From the Rector

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October and November, 2017

Dear Friends,

Since the middle of February I have been slowly – very slowly – crocheting a blanket for my mother. It's a lovely pattern called Persian Tiles that she fell in love in. It has been fiddly in parts. By the end of May I had managed to crochet all the different octagons, squares and triangles – it just need crocheting together and then a border crocheting around it. That was all. So I started to crochet the bits together. And then I stopped. Have you ever tried to crochet two pieces edged with navy blue together – working with navy blue? Believe me, it is not easy! I'm afraid there was much impolite muttering going on in my sitting room! Finally, after months of slowly plodding away at it, it's done. And it is lovely, even if I say so myself. It will soon be posted to my mother, but for the moment I'm gloating over it a little.

I think what has been the most satisfying thing has been the feeling of achievement. My mother wouldn't have said a word if it had never appeared. But it was important to me to make something for her that she actually wanted. I count it as part of this years harvest, along with pairs of socks for friends, a tank top and various pieces of embroidery. But alongside the handiwork, I have reaped a bigger harvest in the friendship of those who are also into 'crafty' stuff.

I have seen members of congregations reap their own harvests too – those who have passed examples, won prizes at shows, had children or grandchildren. I have seen some struggle with illness and bereavement. As others have had to make hard decisions about their future. But beyond those things I have watched as people have deepened in love for each other, in service for the world, and in understanding.

We tend to think of harvest in material terms – indeed we have a glut of runner beans at St Kentigern's and a matching glut of cooking apples at St Thomas'! But harvest and fruitfulness is about more than that. Harvest thanksgiving is time to take stock of our own lives. What harvest have we produced this year? What do we want to give thanks for? What is the harvest in the lives of people around us? What are we known for as churches within our community? What seeds have we planted, what are we nurturing, what harvest is there to be reaped?

As the year turns to autumn and harvest season approaches, these are questions to ask yourselves. Celebrate the good. Share with those who have not. And consider what to plant now to reap harvests in the future.

With every blessing,