After months of meeting only in cyberspace, the congregations of St Vincent’s Anglican Chaplaincy have been venturing cautiously back into church over the summer and on Wednesday, October 7 celebrated both the feast of St Francis and the annual Harvest Festival, a much beloved celebration of God’s gifts.
For St Vincent’s, harvest is always a time to gather extra food and donations for local people in need, supplementing regular monthly giving, which has been more difficult to organise during the pandemic – just at a time when the need has been growing.
So, when the harvest was gathered in from both the east and central Algarve congregations last week, it was evident that donors were aware of the need to be generous, and the level of giving exceeded any in previous years.
Chaplain Reid Hamilton felt this reflected this difficult year: “I have been struck by people’s awareness of what their friends and neighbours are going through, whether that’s isolation or difficulty in putting food on the table. At the same time, many people feel thankful for their own wellbeing here in the Algarve and want both to rejoice in the good things we have and to give to those who are struggling at this time.”
From October 18 onwards, there will be a service of the Eucharist in person, every first and third Sunday of the month at St Luke’s, Palhagueira. Details on the chaplaincy’s website at www.stvincentsalgarve.org