We took the major decision, a few months ago, to move out of our huge, impossible-to-heat church building and start worshipping in the hall instead. It’s full steam ahead to smarten up the hall, with paint, new carpet and chairs, and plans for the future.
So today was our last service in the church, and it was harvest festival. Somebody donated some huge red and white chrysanthemums, which were spectacular. There’d been a request for a traditional harvest, so I dug off the internet some old favourite hymns, and we managed to get an organist – usually Hub plays on the keyboard. I spent some time preparing the service with lots of powerpoint and overheads, images to lead people to reflect and to pray.
It was also special because it was the first harvest from our community garden. Some readers may remember the trouble we had with this piece of land which is the back half of the vicarage garden, with neighbours breaking through the fence, nailing up our own gate, and claiming the land was theirs despite legal letters and land registry proof to the contrary.
We haven’t heard anything from them for a good while now, so the community garden has gone ahead and is really working well. It was a great moment, to have the first carrots, runner beans and tomatoes.
Although there are very mixed feelings about moving out of a building where some people have worshipped for many years, and which holds many dear memories for them, we certainly finished with a flourish. And although it’s harvest now, maybe in spiritual reality it’s seed-time for the church, with a harvest yet to come.