Harvest

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From The Manse.....

As we move into October having enjoyed some glorious weather through September, our thoughts as usual turn towards harvest.

Like so much of this year, we will not be able to celebrate or to do what we have customarily done in the past.

Smaller numbers in church, (where open) donations for food-banks to be isolated for 72 hours and those great harvest hymns internally hummed under our breath as opposed to being gustily sung and proclaimed.

It won't be the same, yet our need to celebrate and give thanks for the harvest home is as important, if not more so this year.

Earlier in March in the first stages of lockdown, we recall how the supermarket shelves were stripped bear of pasta, toilet rolls, yeast and bread flour, to mention but a few items. All this despite the supermarkets assurance that there were no shortages and if everyone bought as they usually did then there would be enough for everyone.

Those images forced us to think about not only our food, but the process of getting the produce from farms to the shelves and an awareness of those who worked so hard and selflessly through those months to enable us to have food in our baskets and on our plates.

We gave and continue to give thanks for the Ray Collins Trust's initiative and for all those who helped out in that amazing outpouring of help and assistance to our community.

We are conscious of the amazing work that the food-bank does, liaising with others such as the Community Fridge in 'The Mix' that seeks to avoid food waste even as it supports those in need.

As we have seen the tractors on our roads and through our town and villages as the farmers get this year's harvest in and make the most of the good weather we are experiencing as I write this, we give thanks for their constant work and toil on the land.

Harvest however it is celebrated, is always about giving thanks, this year is no exception.

We give thanks to all those who are part of that long and complicated chain that begins with sowing and ends with us serving up the meal we have prepared.

Harvest is also about remembering those less well off than ourselves. The need to share and support millions around the world whose suffering is even more acute this year because of Covid-19 is immense.

We continue to support aid and relief agencies and in our case, focus on the work one All We Can, with who we have worked so closely over the past few years.

Grateful thanks and reaching out to others in need must always be our response to harvest.

Above all we give thanks to God for his goodness and bounty, even as we offer him our prayers of confession for the way in which his gifts and blessings are not equally shared and so many go hungry.

With love and God Bless

Keith

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