THE ONGOING interregnum at St.Vincent’s Church in the Algarve is like a breath of fresh air, sweeping away fixed ideas and opening our hearts and minds to a succession of locums who, while using the same Orders of Service, make subtle differences to our worship.

Congregations wax and wane according to the impact made on peoples easily upset routines, but a hardy nucleus remains like barnacles on a rock. Comment is made if sermons are thought to be too long, each transient incumbent being asked politely to make it short if they have a tendency to ramble on. While this seems impertinent, it has resulted in some close knit, pithy and riveting sermons that stick in the memory and have holidaymakers returning for more.

So it was in Luz on November 12, when Father John led us in the Service of Remembrance for those who died in war.

The Church was full: some were regulars, others came, who attend from time to time and there was a large contingent of visitors. To be in such a gathering and to know that people all over the world were attending similar acts of worship gave an added power to our act of Communion.

During the Eucharistic prayers, the words of Christ: “This is my body, which is given for you” and again: “This is my blood, which is shed for you” brought into stark reality the sacrifices of all who have given their lives in the service of their country. Even as we prayed, we were aware that there was suffering, enduring and dying taking place in many theatres of conflict across the world.