THEY are having enviable sunshine in the diocese in Europe, but
some of those who live there are also making a difference to
people's lives. The youth club at St Vincent's Church of England
Chaplaincy, in Praia de Luz, on the Algarve, has been very busy,
the Revd Haynes Q. Hubbard writes from Portugal.
They have recently been on a three-day working visit to Lisbon,
where they volunteered at the food bank, which feeds more than
70,000 people. They tidied up the British cemetery ("already pretty
tidy"), and cleaned the Church of Scotland church. They attended a
multicultural evening in support of migrants from Cape Verde, and
joined the worshippers at St George's for their morning service -
all this while sleeping on the floor of the Presbyterian manse,
kindly offered as their home base.
It proved an exhausting excursion, says Mr Hubbard, a Canadian,
but it did not stop them, a week or two later, having a 30-hour
fast in order to raise funds and awareness of the many people who
are hungry in Portugal.
In the middle of their fast, they went to a supermarket and bought
€650-worth of food for the Lagos food bank, and took it to the
church, where it was organised and stacked on the shelves. The next
day, they satisfied their hunger with a pizza feast, before leading
the prayers and much of the worship in church at the Sunday
The adults at the service were moved by the sincerity of their
prayers in thanksgiving for food, for the health and welfare of
families, and for the opportunity to make a difference.