Harvest Festival

Rebecca Fardell writes…

One of the joys of living in the Vicarage is that I overlook the allotments. I often walk through them on my way into town and love seeing the abundance they produce: the prolific marrows and the glorious hollyhock; the flowers, fruit and the vegetables which are the reward for so much labour. The lavish fruitfulness of this time of year is a joy to see and a privilege to enjoy and is, of course, why we traditionally celebrate Harvest now.

I have so much to be thankful for: I have a roof over my head, food in my kitchen, water in my taps and clothes in my wardrobe. I have friends and family with whom to laugh, and on occasion cry. I live in a beautiful part of the world and have some time and sufficient health to enjoy walking in it. I have access to enough radios to satisfy even my passion for Radio 4 and a range of books on my shelves. When I see a military airplane flying above me I do not fear being bombed and I have the freedom to say I believe in Christ and to worship Him openly without being thrown in prison or worse. This list only begins to account for the numerous ways in which I am blessed; once I got started, the reasons to be thankful just kept coming but I will stop there as space is limited! We only have to open our newspapers to realise that many people do not have a fraction of those things we enjoy. We do not need to look as far as the hungry of Africa or the war-torn Middle East to see people whose lives look very different. There are people who lack even essential food and housing much closer to home which is why as a parish we support the vital work of DENS.

It is so easy for us to take for granted what we have, to forget to say thank you. The reason the Church celebrates Harvest is to give us all a special opportunity to say thank you. It is a time to remember that although we might work hard, ultimately all things come from God. As we sing in the popular harvest hymn:

‘We plough the fields and scatter the good seed on the land,
but it is fed and watered by God’s almighty hand’. 

Not only is it right, but it is a joy for us to give thanks to God for all He has given us. Why not take some time to think about all the good things you have and give thanks to the Giver?

‘All good gifts around us
Are sent from heaven above;
Then thank the Lord,
O thank the Lord,
For all his love.’

At Sunnyside we will be celebrating Harvest on Sunday 8th October at all our services . If you would like to bring any harvest gifts please bring things that can be sent to DENS, you can find a list of things DENS need at the moment by clicking here.

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