• Harvest Home 19 September 2017 | View comments

  • 11th September 2017 | By David Jolley

    We planned it. The local paper ran a little story and we posted flyers to local homes. Lots of people brought fruit and vegetables as well as tins and boxes of food – to decorate the church and to use every sense to say – This is harvest!

    Saturday morning there was a gathering of willing helpers to ‘dress’ the worship area. We had apples and pears, bananas and grapes and oranges, a pineapple, two marrows, squashes, cabbage, cauliflower and all manner of salad things. There were flowers and specially made plaited bread – in pride of place and on the altar.

    A local farm provided two smallish bales of straw. (Quite big enough). ‘What a mess they make!’ But what a strong message of size, shape, colour and scent.

    That is how it was – We walked into a special place. ‘It’s like a barn’.

    With music to match and friendly closeness amongst people of all ages. This is timeless.

    Reverend Ros beams welcome

    Hymns and Psalms:

    355 Come, ye faithful people, come,
      Raise the song of harvest home.
    330 All things bright and beautiful,
      All creatures great and small.
    352 We plough the fields and scatter,
      The good seed on the ground.
    342 For the fruits of his creation,
      Thanks be to God.
    333 For the beauty of the earth,
      For the beauty of the skies.

    We knew the tunes. We knew (most of) the words. 

    The text took us to consider the seed and the soil. Matthew Chapter 13. There is quite a lot to be considered when you take in the accumulation of the ever circling years.

    So important. So basic.

    We can all be secure in this.

    After the service we were welcomed to a school-room prepared with refreshments – tea and coffee or juice – cheeses, bread, sausages, pies, chopped vegetables and salad, cakes and biscuits, fruits and crisps. All served with gentle joyfulness – and we talked for longer than we’d thought.

    There were children playing with model farm animals – and now more children and parents – The village picnic has to move indoors because of the threat and reality of rain.

    All creatures great and small – competent and less able – all at home in this.

    And you know afterwards the food and such was distributed, the tables and chairs and crockery were washed and dried and put away safe. The bales went back to the farm. The carpets were hoovered. No mess was left behind.

    But we knew we had been somewhere special.

    Celebrations like this were a Victorian invention – but they were extending and adopting festivals which have given thanks for the goodness of the Earth over centuries past.

    We will never stop giving thanks for this.

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