24 / 7. But the missing ingredient was self love -- even when young one's health can only last for so long. When I left 3 ministers took my place--a backhanded compliment maybe--but no-one ever asked how I was. So I participated willingly in my own exploitation. Until my body cautioned me. Churches must try to learn how not to exploit people ('s love & devotion).

Posted by: Laurence Roberts on Friday, 21 July 2006 at 9:27am BST

"Charismatic evangelical" and "old age pensioners" does not sound like a very likely combination.

Didn't somebody have the responsability to forsee this?

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Friday, 21 July 2006 at 9:42am BST

Strange how everything in the amicus article flatly contradicts the Diocese in Europe statement...

Posted by: Tim on Friday, 21 July 2006 at 11:09am BST

Sounds to me as if they had just had anough of a happy-clappy enthusiast who clashed with them in every way.

Can't say I would be sympathetic to anyone who is a friend of George Carey! No wonder the CEN report is so biased in his favour.

Posted by: Merseymike on Friday, 21 July 2006 at 11:58am BST

The CofE Newspaper article by Andrew Carey incorrectly identifies Terence Finlay as the retired Bishop of Ottawa, he is in fact the retired Bishop of Toronto and former Metropolitan of the ecclesial province of Ontario. He should prove a most capable pastor in this situation. The Diocese of Toronto is the largest diocese in North America and there are 5 suffragan bishops in this huge diocese.

Posted by: Andrew S on Friday, 21 July 2006 at 1:43pm BST

"'Alternative oversight' is really going to take off --just as flying bishops did. Every disaffected person will be tempted to invoke it."

Yep -- everybody gets to be his own Communion. It's the obvious future we're all headed toward: nobody ever has to deal with anybody who's not exactly like himself (except, of course to flame them). The World Wide Web meets the "just me and Jesus" emphasis of american evangelicalism.

Posted by: Mark on Friday, 21 July 2006 at 4:11pm BST

Mr Britt is not the first cleric in the diocese of Europe to find himself mauled by the very people he asked in to help him - they are a sorry lot! I shall try and get permission to post details of other such disasters.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Friday, 21 July 2006 at 6:43pm BST

I assume that everyone noticed in the local newspaper story, "Conflict over new church for Algarve," that +Robinson Cavalcanti has agreed to provide the alternative oversight. Bp. Calvalcanti is (depending on your point of view) either the deposed former Bishop of Recife in the Anglican Church of Brazil or the current Bishop of Recife in the Province of the Southern Cone. Apparently, Southern Cone (which now has the majority of its churches and members outside the southern cone of America) has decided to expand its operations into a diocese of the Church of England.

Posted by: Dale Rye on Friday, 21 July 2006 at 11:24pm BST

The mention by Andrew Carey of Terence Finlay is incorrect. The person involved is in fact John Baycroft.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 21 July 2006 at 11:42pm BST

The newspaper story does indeed say that, Dale, but the website of the new All Saints congregation, at
does not currently say that.
The reason why that is significant is this: earlier this week that very same web page carried the following words:

"Under the Episcopal oversight of Bishop Robinson Cavalcanti, Diocese of Recife".

They have now been removed.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Friday, 21 July 2006 at 11:49pm BST

According to Saturday’s _Daily Telegraph_ report,
“Lambeth Palace intervened after one conservative bishop from Brazil, himself in dispute with his archbishop, briefly “adopted” the congregation.”

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Saturday, 22 July 2006 at 6:40am BST

There seems to be a key question that nobody can answer. If a Priest says I don't want to leave my congregation, and the congregation (a growing one of over 100 people) says we don't want to lose our Priest, why does a Bishop insist on removing him?

Posted by: Paul Luckman on Saturday, 22 July 2006 at 10:19am BST

Apologies to those who've noticed my mistake with regard to +John Baycroft. I've absolutely no idea how that error happened. I'll correct it in the CEN next week.

