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Pinto Provides The Donkey For 1st April

It may have been April Fools day in Portugal but nobody made an ass out of Pinto – the donkey who proved to have a gift for pastoral visiting.

Rev Bob Bates from the Algarve says “During the service at St Luke's Church at Monte da Palhagueira where I am the Chaplain we encouraged the children to come and they loved the procession with the donkey who came into the church as we sang All Glory Laud and Honour.

donkey pops in

“The Children came to the first part of the service including a donkey-oriented sermon from me with some participation from the congregation, encouraged by the children. The youngsters then left the church for donkey rides whilst we had the Eucharistic prayer, but the donkey was not initially to be found as he had gone on a pastoral visit. He soon reappeared and they all had their ride, before returning for a blessing at the end of Communion.

“The donkey's name is Pinto and this is his second year with us (and he is already booked for next year). His predecessor Adam sadly passed to the great donkey sanctuary in the sky a couple of years ago. We are indebted to friends of mine, Rod and Susan Frew, for bringing Pinto to be with us (they live some distance away - about 40Km and dealing with donkeys and trailers and the like is not something they would welcome too often).

“The Pastoral visit was to Barry Shaw, an acquaintance of many folk hereabouts, and of Rod and Sue, who is very poorly in the home at Palhagueira, and as you can see Pinto was literally able to pop his head in!!”