On Saturday 7th and Sunday 8th of October we had a weekend of celebration for the Harvest being safely gathered in. In the words of a traditional hymn “Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home, all be safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.”
People might ask whether it is still appropriate to hold a Harvest Festival in this day and age. They would appear to have some justification for arguing that a Harvest Festival is now out of date. The vast majority of people in our country may well think that the sole source of their food is the local Supermarket. The link between town and countryside seems to have been broken - in a recent survey it was found that the names of common birds and trees were largely unknown.
But it's instructive to look at the source of the food we buy from the Supermarkets, some of it is grown in this country, but most of it comes from every part of our world. We are dependent for our food from those who labour in the fields of far distant countries; for example we buy wheat from Canada, fruit from South Africa and rice from India.
Our Harvest Festival weekend celebrates worldwide Harvests not just the one in the United Kingdom and reminds us of our dependence on others.
At our Harvest Festival we remind ourselves that people from all countries are bound together by the cycle of the natural world. Through Harvest thanksgiving we acknowledge a mutual dependency; that we do not live in splendid isolation.