Simon is correct, there was a short period of time when 'All Saints' after approaching +Robinson Cavalcanti for alternative oversight thought it was a done deal. It is my understanding that he initially agreed and then pulled out after consulting with ++Gregory Venables of the Southern Cone. Unfortunately for All Saints his oversight was never going to be a workable option.

Posted by: Andrew Carey on Saturday, 22 July 2006 at 1:12pm BST

Mark wrote: "Everybody gets to be his own Communion." Exactly: that's what's wrong with schemes for alternative oversight, whether episcopal or primatial.

I have very reluctantly come to the conclusion that unless those who have fostered schism are disciplined, the Communion will splinter into as many fragments as it has members (and possibly more, if there's any truth to the old joke about "Two Episcopalians, three opinions").

Much as I respect the other Protestant denominations, I have no wish to join them.

Posted by: Charlotte on Saturday, 22 July 2006 at 7:30pm BST

Unfortunately +Europe, though [catholic] conservative, does not seem very sympathetic to evangelicals. Unlike his [catholic] conservative predescessor he chose a liberal catholic rather than an evengelical as his suffragan, and I understand that he has more-or-less side-lined collaborative and patronage contacts with an evangelical mission agency that has been working in Europe sponsoring Chaplaincies for the last 150+ years! (They only appear in the diocesan handbook as running holiday chaplaincies!)... and other more catholic leaning agencies have been encouraged to consider getting involved in the diocese...

Interesting to see what other issues Martyn reports regarding other recent problems in Europe Chaplaincies.

ps Europe already has geographically overlapping Anglican jurisdictions (CofE, TEC and several churches in full communion).. so I think that power-minded folk would do well to avoid to much apoplexy on this one!

Posted by: Dave on Saturday, 22 July 2006 at 7:44pm BST

Andrew Carey wrote at his blog: "Secondly, there are spiritual issues at stake. There is the presence of freemasonry in the chaplaincy and the diocese of Europe."

Really? Is this serious? First gays and women and now "freemasonry"?

What's next - Druids?

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Saturday, 22 July 2006 at 8:30pm BST

ECUSA does not claim any jurisdiction in Europe: it has a Convocation of American Churches in Europe.

Posted by: Alan Marsh on Saturday, 22 July 2006 at 10:07pm BST

Those drunken freemasons again! What would constitute evidence of the 'presence of freemasonry in the Diocese?' Where did that come from?

The problem with calling your priests 'chaplains' is the understanding that they're there to cater to the whims of a bunch of aging expat ratbags with old school blazers and down-at-heel shoes as a sort of 'cultural attache' rather than to serve them as a priest. Too bad really 'cause an overseas congregation could be a wonderful experience for all concerned.

Posted by: Raspberry Rabbit on Saturday, 22 July 2006 at 10:49pm BST

Alan Marsh wrote: "ECUSA does not claim any jurisdiction in Europe: it has a Convocation of American Churches in Europe"

Err.... Not according to the website you linked to!! It has a Bishop and has been in talks with the other Anglican entities: "A letter to the 1998 Lambeth Conference reiterat[ed the] commitment [of the various Anglican entities] to resolve the anomaly of parallel Anglican jurisdictions"

Talks stalled in 2000 it seems...

Posted by: Dave on Saturday, 22 July 2006 at 11:57pm BST

I believe there has been some motion recently towards resolving the anomaly of parallel jursidictions in Europe, although there isn't anything official enough to announce yet. E-mailing Pierre Whalon, the TEC suffragan in Europe, or one of the other bishops in charge of the area should turn up a bit more information on that point.


Posted by: Jon on Sunday, 23 July 2006 at 12:57am BST

I am not sure that the work of producing the "Covenant" under which the four European Anglican Churches plan to move forward has stalled - see this recent news item:
I believe that some details of that proposal are published by bishop Pierre Whalon but I have not been able to locate this on his website.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Sunday, 23 July 2006 at 10:01am BST

Dear Martyn

OK. I had not seen anything about movement after 2000 - nice to see that things may start progressing again.

