You couldn’t make it up!

THE NEWS that a new Anglican church – All Saints’ Anglican Church of the Algarve – had been established last week, following the resignation of St. Vincent’s chaplain the Reverend Eric Britt provoked some amusement in church circles. “Hilarious’’ was the comment from St. Vincent’s Chaplaincy Warden, Les Johnson, when asked his thoughts on the matter. But it gets better! The subsequent press release in Mr Luckman’s Portugal News provoked the most mirth, as it was revealed that ‘Popular’ Fr. Britt, whose licence to preach had been so cruelly withdrawn on July 9 by the Diocese of Europe, has apparently been reinstated by none other than Bishop Robinson Cavalcanti of Recife in Brazil. This wacky former member of the Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil (IEAB) has, to say the least, a colourful background; indeed so colourful in both sacred and secular fields, that he was expelled from the IEAB following a lengthy disciplinary hearing by the Supreme Ecclesiastical Court of Brazil in 2005.

But seriously, why should the Anglican worshippers at Almancil’s Igreja da Nossa Senhora de Fátima be subjected to this farce; particularly at a time of reflection and healing, following the loss of the apparently ‘popular’ priest Mr Britt? Whatever the merits of the opposing ideological factions in Recife, Brazil – and this correspondent as a layperson finds them arcane in the extreme – there is surely no room in the Algarve Anglican Ministry for the sort of intimidation and gerrymandering of Bishop Cavalcanti and his followers – a foretaste of which was apparent to the many who attended St. Vincent’s Church Council AGM on April 6, 2006 .

By ‘Church Bystander’

July 18