The Christian Presbyterian Church of Portugal (ICPP) is a small and relatively young church in Portugal.
In 1979, a team of missionaries from Mission to the World (MTW), the foreign missions board of the Presbyterian Church of Americaarrived in Portugal to undertake a project of evangelism and church planting in the Lisbon area. Though a new denomination was to be established, the team did have something to start with as Pastor Vieira, who was the president of the Portuguese Evangelical Alliance at the time, had a preaching point started and some of the missionaries worked with him in that effort. This eventually became what is today the Igreja Cristã Presbiteriana de Telheiras.
During the early 1980’s more missionaries were sent by MTW to join the Portugal Team, and one of the new families along with one of the original families felt the Lord leading them to plant a church in Carnaxide, a suburb of Lisbon. Around the same time, one of the missionary team was assigned to help a struggling independent church resulting in the formation of the congregation of Barreiro.
In 1992, these three congregations were formalised as The Christian Presbyterian Church of Portugal. In the mid-nineties an independent Presbyterian church in Campo de Ourique in downtown Lisbon, which existed before the MTW missionaries arrived in Portugal, joined the denomination. Finally, in 2005 a church plant was begun by a Brazilian football playerin Paços de Ferreira, a town 35km Northeast of Porto. Soon a Brazilian missionary pastor was sent to lead that effort. Aftera few years this family returned to Brazil and, since 2009, the congregation has been led by a Portuguese pastor.
Three members of the original MTW missionary team continue to minister in Portugal. Susan Wood is a teacher at the Portuguese Bible Institute and Rev. Glenn Camenisch, aided by his wife Frances, continues to pastor the Lisbon congregations of Campo de Ourique and Carnaxide. They are supplemented by two Portuguese pastors – Rev. Manuel Luzia (Telheiras & Barreiro) and Rev. Paulo Jorge (Paços de Ferreira). More recently, Rev. José Marcos, a Brazilian pastor has been leading the congregation of Carnaxide.
The greatest need the ICPP has at this point is the growth and development of the existing local churches. Small numbers and a lack of younger members is a great challenge. However, the ICPP also wants to press on with the need for church planting in Portugal and in that regard are encouraged by the new church plant being undertaken in Porto.
In July 2013, James and Heather Cochrane and family moved to greater Porto in Northern Portugal where they are involved in a church-planting project. They are planting a church on behalf of the Christian Presbyterian Church of Portugal (ICPP) in Senhora da Hora, a few kilometres from the centre of Porto.