Posted by: Dave on Sunday, 23 July 2006 at 6:25pm BST

I have been trying to get clergy who have had a similar experience of the diocese in Europe as Mr Britt to give me permission to publish their experiences, some of which I know in great detail and are quite horrifying.

It is remarkable how similar these stories are to that of Mr Britt and I have begun to wonder if someone has written a document called “How to get rid of the Chaplain” which is circulated amongst disgruntled congregants!

Sadly those who have experienced these “attacks” seems to leave a deep and lasting wound, the sense of intimidation – even years after – is amazing and disturbing. Only one ex-Chaplain is happy to say anything and he has sent me the following asking that it be posted here without naming him:

"The unpardonable sin for any Chaplain in the Diocese in Europe is to lose control of a situation, and to admit the same by asking for help. Even if it's not your fault, even if you are slandered, betrayed, robbed of your pastoral authority by a small minority of whisperers and bullies you still pay the full penalty. They get rid of you. It's usually cheaper and less amaging to the shiny public diocesan profile than the pursuit of truth and justice.
It's the theology of Caiaphas - expedient that one man should die for the people. If the authors of this kind of pastoral support for the clergy were dealt with by the same criteria as they mete out to others, we'd have a new Bishop in Europe every year. There have been pastoral situations out of control across the diocese, flaring up every now and then for many years. But there's no ecclesial redress for anyone who feels the Bishop doesn't do justice to the pastor, or the situation. I've heard Bishops and Archdeacons refer to these problems as the 'firefighting' aspect of their work. It's the priest who gets punished. The priest isn't often the arsonist. All this speaks volumes about lack of integrity in the Church - when a priest has to get a secular organisation to defend him."

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Sunday, 23 July 2006 at 6:28pm BST

"Freemasonry in the diocese?" As an American, I want very much to ask someone who has more familiarity with the British version of Evangelicalism to clarify Andrew Carey's statement here. I really didn't know there was something objectionable about the Masons.

In the US, the Masons are an aging group of relatively conservative middle-class men, most of whom joined what was in effect a businessmen's club some thirty or forty years ago. Masonic lodges were common in smaller Midwestern cities then, but they have fallen on hard times lately, as have most of the other lodges and clubs (Elks, Moose, Odd Fellows, Lions, and so on). It doesn't help that the Masons still don't admit women; Eastern Star is a club for Masons' wives and daughters. Kiwanis and Rotary are the top clubs for small city business and professional people now, because they do admit women.

The Shriners, who have gone through all the grades of Masonry, are still pretty visible. They appear in parades and sponsor fund-raisers, at which they wear clown suits and Shrine hats and ride motor scooters, for their charity, a hospital for children with severe burns.

All fairly tame, I would have thought. Of course, there might be something different about Continental Masonry. Can anyone explain?

Posted by: Charlotte on Sunday, 23 July 2006 at 9:47pm BST

Dave wrote:

(They only appear in the diocesan handbook as running holiday chaplaincies!)..

The current diocesan yearbook doesn't contain anything which I can identify as what Dave is describing.

I wonder therefore if this comment is based on a misunderstanding of the Diocesan Development Report. This is NOT the annual yearbook of the diocese, but a supplementary volume which contains, each year, a range of articles and pictures giving a feel for the range of work of the diocese. The 2004 edition (published in 2005) did contain an article about ICS holiday chaplaincies. The article was written by ICS! In other years, there have been other articles.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Monday, 24 July 2006 at 9:28am BST

On the question of freemasonry - the vast majority of Churches officially question its compatibility with Christianity - including the Church of England. In 2005, Rowan Williams was reported as criticising its secretive nature, its spiritual teaching and said in the past he had resisted appointing freemasons to senior church posts. The back-scratching nature of freemasonry (probably much exaggerated - at least in this day and age) has also been criticised by church leaders. A simple google search under Freemasonry and Christianity reveals more.

Posted by: Andrew Carey on Monday, 24 July 2006 at 10:13am BST

I appreciate what Andrew Carey has said in reply, but his remarks don't do much to help me understand his objection to the presence of Masons in an Anglican congregation.

