Carols rang out across a beautiful moonlit sky last Thursday night in Almancil as All Saints Anglican Church hosted the first ever community “Drive in Carol Service”.
Cars converged on the parking area next to the Estadio de Almancil from far and near, bringing over 130 people in joy and anticipation, to attend the Service of Lessons and Carols and to Celebrate of the birth of Jesus Christ.
The Carol Service was organized and controlled as a Covid safe space, everyone stayed in their cars, in the parking spot that they had been directed to and the sound of joyous singing from inside the vehicles filled the air. The Service was conducted in both English and Portuguese with simultaneous translation at key points. In addition, several of the lessons were read only in Portuguese by the local hosts. Service booklets had been produced in both English and Portuguese for people to follow. One particularly tender moment was when the Carol, Silent Night was sung in both English and Portuguese.
The Drive In Carol Service was made possible by the gracious support of ASCA, the Junta Freguesia Almancil and the Camara of Loule. Speaking in his address Rev’d Mike Clarkson, Priest of All Saints Anglican Church Almancil said,” We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our hosts in helping to make all this happen. Christmas is one of the most important times of the year for us in All Saints and to be able to get together like this – albeit from the comfort and safety of our own cars – has been joyous. This is a memory we will treasure from a year in which the new normal was to be physically apart and to only worship together virtually. Thank you ASCA, Presidente Joaquim Pinto from the Junta de Freguesia ,who is graciously here tonight and the Camara of Loule, may God bless you for your help and support, and thank you for including us as part of your community.”