13 Nov 2019

Harvest Festival!

Sisters Hospitallers cares homes joined Harvest festival celebration in October. A service of thanksgiving.

St Augustine’s Home

We had a great time at the Harvest Festival! Everybody contributed to a great day, with some painting and colouring, some doing the decorations,… while others helped to get everything ready for the party.

Sister Isabel Gaztambide started the hymn singing and told us the history of Harvest Festival. Some co-workers read the poem “Fill your Hearts with Joy and Gladness”, and finally we said thank you to the Sisters, co-workers, residents, family and The Friends of St Augustine for coming and bringing food.

We all met in the lounge of our care home, a place that for a few hours was full of love. It was moving to see all the participants holding hands and singing joyfully.

But probably the most important thing was the reason for the festival – all the food collected, was given to the food bank in Addlestone to help those who are not as lucky as we are.

Christ the King Care Home

Rev John Aston led the service at our Harvest Festival on 9th October with hymn singing and thanksgiving prayers for the ‘harvest.’  Rev Aston spoke about how fortunate a lot of us are and how perhaps we even take for granted the usual trip to the supermarket – when for others it’s not quite so easy. This is when we remember people less fortunate than ourselves.

After the service, volunteer Joan Westwood organised a raffle in aid of Macmillan Nurses with a lovely array of baskets of fruit and vegetables producing a slight change to the traditional theme. This was so nice to be a part of, and we had all bought tickets and managed to raise £200 for this very important cause.

The raffle prizes were won by our Hairdresser Angela, Gill Martin our Activities Coordinator, Debbie from Kitchen team and senior Irene. Many congratulations to them all! And many thanks to Joan for organising the raffle and to Rev Aston for the lovely Harvest Service.

History of the Harvest Festival

The tradition of celebrating the Harvest Festival in the churches as we know it today began in 1843 when Reverend Robert Hawker invited parishioners to a special thanksgiving service for the harvest at his church in Cornwall. Victorian hymns such as “We plough the fields and scatter”, “come ye, thankful people, come” and “All things bright and beautiful” helped popularise his idea of Harvest Festival and spread the annual custom of decorating churches with home-grown produce for the harvest festival.

Creator God, in love you give life.

In your generosity, you create the gift of the earth.

As daughters and sons of the same Father,

May we learn to share the plenitude gifts of creation

Especially with those most in need.

Give us open hands and loving hearts, so that we take less and give more.

We ask that all may benefit from your goodness, and share in the fullness of life you have promised.

 (Isaiah 63, 7-9)