Yes, Masons did do a bit of backscratching in their day. They call it "networking" now. Isn't that what a businessman's club is for?

I am aware that anti-Masonic sentiment existed in, for example, the Austria of Maria Theresa; it's part of the background to Mozart's last opera, The Magic Flute. There were anti-Masonic riots in upstate New York in the early 1800s. I wasn't aware that such things were taken seriously today.

In fact, the majority of America's Founding Fathers were Masons.

Oh dear. Now there's another reason to toss the Episcopal Church out of the Anglican Communion, I suppose. Not only pagan, but tainted with Freemasonry.

Posted by: Charlotte Pressler on Monday, 24 July 2006 at 3:36pm BST

I have known and loved many Christians who have been leading Freemasons, some of them are/were outstanding Christians and I am told they are/were outstanding Masons too.
I have been told of lodges where corruption and the sort of thing Andrew Carey alludes to are commonplace, while I know of church communities who without any outside influence can be as evil and corrupt as some of these.
I have no doubt that many of the ex-pats are members of clubs (Masonic or not) where common cause is found and plots are hatched – but then any parish priest can tell you that meetings in the Church parking lot before or after a Church Council meeting can be equally as corrosive!
I was interested to find: and

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Monday, 24 July 2006 at 5:03pm BST

Simon wrote: "I wonder therefore if this comment is based on a misunderstanding of the Diocesan Development Report..... The 2004 edition (published in 2005) did contain an article about ICS holiday chaplaincies. The article was written by ICS! In other years, there have been other articles."

Dear Simon, yes my mistake - I was thinking of last year's development report. In which ICS's report (written by them) was only about their holiday chaplaincies, and there was no mention anywhere of their having set up many of the permanate chaplaincies and that they are still financing several (See: ). Yet USPG (I think - or Christian Aid) were invited to contribute an article saying how they were *possibly* going to get involved..! As you point out, in isolation this could just be a one year feature, but one hears noises about ICS being bypassed or overridden when looking for chaplains, and other grumbles as alluded to by Messers Carey and Reynolds

NB In the 2006 Yearbook the section about Historical Note mentions nothing about ICS - although it is fair to say that it focsses only on the episcopal/heirarchical administration of the diocese -- rather than about the work that actually went in on the ground! What is more, the list of contacts at the back, although listing some Evangelical and Catholic missions (including ICS), is very lopp sided on the campaign / interest groups. Guess which of these lists is *in* and which is *out*:

Affirming Catholics, Changing Attitude, Inclusive Church, LGCM, WATCH

Fulcrum, Reform, Anglican Mainstream, TfT, CEEC

ps Algarve is the only ICS chaplaincy in Portugal

Posted by: Dave on Monday, 24 July 2006 at 8:17pm BST

For those who think we are "Happy Clappy" and that was one of the major problems here in the Algarve, I would like to quote from one of our regular holiday makers, who wrote to Bishop Geoffrey? "We are middle-church goers, and I would not want you to think from what follows that we might be "happy clappy" or otherwise way-out worshippers. We enjoy the service both for its spiruality and also for the fellowship extended to us, in all a very uplifting experience.

I am best described as "Evangelical in the Pulpit, Catholic in the sanctuary and gentle charismatic in my worship." I introduced a 1662 PB Communion Service at St Luke's because I recognised that would aid the congregation's worship, as I introduced a Family Eucharist at Almancil.

On reporting his experience to Bishop David the Registar told Bishop David about the Almancil service and said "Eric is nearly as catholic as we are"!

Posted by: Eric Britt on Monday, 24 July 2006 at 8:56pm BST

For those who are questioning Freemasonry, may I suggest they read "Freemasonry and the Christian Faith by Fr Ashly Beck and published by Catholic Trusth Society. Also obtain a copy of the testimony of Rev'd Rex Morten who gave his testimony of how he came out of Freemasonry. He is very positive about Freemasonry but reveals the incompatability of it with Christianyity.

