Letter July 2020

Porto 27 July 2020 

Dear Friends

We are writing to you personally, on behalf of the Church Council, to ask you to help support St James’ Church at this especially difficult time.  The income received by the church since the Coronavirus took hold has been less than a quarter of the expenses - and we must try to reverse this trend before it is too late.

As you are aware, St James’ Church has a long history in the life of the city of Porto and has always been an important reference for the local community.  The costs of providing spiritual and pastoral ministry and maintaining our beautiful 200 year old church building and historic cemetery currently far exceed the money we receive.  We have, as just one example, over the last 12 months had to spend more than 90,000 euros on essential repairs to the church and in the cemetery.  It is often not realized that we receive no external funding - from the Church of England or any other source – we have to fund ourselves entirely. Although St James’ Church benefited greatly from the bequest of Evelyn Teage in 2012 and as a result has been able to invest in several apartments to provide rental income, this plus income from all other sources still amounts to only around half the annual expenditure.

Our regular congregation has already responded to this appeal and made pledges to increase giving.   This is encouraging but on its own is not enough to ensure the future of our church.  We also need the support of the wider community in Porto and northern Portugal, which is why we are asking for your help towards raising a further €50,000 per year, which is the current shortfall. 

There are several ways in which you can give, whatever you feel able to, to help to ensure the future of our church in Porto.  These are shown on the enclosed leaflet and also on the church´s website donations page.  Visit this link

The presence of our church and the ministry it provides to our community for English speaking people – church services, baptisms, weddings, funerals and care of people in times of need – is not guaranteed for the years ahead.  Support is needed right now to ensure its continuing future.

We would like you if possible to kindly respond by post or email, in confidence to our Chaplain, the Reverend Philip Bourne, so we can acknowledge your gift and thank you for your support. The postal address is at the foot of this page; or use his private email.

We would be pleased to answer any questions or concerns and are most grateful for your consideration.

With best wishes

Jo Carrapato : 933 418 600 Nick Holland : 919 544 631

The Churchwardens.  St James’ Church, Porto