Harvest Festival 2017
Chapel struck a unique chord during the final week of last half term.
Once a year we intentionally pause as a community to reflect with thankful hearts and minds upon the many 'things' that we possess and enjoy, as well as the many people that we love and cherish.
At our Harvest Service this year, we had the powerful visual reminder of an abundance of food displayed at the front of chapel. This food had been donated over the preceding weeks by thoughtful pupils, parents and staff, all keen to contribute to the powerful symbol that is our 'Harvest Service'. We focused on the idea of thankfulness, as it is so easy to take for granted that which we have in abundance, simply because we become so used to it. For this, I reminded the children that having a thankful heart and a thankful attitude is often a choice rather than simply a feeling.
Joyfulness is a feeling; anger is a feeling; pain is a feeling.
However, a little bit like love, thankfulness can be both a feeling and a choice. You present me with something I’ve longed for and my heart not only jumps with joy but I look at you with thankful eyes, knowing that the giving of this gift means something to you as does the receiving of it for me - this is where thankfulness is a feeling. You then give me the same items every day - for example food, education and shelter - and I grow used to it and, potentially, become expectant of it and so run the risk of becoming ungrateful and unthankful.
Those things, which we have in abundance, all around us, can become the norm and therefore the choice to be thankful will often escape even the most well-meaning of us.
It is for this reason particularly that we allow our Harvest Service to be the vehicle that leads us to pause, reflect and remember all that we enjoy, yet have in abundance, unlike so many in the world. I encouraged the children to think of a few things that we are particularly thankful for and the suggestion was made that we endeavour to act upon this acknowledgement by saying 'thank you' whenever possible.
The food that we collected was distributed to The Trussell Trust Eastbourne Food Bank. This food amounted to an amazing 140 meals. It serves as a small but powerful reminder of the fact that with our privilege comes responsibility and from our abundance, we share generously with those in need. Thank you to all for your very kind donations.