I was in fact threatened that if I did not accept a particularly nomination for Chaplaincy Warden, although it was out of time, my life could be made very difficult because she was the wife of the head mason in the algarve. So it has proved and most of those who have caused me all the pain and heartache are freemasons or close associates. FACT

Posted by: Eric Britt on Monday, 24 July 2006 at 9:43pm BST

Andrew Carey wrote:
"The back-scratching nature of freemasonry (probably much exaggerated - at least in this day and age) has also been criticised by church leaders."

Which is where I raise an eyebrow or 7!

The Church of England has existed on secretive backscratching for decades. And evangelicals have proved to be as bad as anyone else. It isn't who you are - it's who you know. If backscratching is such a problem, perhaps the C of E should get its own house in order first. How about ensuring that all clergy appointments are advertised openly and nationally. Only once the bishops have given up their power to favour their chums will anyone take notice of any criticism of Masonic backscratching.

(NB - I'm not saying that Masonic membership isn't a problem at all. Merely that there's a whiff of hypocrisy about all this.)

Posted by: David Chillman on Monday, 24 July 2006 at 10:34pm BST

It is good to see Eric Britt posting here.
I have no doubt of the facts as he tells them. I have heard a similar story from elsewhere.

My only concern is that in his attempt to find a bishop to oversee the ongoing work on the Algarve he will (and almost did) fall into the trap of becoming a pawn in the game others are playing. Perhaps that is now inevitable and what we will see in this case will be a foretaste of what all of us are soon to experience.

Of course what should happen is that the bishops with jurisdiction in Europe should offer Mr Britt and his Church a home – there are three others - then there would be no room for the interlopers, Somehow I think that all the bruised egos here will not be able to find a sensible way through. This will be a shame as Europe is a complex diocese with many chaplaincies owning their own buildings and operating trust funds (though some I here have been looted or subverted) and its characteristics and range of sponsoring bodies make it likely to be the first part of the Church of England to fall victim to the “realignment” that now seems inevitable as things continue to spin out of control

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Tuesday, 25 July 2006 at 9:53am BST

I have to say, I absolutely agree with you David Chillman. You will note however, that in parentheses I suggested that the 'backscratching' nature of freemasonry is probably much-exaggerated nowadays, in a general climate of much greater openness and accountability. Sadly, one of the last places to throw open its doors to such openness is in the Church of England's appointing and employment practices. This is why it is important to highlight injustices against people like Eric Britt (hi, Eric, good to see you posting here) because at no stage of the 'process' was he ever told why the diocese wanted to remove his licence. The desire for an end to injustice and open and accountable employment brings many of us together across theological divisions - including myself, and Martin Reynolds. It's good sometimes to make common cause.

Posted by: Andrew Carey on Tuesday, 25 July 2006 at 10:26am BST

It seems now that the most important question any Anglican church congregation, at home or abroad, (not to mention their pastors) needs to be asking is: "What do we really hope to obtain from episcopal or other kinds of pastoral oversight?"
There's such unhappiness, sense of betrayal and mistreatment. What do we want? Do our expectations of 'episcope' make sense in our current social and cultural setting?
When our institutions and their overseers are perceived as slanderers and bullies, it means we've lost the plot. Perhaps a period of church breakup would allow more appropriate effective models to emerge to serve God's people in mission.
How many people have already quit the church as they no longer feel cared for, noticed, nurtured, empowered?
Don't give up Eric trying, but think hard with your people about what honest, sustainable 'episcope' looks like. Come on, surprise us with something really creative!

Posted by: Keith Kimber on Tuesday, 25 July 2006 at 11:36am BST

I notice that in some (misinformed) reports, Eric Britt is "blamed" for the formation of the new All Saints church. This is simply not factual. It was the Almancil congregation that in March this year, following a very disruptive ACM at which many of the newly elected council quite openly stated that their only objective was to remove Eric Britt, decided that enough was enough. This has happened so many times that they were not prepared to see yet another Priest chased out at the whim of a few disruptive people. This has not, and will not, be an easy journey, but why should the congregation lose an excellent Priest who has built up the church, brought in young people, raised the profile of the Anglican church in the Algarve, and trebled the congregation? Andrew Carey has commented that " This is the same story of a diocese which feels threatened when congregations and clergy dare to express disagreement. Bishops and bureaucracies strike back with extraordinary venom when congregations of mature adults stand up to them". How true, and how sad!

