All around churches in the UK, especially the more traditional ones, people are celebrating Harvest. We know the kind of thing to expect – a few hymns (We plough the fields, Come ye thankful people come, etc), a short talk about Africa or Water or Ecology or Giving, and some prayers that have a more repentant feel. This is all good, but if we are honest the festival is hard to connect with at a deep level.

So what will we do?

This year we are not having a ‘Harvest Service’. We are having a ‘Harvest Season’. During this period of time (four weeks) we will be encouraging each other to give thanks to God for all that we have. As part of this we also want to make an offering to a local charity helping the homeless and the poor. It’s a simple gesture, but it helps us reconnect ourselves with a bigger picture of how life is. No matter how poor we are, we actually have so much more than so many others in our world. And being grateful for the plenty we enjoy we want to make sure we act with integrity and generosity to those who have less. We also want to reconsider our connection with the planet we live on. Taking none of it for granted we want to celebrate, share and ponder.

We may not bring a pumpkin to church or a big marrow or some carrots… it will probably be a tin of something. But as the tin bleeps it’s way across the till at Sainsburys we will pray with thankfulness for the wonderful gift of life.