Harvest Festival: Opening the Doors to the Wider Community

Many thanks to Helen Fitton, National Project Manager of A Year Of Service, for sending in this guest post for LBFN members.

Helen is happy to hear from local churches, faith forums and others who would like to get involved.  If you’re in south London, Siriol Davies is supporting local AYOS activities and will put you in touch with other participants.

Every year, Harvest festival brings communities together.  Traditionally a way of celebrating and giving thanks for our food, Harvest is a time of sharing and giving. 

This year, churches across the nation are not only celebrating Harvest festival in their own communities, but are reaching out to those of all faiths, as part of the A Year of Service initiative.  Throughout this year, there are 12 ‘Days of Volunteering’, each coinciding with a religious festival or existing volunteering day, and each focusing on a particular type of social action (e.g. visiting the elderly).  Each faith community, in turn, is promoting its own day or days in neighbourhoods and businesses, and inviting people from other faiths or without religious beliefs to work together.The month of August was devoted to Ramadan, where Muslim communities up and down the country held multi-faith events, including the Afghan Olympic team sharing an iftar meal with the local community in Palmers Green Mosque and an interfaith workshop for all hosted by Southampton Medina Mosque.

Harvest festival promises to see communities come together for a wide variety of inspiring events revolving around the social action theme of ‘feeding the hungry’, welcoming those of other faiths into their communities, just as Ramadan did, and all the other Days of Volunteering so far. 

If your Church is collecting food for Harvest, why not invite neighbours of different faiths to join in?  Find out more here or contact A Year of Service, either to know more about hosting or to find out where events are taking place in your local area.

AYOS is sponsored by the Department of Communities and Local Government.

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