Posted by: Paul Luckman on Tuesday, 25 July 2006 at 1:27pm BST

We have just received the following from a reader of our newspaper: "Too many idle hands brings only pain and suffering. From the outside looking in it would seem that there needs to be two forms of Church in the Algarve - as apparently now exists. One - for the old guard who want everything to stay the same and they should pay for its support. Two - for the new wave of thinking and equally these supporters should pay its support. The first one to run out of money loses!"

Posted by: Paul Luckman on Tuesday, 25 July 2006 at 4:14pm BST

Speaking as the ex-Secretary and a member of the old congregation at St Vincent's in Almancil and now as the Secretary and a member of the congregation at the new 'All Saints', for me, one of the saddest things in all this is that we have a Bishop and an Archdeacon telling a mature congregation of over 100 people what is in their best interests, and yet neither Bishop David Hamid nor Archdeacon Alan Woods has ever attended an Almancil service, they've never come to speak to the Almancil congregation or for that matter ever heard Eric preach at Almancil. How can they claim to know what is best for us when they're speaking from such total ignorance?

Posted by: Trevor Holman on Tuesday, 25 July 2006 at 6:12pm BST

If women Bishops do become a reality then Europe Churches, or even the whole Diocese, would certainly have an easier time than UK Churches and Dioceses (or US ones judging by today's news!) if they want to disassociate and join another Anglican province or another denomination.

Most churches are set up as charitable associations under the host nation's law (have to be of course) and are effectively "voluntarily" CofE. Chaplains are also effectively "lease-hold" - on fixed term contracts.

Personally I think that a similar structure in the UK might allow us all to work through the current problems and reorganise without the idiotic venom and power-play that is generated in places with control systems like ECUSA.

Posted by: Dave on Tuesday, 25 July 2006 at 6:58pm BST

It is the stories like Trevor’s above that take your breath away.

Small wonder the pastoral relationships and trust breaks down when there is so little contact on the ground, but as I say above this is a familiar story.

In a way this is a time for both congregations and the diocese to re-think what has happened and come up with something better than we have seen so far.

The diocesan plan to sweep out Mr Britt and hope a new chaplain would calm things down has failed, they can complain that they offered him another job and “paid him off” – but that has come to nought and did not take into consideration the feelings and aspirations of the congregation at “All Saints” who, when realising that had a choice have kept their priest.

The St Vincent’s congregation have had their way and the ground is now clear for a new chaplain to come and serve them, as the letter to the newspaper points out there are now two separate Anglican families there and a bit of healthy competition might be good for both. Indeed the best outcome would be to see that both groups flourish!

The “All Saints” congregation have made an important contribution to the life of the diocese by bringing to light a failed strategy and flawed procedures, they have all been hushed up before and left people distressed and not answered the underlying problems. The local newspaper and the Church of England Newspaper have made the situation known and this publicity can bring a new spirit of openness to what might happen next.

Mr Britt and the Anglicans of “All Saints” are a fact on the ground the diocesan authorities must engage with. It is reasonable for them to ask for other oversight as they wish to remain Anglicans and pastoral relations have broken down with their former bishop. In the circumstances and because there are overlapping jurisdictions already existing an answer can be found – it only remains for those with responsibility to see the potential here and heal the wounds. We will all watch with great interest.

Posted by: Martin Reynolds on Wednesday, 26 July 2006 at 7:10am BST

Martin is perfectly correct when he says 'pastoral relations had broken down with our former Bishop. In reality Bishop David Hamid forced us into making a choice - either support him as Bishop or support our Chaplain. Eric had led us to both spiritual and numerical growth and we all knew him, and respected his preaching and teaching. 90% of the congregation wouldn't have known the Bishop or the Archdeacon if they'd sat next to them in the congregation. Given the choice that was forced upon us - is it surprising that we chose the man we knew and respected over a virtual stranger.

