On Sunday 7th June, the Feast of Corpus Christi, which fell on the Sunday before Portugal Day, the Portuguese Ambassador, His Excellency João de Vallera visited the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory for a Solemn Mass to celebrate the beginning of festivities to mark Portuguese National Day on 10th June and to continue the re-building of the historic links between the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory and the Portuguese Embassy in London.
Others present at the Mass included representatives of the Portuguese community in London, members of the Anglo-Portuguese Society and members of the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce. The Anglo-Portuguese Ensemble accompanied the church’s choir, who sang Schubert’s Mass in G. The same Ensemble later gave a concert at Warwick Street on Portugal Day itself, Wednesday 10th June.
This was the second such event at Warwick Street, the first having taken place last year. This annual ‘Portugal Mass’ marks the significant connection between the church and the Portuguese community. In the eighteenth century, what is now the church of Our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory was the chapel of the Portuguese Embassy in London. The event was organised by the parish priest, Fr Mark Elliott Smith, and parishioner Diana Morphew.