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Chaplain to the Queen and CEO of The Renewal Programme Rev Canon Ann Easter celebrates Harvest Festival

PUBLISHED: 14:48 16 October 2013 | UPDATED: 10:32 22 October 2013

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I love autumn! I love those chilly mornings and the sunny days and I especially love it as it’s time for Harvest Festival – a chance to celebrate all the things that make life not only possible, but worth living.

Not just the fish, but the fuel to cook it with; not just grapes to make wine, but the wool to make a nice dress for me to spill it down too...

We will have Harvest Festivals in our inner-city churches, of course. There’s some might say that Harvest and inner-city shouldn’t be in the same sentence – it’s true that most of us are a long, long way from harvesting anything at all.

I don’t know anyone who goes hop-picking these days and, apart from those with a “lottie” or an interest in growing stuff, we’re a bit ignorant.

But that doesn’t mean we’re not grateful to God for all those good things and Harvest gives us a chance to show it – not by burning it as a sacrifice like in the olden days so that God gets the smoke, but by giving some food to people who don’t have much.

Our tinned and dried foods will go to the refugee food bank at The Renewal Programme (www.renewalprogramme.org.uk) where I work and they’ll be given to people like the lady who came to us because she said she doesn’t mind living off the bits of fruit and vegetable she finds on the ground when the market closes, but she was feeding her baby on water, sugar and mint.

Knowing that some of our neighbours are that hungry – not just here but all over the world – certainly helps us to realise our good fortune and makes us want to share it. And there are good songs too…

“All good things around us are sent from Heaven above, so thank the Lord, oh thank the Lord for all his love.”


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