Posted by: Trevor Holman on Wednesday, 26 July 2006 at 9:52am BST

I notice that some of the more "balanced" reports regarding All Saints and Eric Britt in the Portuguese press have not been listed on this site. Attached is a link to The Portugal News, 15 July

Posted by: Paul Luckman on Wednesday, 26 July 2006 at 11:04am BST

A further article from The Portugal News 22 July issue "A New Church is born"

Posted by: Paul Luckman on Wednesday, 26 July 2006 at 11:06am BST

We now have a situation in the Algarve where two of the congregations of St Vincent's Anglican Church have acheived their stated objective - The Rev'd Eric Britt is no longer their Chaplain, and one must assume the majority of people in those two congregations are happy.

We also have the third congregation of St Vincent's at Almancil who wished to keep Eric as their Chaplain and they have now declared their independance from the Diocese in Europe, become All Saints Anglican Church and they too are happy. It seems to me the only people unhappy with this result are one or two diehard members of the two remaining St Vincent's congregations, the two Bishops of the Diocese in Europe and the Archdeacon.

Surely the main aim of all Christian leaders is to have as many people as possible worshipping God on a regular basis, being nourished in their faith and spreading the good news as Jesus commanded.
No doubt I will be told I'm being incredibly naive in this, but surely it is time for everyone involved to accept that we now have two Anglican Churches in the Algarve and we should try to live in peace with each other and perhaps in time the two churches can work together for Gods glory.

It's now time for everyone involved, including all members of the three congregations, both Bishops and the Archdeacon, to put aside any damaged egos and hurt pride and let's all move forward together so that Christ's name and his Church is glorified, not brought into further disrepute.

Posted by: Trevor Holman on Wednesday, 26 July 2006 at 11:39am BST

Thank you for those links. As the publisher of the newspaper you may wish to know that the only reason they did not appear before is because, using Google News to find them, I was unable to get beyond the page which says:
Google News Readers: If you are clicking through from Google News you are entitled to read the entire story without subscribing.
You might wish to have your technical staff look into the issue.

Posted by: Simon Sarmiento on Wednesday, 26 July 2006 at 2:36pm BST

Thank you, we are looking into this. Some service providers seem to block this facility, and we are still trying to solve that problem. Meanwhile, I will post a direct link to relevant articles without the need to subscribe

Posted by: Paul Luckman on Wednesday, 26 July 2006 at 3:55pm BST

Dear Trevor, I couldn't agree more! I look forward to the day when the Church's heirarchy realises it needs to earn the authority to lead through personifying dynamic Christianity in tough leadership areas as evangelism and church planting..

Posted by: Dave on Wednesday, 26 July 2006 at 8:17pm BST

Andrew Carey's article in The Portugal News 28th July issue

Posted by: Paul Luckman on Saturday, 29 July 2006 at 6:06pm BST

A simple thought / suggestion :

The Algarve is not the only Chaplaincy or Parish that is not in total harmony with its Diocese.

What if the Church of England were to set up two or three Bishops who could take parishes or chaplaincies who have problems with their Diocese into their episcopal care based simply on churchmanship instead of just geography.

That way, all the congregations for example under an evangelical Bishop would all be singing from the same hymn sheet. Likewise those congregations with a more traditional churchmanship could find a home with a like minded Bishop, or those that found they had a Bishop opposed to women's ministry when they weren't could find a home whilst remaining in the Church of England etc, etc.

I know it's a bit radical, but at least that way the Church of England would be able to provide a home for congregations such as ours, without us having to declare UDI.

Posted by: Trevor Holman on Tuesday, 1 August 2006 at 4:49pm BST

"I really didn't know there was something objectionable about the Masons."
--And you're from Cleveland? Cle Masons are sleazebags! & I thought punks were people who're, like, not clueless!

Posted by: Andrew Edward Winslow on Wednesday, 2 August 2006 at 11:18am BST
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