‘The summer is over, September is here,
there’s a chill in the morning, the air cool and clear.
We’ve gathered together our harvest to share
And we’ll bring it all home while the weather is fair.’
Sunday 2nd October was a bright autumnal day, with ruby rose hips iridescent in the morning sun and spiders’ webs jewelled with dew-drops strung across blackberry hedgerows, as we made our way to celebrate this year’s Harvest Festival at the beautiful church of Sandford St Martin.
The Church was packed for this important marker of the rhythm of the seasons in our rural community, with good representation from across the community – the Barton Benefice choir, the Cubs and the biggest turnout yet from Middle Barton School Choir (30!) led by our Headmistress Jane Tailby.
As we entered the church a table groaned with the season’s bounty piled high, with apples balanced in pyramids. The choir celebrated harvest festival with a joyous rendition of ‘Harvest Samba’ and ‘Cauliflowers Fluffy’ that had the congregation ready to dance in their pews, and ‘Carry the Corn’ with beautiful solos from Bella Knight, Harry Hinton and Emily Ridgway.
The Cubs contributed to the service by bringing forward harvest gifts, taking the collection, and giving very clear readings from John (chapter 6, verses 1–13), where a boy brought five barley loaves and two fish that fed the assembled crowd of five thousand. But did you know the crowd was probably several multiples of 5,000, as only the men’s heads counted?!!!
Graeme highlighted that our gifts, however meagre and humble, can be of great value.
This year donations of produce are being delivered to Leonard Cheshire Disability in Banbury.
Thank you Graeme and Nynka for this beautiful service and for being lynch-pins of our community.