I love Harvest Festival, especially getting to sing some of the old favourites like We plough the fields and scatter, because it takes me back to my childhood and celebrating Harvest at school. When I was at school, and I’m sure it was the same for you, we were encouraged to bring fresh produce for the Harvest service. Produce from the garden, if possible, but if not then something we (or our parents) had picked up at the supermarket. We didn’t know about food miles then and so the temptation was to try and buy something exotic, if we could afford it, to be a little bit impressive. Of course, there was always the rogue tin of beans, or packet of rice, because someone had forgotten to tell Mum it was Harvest and so they had raided the cupboard in a mild panic before heading out.
I don’t know what happened to our Harvest offerings in those days. I assume they were given to local care homes, or those in the community who were known to be in need, but I don’t really know, because of course in those days there weren’t food banks or food distribution charities, although there were people who didn’t have enough to eat, and who struggled with day-to-day bills, but nothing compared to the level of poverty there is in this country, and around the world, today.
The recent, and ongoing, panic buying of petrol took me back to the run on
toilet rolls, pasta and tinned tomatoes that preceded the first lockdown, as fear of the future took hold. But the thing about panic buying is that you can only stock up on extra if you have the money, and the empty shelves last year hit the poorest hard, because when you shop on a budget you can’t buy the premium product just because the budget item is sold out, and you can’t fill your freezer or larder to ‘be prepared’.
Since 2008, the number of people applying to food banks has risen astronomically, from 26,000 in 2008 to 2.5 million in 2020. Last year also saw the largest ever rise in the number of people receiving the three day food parcels, with an extra 600,000 individuals and families needing emergency food and supplies as Covid restrictions, furlough, and zero hours contracts reduced incomes.
On Sunday (3rd Oct), at East Dean, we will be celebrating Harvest and giving thanks for all that God has given us, surrounded by rolling hills and green fields, but in giving thanks for all we have, we also have to acknowledge our calling to not only be stewards of creation, but also to care for each other, to feed the hungry and clothe the naked.
We are no longer asked to bring fresh produce to Harvest, because as much as we know 5 a day is good for us, our Harvest offerings are going to the Local Food Bank and they need food that will last, they need cleaning products to help families in need keep their dignity, they need pet food because for some their only companionship is their pet and they will feed them before they feed themselves.
So what should you give? Below are details of what is urgently needed, but whatever you can give, whatever you can spare, will be gratefully received and used well.
long life juice
Rev Sarah Manouch 07468 854864
Please note that I am part-time. My principal working days are Friday and Saturday as well as Sunday. I am not available on a Thursday
Singleton & East Dean Women’s Institute
How Green is our Valley!
An information day on eco-friendly and sustainable living in our local community
Saturday 16th October 2021
10.00am – 4pm
East Dean Village Hall
Come and find out more about local green enterprises and what we can all do to help and be involved. Tea, coffee and home-made cakes provided by the WI
Come and pick up some leaflets, and bring your own ideas for our suggestion board.
There will be a small supply of items for sale, and lots of new ideas!
Celebrate our Valley’s green credentials!
Come and join us and be part of it!
Our churches are open but…
Thanks to our wonderful volunteers, East Dean and Singleton churches are open everyday for personal prayer and quiet time, but at the moment we are only able to open West Dean on a Wednesday and Saturday. If anyone could help open and lock up West Dean Church please contact Wendy Goacher on 01243 811641.
Church of England Daily Prayer – Join us in a service of Daily Prayer | The Church of England
Christian Poetry Resource & Christian Devotionals https://heavensinspirations.com/
Together at Home www.tath.co.uk
This website offers resources for families to explore the bible together and also offers resources linked to the set readings for each Sunday. Although designed for families I know many of an older generation who have found some of the puzzles and activities fun and informative.
Time to Pray This is an app that has morning, evening and compline prayer, with daily psalms and reading in line with the Church of England Lectionary.
Pray as you Go Offers a daily reflection that you can listen to – includes readings, music, talks
There are of course many other resources available and if you have a favourite that you would like to tell others about please email me and I will include it in the newsletter next week.