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Giving with their hearts

Dear Editor,

“The Lord loves a cheerful giver” and there are many of them in the Algarve.

At the Harvest Festival in St Luke’s, Monte da Palhagueira, people gave with both hands and all their hearts, and the church was a joy to behold.

We don’t ask for the traditional fruit and vegetables offerings, but for basic, lasting store cupboard goods, which our talented team from the congregation turned into very pretty decorations.

The flowers were arranged in the “Whoosh” style by John Vellam, a former landscape designer and now chairman of Os Jardineiros do Sotavento, and reflected the abundance of autumn.

We give the offerings to needy Portuguese families in the neighbourhood of the church. Many are single parents with young children, some are pensioners, and some unable to work due to handicaps.

This year we were able to give big overflowing boxes to 22 families, a total of 72 people, and as one of our Portuguese helpers said: “You don’t know how much this means to the people”, a message we would like to share with all who gave and helped.

At Christmas we give sweets and cakes to the children on our list, which we take for granted but are real luxuries for them.

If you would like to join in this giving please contact [email protected]. If you need further details of our services and church community lives, please contact [email protected].

Very many thanks to all who made such a happy day, and so many people happy. Believe me, you made a difference.

Elspeth Flood, By email