My earliest memory of harvest festival is going to church with my friends from Sunday school to present our harvest gifts.
We would each have a shoe box covered in wrapping paper filled with fresh produce and we would process up the aisle to lay our boxes in front of the altar.
Sometimes the odd banana or apple would disappear from the box on the way to keep us going through the rest of the service! The produce we gave would later be divided up and distributed around the people in need in our parish.
Harvest festival looks quite different these days. Now we bring gifts of dried and tinned foods and these are distributed via feedbacks.
With the Trussell Trust reporting that last year more than one million people received help from foodbanks, it is clear that their work is very important.
Foodbanks rely on the donations they receive from churches, schools and other organisations to help those who might not otherwise be able to feed themselves or their families.
We will be collecting donations at our harvest festival service on Sunday, October 1, and these will be shared between the Waterlooville Foodbank and St Simon’s Church, Southsea, which provides weekly suppers for homeless, vulnerable and lonely people in their community.
Another long-standing harvest tradition is the harvest supper, originally a feast provided by farmers to celebrate the end of the harvest, to which all who had helped in the harvest were invited.
On Saturday, September 30, from 10am until midday, at Hart Plain Church, we are putting a new slant on this idea and holding a harvest brunch.
A cooked breakfast will be served and the speaker will be the Rev Tim Daykin, who presents BBC Radio Solent’s Sunday morning show. He will be telling us about his radio career and his ministry.
Tickets are available from the church office and cost £5 for adults and £2.50 for children under 12. I hope you will join us this harvest time as we celebrate the good gifts God has given us. All are welcome.
Hart Plain Church is in Hart Plain Avenue, Waterlooville. Sunday worship is at 10am. To contact the parish office call (023) 9225 4452 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Go to hartplain.org.uk.