Churches encourage donations to foodbanks in Harvest celebrations across Hampshire

    Diocesan News
    21 Oct. 2021

    This month, churches, communities and schools in the Diocese of Winchester have been coming together to donate food to those in need and welcome in the harvest across Hampshire and East Dorset.

    Churches throughout the Diocese have been marking the harvest, including organising donations to foodbanks, harvest lunches, and talent shows. Here are some of the highlights from the season of Harvest thanksgiving.

    St Mike’s, Bournemouth, enlisted the help of local schools, St Michael’s Primary School and The Sparrow’s Nest Preschool, to organise a food donation drive for a local charity, Hope for Food, which delivers weekly food parcels to those in need and cooks meals for the homeless.

    Reverend Sarah Yetman, vicar at St Mike’s Bournemouth said: “We at St Mike’sare so thankful for all the donations and that we were able to partner with two of our local schools to share in the generosity of the Kingdom. The amount of food we got was truly amazing and we are grateful we are able to give to those in Bournemouth who are in need.”

    [Church of the Ascension, Burghclere, food bank donations and locally-made harvest loaf.]

    Church of the Ascension, Burghclere, collected donations for their foodbank and soup kitchen. Flowers and produce from the Burghclere and Newton Horticultural Society decorated the church as the congregation celebrated their Harvest Festival.

    [Local talent showcased at St Christopher’s Church, Southampton.]

    St Christopher’s Church, Southampton, enjoyed performances from local musicians, speakers and actors as part of their Harvest Festival. Highlights from the service included a trick dog performance and passage readings.

    Elsewhere in Southampton, Ascension Church encouraged more donations to their year-round local foodbank donation drive.

    St Francis Church in Valley Park invited several special guests to their Harvest Festival celebrations, including gardeners from local primary school, St Francis School, and other members of their church family who shared their reflections from their year. In the service, children from St Francis School showed harvest drawings and read out poems of thanks they had written for the church. Over 100 people from the local community came together to enjoy a harvest lunch cooked by two members of the congregation, with many more joining in virtually.

    Reflecting on the Harvest Festivals celebrated across the Diocese of Winchester, The Right Reverend Debbie Sellin, Bishop of Southampton said:

    “Harvest is a wonderful opportunity to recognise God’s goodness and provision in all creation while we take time to reflect on all we have and pray for those who are less fortunate than ourselves. I am delighted to see churches across the Diocese come together with members of their local community to give thanks to God this harvest season. It is especially joyful to see the involvement of local school children who are helping to give back to those who need it most.”