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Raining Harvest Blessings

by Michael Ford last modified 16 Oct, 2020 05:49 PM

In this mainly rural diocese, most parishes are very much in touch with farming, husbandry, and the turning of the year. Harvest services can still be joyous, even as we adapt to the 'new normal'.

Raining Harvest Blessings

Trainee LLM Mandy Cook leads the outdoor service

Some celebrations are taking place online, some in small Covid-safe gatherings, and some may even have witnessed divine intervention first hand.

Pauline Arnold, from St Giles' Tockenham, says:

"We didn't want to miss the chance to enable our village to celebrate harvest this year, when we have been more conscious than ever of the blessings of our homes, gardens, farms and allotments.

"We had to abandon plans for our traditional harvest supper and auction, but we did what we could - an outdoor service and celebration, and a chance for people to donate to the Swindon Food Collective rather than bringing fresh home-grown produce.

"We had the service in the churchyard, with plenty of space for us to gather at a suitable distance from one another, a PA system enabling everyone to hear, and the service led by Mandy Cook our LLM in training, with a number of others doing readings.

"This was all in front of a backdrop of hay bales decorated with baskets of fruit and flowers.

"The forecast was good, and the day dawned chilly but dry. Just as the words of 'We plough the fields and scatter' were being read as a poem, and the line 'soft refreshing rain' was reached, down it came!

"Seems like God has a great sense of humour."

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