Celebrating Harvest Festival and Giving Thanks To God

With the clocks turning back at the weekend, and the beautiful autumnal days bringing crisp mornings and soft sunlight shining on the rich red and yellow leaves, there is much to be thankful for at this time of year.
Around the diocese, across our many worshipping communities in our schools, churches and fresh expressions, people have been celebrating Harvest and giving praise to God.

St Botolph’s Church in Sibson held its annual Harvest Festival Service in one of the area’s local farms and found it a lovely way to celebrate in the stables complete with cows mooing in the background.
Their efforts to find alternative ways of reaching their community and taking church out of the building and to the people, meant that more than 60 people attended the service – most of whom do not normally go to church.
Revd Sue Frost led the service, and although she didn’t preach from the tractor, she did climb aboard.

Another innovative action to bring church to the people, St Anne’s Church in Leicester held an informal Harvest Festival Service tagged-on to its recent Green Fair in Western Park.
The short service on the Green included well-known harvest hymns, a short interactive talk, and a few prayers, with stall holders, customers and church members staying to take part.
Revd Sharon Plant, who led the service, said it was well worth doing. She added: “One stall-holder told me afterwards that she wasn’t going to stay for the service but that she was ‘glad she did.’ She stayed to help tidy-up and we had a long chat about a variety of things.
“For some who stayed, it may have been a rare opportunity for them to hear something of the gospel message.”

A barn in Rotherby was full of young farmers from all around the county as the Leicestershire and Rutland Federation of Young Farmers Clubs came together for its annual Harvest Festival Service.
Sitting on straw bales, with a JCB bucket for a stage, the service was led by LFYFC President, Revd Canon Peter Hooper, and included readings, hymns and prayers.
The group also collected a generous donation of tins for the local food bank.

One of our diocesan fresh expressions, Windmill Forest Church in Botesford, enjoyed a lovely early autumnal afternoon picking the fruits of the orchard and hedgerows, and using a fruit press to make hot mulled apple drink.
During their outdoor worship, they joined together in activities such as pattern printing on cloth using leaves and berries. The gathering, which included people of all ages and abilities, also talked through what the Bible says about the Fruit of the Spirit and how we can live more fruitfully as people of God.

First published on: 30th October 2023
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