Vegetable orchestra leads thanksgiving

First published on: 25th October 2017
Vegetables crafted into instruments at a unique County Harvest Thanksgiving Service.

Vegetable orchestra leads Harvest thanksgiving in vineyard

A carrot, a pumpkin, a courgette and a pepper were just some of the vegetables crafted into instruments at a unique County Harvest Thanksgiving Service which took place at Biddenden Vineyard on Sunday 22 October.

Organised by the Diocese of Canterbury’s Communities and Partnerships Framework, it is the first time that the annual service has ever gone out on location.

As members of Kent’s food and farming industry gathered together for the service which overlooked the vineyard of the award-winning cider and wine producer, The London Vegetable Orchestra led them in a verse of ‘We plough the fields and scatter’.

The service has traditionally taken place in Canterbury Cathedral, but this year the organisers decided to try something different. Canon Caroline Pinchbeck, Director of the Communities and Partnerships Framework, explains:

“Harvest is so connected to the outdoors and rooted in the physicality of working with the land and the elements, that we decided it would be wonderful to bring this into the service itself by hosting it outside.

She continued: “This has been a huge success and we’re grateful to Julian Barnes and all the team at Biddenden Vineyard for making us so welcome.”

Rt Rev Trevor Willmott, the Bishop of Dover, led the service, and was joined by the Diocese’s Rural Business Chaplain, Rev Chris Hodgkins, and Rev Alex Bienfait, the Rector of Biddenden and Smarden. The High Sheriff of Kent, George Jessel, and the Deputy Chairman of RABI gave reflections on rural and farming life from their experiences.

The service offers one of the few occasions for people to give thanks for the whole produce of the county of Kent, as well as an opportunity for the many local farmers, producers and rural businesses who attend to gather together as a community to celebrate and give thanks for a harvest safely gathered in.

Following the service, a wonderful reception showcasing some of Kent’s finest produce was hosted in the vineyard’s bottling area. The Diocese extends their thanks to the following producers: Goody Ales, butchers S. W. Doughty, Simply Fruit Cakes, Kentish Mayde for quiches and pies, and Cheesemakers of Canterbury.

A collection was taken on behalf of the local branches of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I) and the Farming Community Network - both charities which offer support to those working within the rural industry in Kent.

A gallery of images from the event are available here.


Notes to editors: For more information please contact Jennifer Ross, Communications Officer on or 01227 459 401/ 07765 112 177


Photo shows:

Please follow the link to a Flickr album of pictures from the event:

The Communities and Partnerships Framework is part of the Diocese of Canterbury which represents the Church of England in South and East Kent. The framework’s purpose is to help enrich communities and transform lives through partnerships with others.
Page last updated: Friday 8th December 2017 1:57 PM
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