Church beautifully decorated for Harvest Festival

New Priest attends her first service

The Revd. Sheila Murray with little Rebecca at the Harvest Festival service on the day after Sheila attended her licensing Service at Burton Leonard Church.

A Memorable Harvest Service
A very large congregation came to the wonderfully decorated Parish Church for the Harvest All Age Service - and to welcome our new priest Rev’d Sheila Murray.  Harvest is a time to give thanks for what God provides and this year Sheila’s arrival gave us an additional reason to celebrate.  She combined with Stuart Newsome to conduct a lively and thought-provoking service.

The choir and children started the service off with the rousing anthem ‘Jubilate’.  The band then struck up the congregational hymn ‘Come ye thankful people come’ and followingthe opening prayers, played the traditional harvest hymn ‘We plough the fieldsand scatter’. The gospel was read by Graeme Robinson (Luke 12 vs 16-30) which reminded us that ‘crows don’t plant seeds or gather aharvest but God feeds them’ and Sheila built on this in her sermon. She divided the congregation into four groups depending on what their favourite dish was –
meat, fish, puddings or vegetarian. Rice pudding was surprisingly popular.  She thanked farmers and all those involved inproviding the wonderful food we all have to eat.

Prayers were beautifully read by Harry Cairns, Oliver Cairns, Archie Robinson and Leo Douglas followed by the hymn ‘O Lord all the world belongs to you’.  The choir was then joined by all the children to sing the amusing song ‘Thank you for almost everything’.  Things excluded from the thanks were brussel sprouts, garlic snails, mouldy cheese, pickled eggs, mushy peas and sour cream!

Sheila thanked everybody for a rousing first service and particularly the band (Katie Oates, Ellie Bailey, Xavier Atkinson, Imogen Ebbutt, Grace Nelson, Rebecca Atkinson, Freddie Ebbutt, William Ebbutt for such wonderful support for the singing. 

The service finished with the hymn ‘Now thank we all our God’ and the ringing exhortation ‘The worship has ended, our service must now begin’.

- Alan Ebbutt

The service in progress, with our new Priest seen with Stuart Newsome, Lay Worship Leader. After the service Sheila continued her mission of getting to know more of the parishioners.

Photos by Jennifer Barker