Holy Trinity Weymouth with St Nicholas

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This month’s letter from the Vicar

Dear friends,

I’m a country person at heart! I was brought up in a small country town in North Cornwall with a thriving market each week. Sadly it is all now long gone. But as children my brothers and I used to love to go to the livestock market and watch all the farmers bringing their livestock and produce to market. At Harvest thanksgiving we would take our harvest gifts to church and I remember a wonderful harvest choral evensong and a hearty harvest supper which everybody was involved with.

Over the years I’ve seen a variety of creative harvest displays – from an upturned wheelbarrow and a shiny milk churn sprouting ears of corn to a display divided right down the middle between want and plenty, as well as the tinned and packet foodstuffs balancing precariously on small shelves.  It has also been an opportunity for the florists of the church to pull out all the stops and produce a riot of gorgeous autumnal colours. But are these harvest celebrations really relevant anymore?  Many of us get our vegetables from the supermarket, our bread from a plastic packet and our milk from the paper shop.  Some of us may even use our local farm shops. So maybe this whole harvest festival idea seems a bit remote. Shouldn’t churches just ditch it and do something more relevant instead? The thing is, unless we make ourselves stop at least once a year and acknowledge the natural goodness and the produce of the earth – there is a danger that we will never do it.  In our ‘sanitised’ lives it is all too easy to forget where our most basic foodstuffs come from.  Harvest festivals re-connect lots of people with the natural order of things – and remind us that the contents of our dinner plates do not start at the supermarket shelf.

Farming has always been hard work.  You only need to talk to the farmers and listen to their stories. Out in all weathers, fighting off pests and crop damage, coping with taxes and subsidies, trying to meet exacting standards from the food industry – it’s not an easy way to make a living.  If harvest festivals make us think about our farming community, even once a year – I’m all for them.

So do come and join us at Holy Trinity church as we celebrate Harvest together on SUNDAY 7th October.  At the 10am service we shall be asking people to bring their harvest produce of all kinds to the altar for God’s blessing. In the evening at 6.30pm we shall have a traditional harvest Choral Evensong and sing those old familiar harvest hymns.

At 12.15pm on Harvest Sunday in the organ transept the servers and acolytes team will be serving a fish and chip lunch with wine or soft drinks and a desert. Tickets £7. Proceeds will be divided between the proposed disabled toilets and the Dorset Murugi project. The proceeds from the raffle will be donated to Christian Aid. Lunch tickets can be bought from Janny or Joe 01305 780755.

Yours sincerely,

Revd Canon Andrew Gough

October 2018


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