Everyone is welcome to attend the annual County Harvest Thanksgiving service which will take place in Canterbury Cathedral on Sunday 5th October at 6pm. It will be followed by Kentish refreshments in the Chapter House.
The writer and broadcaster, Martin Palmer will give the address at the service in his capacity as the Secretary General of the Alliance of Religions and Conservation (ARC), which convenes the Green Pilgrimage Network (GPN), to which the Diocese is now a partner. The organisation has just published a new book called ‘Faith in Food’.
Harvesting is taking place right now across the whole of Kent and so this service provides the perfect opportunity for the whole community to celebrate all that the county provides, both locally and nationally, rightfully deserving its reputation as the Garden of England.
The County Harvest Thanksgiving Service will be the culmination of a whole weekend dedicated to celebrating the region, not only for its produce, but for its significant role in Britain’s spiritual heritage and as a centre of pilgrimage. Friday sees the official launch of the Green Pilgrimage Network Canterbury, and visitors to the Cathedral will be able to sample some of the delights of the county the day before the thanksgiving service at the Kent Producer’s Showcase, which will be held for the first time in the Cathedral’s Nave between 10am and 2pm on Saturday 4th October.
Each year at the thanksgiving service, a collection is taken to support the vital work of the local branches of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) and The Farming Community Network (FCN), two charities seeking to offer both practical and financial support to those in crisis in the rural and farming communities.
In a year when farmers and producers have had to contend with diverse weather conditions, people from across the farming and rural communities are expected to turn-out in force to this cherished event in the rural calendar. Reverend Canon Caroline Pinchbeck, the Diocese of Canterbury’s Rural Life Adviser and Director of the Communities & Partnerships Framework which organises the service said that this well supported event is not one to miss, whether you are involved in agriculture or not:
“I would encourage everyone to come and share in this vital and joyful service of thanksgiving. Whether you live in a busy town or city, or a rural farming village, this is a time when all of us in Kent can gather and give thanks for the Harvest.
“It’s such a valuable way for us all to take a moment to reflect on, and re-establish a link with our food, and to show our appreciation for all those who work in our agricultural and farming sectors, providing us as they do, with an abundance of crops and produce, often in very difficult circumstances.”
This year the Diocese of Canterbury is also very grateful to Biddenden Vineyards, S.W Doughty Family Butchers in Doddington and Waitrose Canterbury who are kindly supplying local foods and volunteers at the reception.
Notes to Editors
Please contact Jennifer Ross if you would like images of last years’ service, or if you would like to send a photographer to cover the service this year. Photographs will also be available after the event.