Vicar's Letter 18.11

      Thoughts for ‘vicar’s letter’ to Brockenhurst Parish News November issue

Harvest Festival

Autumn is my favourite season. A “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness…” (To Autumn by John Keats), Autumn is also a season of plenty - apples, pears, plums, berries, acorns, conkers and chestnuts - perfuming the air, and the splash of vibrant colours adding to the feast for the senses.

In Britain, Harvest Festival dates back to pagan times; after harvesting foods grown from the land and stored, people gathered to celebrate and give thanks for Mother Nature’s provision.

Today Harvest Festival is a festival of Thanksgiving and Praise. Christians gather in churches, decorated with fruits, flowers, vegetables and the all-important harvest sheaf loaf – symbols of fruitfulness and God’s gifts of love. Harvest is also a reminder to us of our duties to our fellow human beings, to share generously with those who are in less fortunate situations and are in need of our care and support.

As a Christian, I believe in living a life of faith, working unconditionally together with my fellow Christians and neighbours of all-faith-or-none, to build communities that are fair and compassionate where the ethos of common good is celebrated.

Brockenhurst Parish Church recognises there are tremendous needs in the wider world throughout the year. So, we have a policy of giving 10% of our annual total collection to support local as well as international charitable organisations, such as Tearfund and Christian- Aid. Our aim is to share God’s love, and to follow Jesus, and our goal is to bring hope wherever the need is greatest, across the whole world. We believe working together and supporting charitable organisations on the ground - through tackling the needs of vulnerable adults and children, reconciliation and prevention programmes, better housing, agricultural and irrigation projects – we can build a world that is better, fairer and a more just place for all.

So, in this Harvest and every Harvest, let us come together sharing our blessings and having one vision, step by step, to build a better place for humanity.

With love in Christ.

Mary Nicholson