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A block drawing of a church

7 October 2018: Take care! It’s Harvest!Computer produced image of two bales of straw and two wheat sheaves

This was originally a small village at the heart of a farming community. The increase in the size of our town from the late 1950s onward resulted in it expanding to absorb the area where we now live. The process was complete by the mid-1980s but the expansion has continued since and will soon take in the next village out. The town is now officially a city.

That doesn’t stop us celebrating the harvest every year, although these days the harvest gifts are mainly things in cans, jars and boxes bought from the local supermarkets. Until the 1980s the harvest gifts were put into boxes and distributed among the elderly parishioners. Needs change. Today’s elderly parishioners are reasonably well off so the gifts are passed on to the Foodbank, which unfortunately is facing an increasing demand for its services.

Our Rector is unwell this weekend. Our Harvest Festival Service was therefore conducted by our Licensed Lay Minister, who was scheduled to preach anyway. He took as his theme “Take care! It’s Harvest!” and emphasised the need for us all to take care of our environment if harvests are going to continue and needs be met.

He gave two short illustrated talks. In the first he showed a series of slides showing ways in which we are not taking care of our environment. These included, for example, a polluted beach, a large pile of discarded plastic waste and a discarded shopping trolley lying in a stream. For the second talk he asked “Which is better for our environment - 1 or 2?” He then showed a series of slides which showed two alternatives, such as bus and a car. Which, he asked, is better? The answer was, of course, the bus. One slide showed a child cycling to school and a child walking to school. The answer to that was that both were good and better for the environment than going by car.

A number of us stayed afterwards for a Harvest Lunch in the hall. This consisted of homemade soups with cheese, rolls and fruit. We were invited to put donations in a bowl; any surplus after paying for the ingredietns will go to the Foodbank.