For as far back as people were farmers, communities have celebrated Harvest Festivals.
After the hard work and uncertainty of trying to grow enough food for everyone for the coming year, Harvest Festival was a time to be thankful and to make plans for the year ahead. It also became a time for sharing some of what had been produced with the less fortunate members of society.
Orpington is not a farming community but everyone has some kind of personal or communal “harvest” to celebrate. At St John’s Church then, we hold a Harvest Festival Sunday Celebration, for which the church is decorated with flowers and fruits. Gifts are brought into church – not of fruit and vegetables, but of non-perishable foodstuffs which are then donated to the local FoodBank. For even in a wealthy, 21st century country, there are people who would go hungry without a Food Bank.
It is good to celebrate what we have and what we achieve. It is also good to know that we can share with those who have nothing.
For specific dates and times of all our Harvest Festival services, please see our services page.