I recently read that the Harvest Festival is in decline. I find this a very sad fact if it’s true, it’s always been such a big part of Autumn growing up that I would be truly upset to see it go.
Historically the festival we are all now familiar with started in Morwenstow, a small village in Cornwall in 1843. The Parson (Parson Hawker) invited his congregation to a Harvest service, he wanted to give thanks to God and his provision in a fitting way. This grew in popularity and is still with us.
He was also something of an eccentric, he loved bright colours, the only dull things he ever wore were reportedly his socks! He built a small hut from driftwood, this is now known as Hawker’s Hut and is the smallest property in the National Trust portfolio.He also loved animals, inviting his nine cats into church and keeping a huge pig as a pet. Although one of the cats fell foul of his good gracing, having gone mousing on a Sunday the Parson apparently excommunicated the moggy.
Today we had a Harvest festival at my childrens school. Not only was it wonderful to see the tradition being acted out, it was also an important event for charity. All the children gave gifts of food that are being distributed to local families in need. I suppose it helps to remind us to not only be thankful for what we have but to be mindful of what others lack, a good lesson in old fashioned human kindness. From a parents point of view it would be a shame if the children of the future were denied these kind of events, another chance to shine singing songs and writing poems, plus the moral lesson it imparts. Has Harvest been forgotten where you live? If so do you miss it?