The idea of holding a ‘Harvest Service’ is believed to have come from Reverend Robert Stephen Hawker who, in 1843, gave a special service for his parishioners at Morwenstow in Cornwall.
Traditionally, a Harvest Service is held on the Sunday closest to the Autumn Equinox which is round about 22ndSeptember. There are many different customs throughout the country but most involve bringing food into churches and decorating churches.
Against the backdrop of Covid-19, we understand that physical Harvest Services may be restricted and celebrations may be conducted virtually. We hope that some of these suggestions can be adapted for however you are organising your harvest celebrations this year.
Suggestions for your Harvest Service 2020
- Invite local farmers and/or your local Young Farmers Club members to bring up the offerings of gifts.
- Involve local schools and youth organisations in your Harvest Service.
- Invite farming organisations and food suppliers to attend – National Farmers Union, Tenant Farmers Association, Country Land and Business Association, local food producers and retailers including your local supermarket manager.
- Ask your local FCN Volunteer or Coordinator to attend – either as a guest or to give an address. Contact the FCN office for details of county coordinators.
- Have a Harvest Loaf specially baked – perhaps by a local restaurant or bakery.
- Hold a Harvest Supper – thanksgiving leads to sharing, it is a natural outcome and a harvest celebration is incomplete without sharing food together.
The following downloadable harvest materials provide up to date materials suitable for harvest festivals, suggesting how you may celebrate harvest in your church in the context of today’s agriculture and food production.
Harvest resource booklet:
Example Harvest Service:
The Arthur Rank Centre Harvest Materials:
The Arthur Rank Centre have developed 2020 harvest resources, click here to view them.
Harvest order form and donations:
If you would like harvest resources sending to you from FCN, please have a look at the below document. If you would like to make a donation to FCN as the benefactor of your harvest collection please follow guidance in the document below:
Devon FCN Lammas Service 2020
Note: Depending on the size and quantity of your order, we may ask for a donation to FCN to help us cover postage and packaging costs.