The Long Harvest Festival

Quite a marathon for Revd Nathan today then.

Every parish in this part of the world has always had a Harvest Festival.Image

And they always have it on the last Sunday in September.

So Nathan has tried to get some to be flexible. And, to be fair, they have changed their customs slightly. But the one thing they won’t shift on is the date. It has to be this Sunday. Oh yeah. And they all have to have a meal after the service. Because it’s the most important Sunday of the year – outranking Christmas, Easter and the Second Coming in popularity with the non-regular churchgoers, they have to have a meal. 

So Nathan’s itinerary today goes:

8am – Harvest Festival at Woodby, followed by Harvest Breakfast

10am – Harvest Festival at Great Tremlett, followed by Harvest Brunch

Midday – Harvest Festival at Little Tremlett, followed by Harvest Lunch

3pm – Harvest Evensong at Woodby Chapel End, followed by Harvest Tea

6pm – Harvest Eucharist at Grilby on the Hill, followed by Harvest Supper

9pm – Compline at Great Tremlett (it’s the last Sunday of the month, and they complain if they don’t get Compline).

So Nathan’s got five services today, each followed by its own meal. And then, as a bonus, a meal-less service. And he’s not allowed to field any subs. It’s Back to Church Sunday, and every church insists that “their” vicar has to attend the service, so people get the “A” team.

To be fair, it’s a hard day for the benefice’s number one organist, Caswell. But the good news for Caswell is that he gets paid for each service, whereas Nathan’s on a flat rate. And nobody will be insisting Caswell has to eat something at every event afterwards. Poor old Nathan was particularly concerned about the Harvest Breakfast. Apparently the good people of Woodby have had a particularly good crop of radishes this year.

It’s at times like this that you’d think a vicar who’s the proud (if poverty-stricken) father of three strapping teenage children would cash in. Get them along to all the services, and you won’t need to feed them for a week, But oh, no. Susan his wife has decided they’re getting right out of it. She’s taken them all off to Grandma’s until the excitement has died down.

It’s gonna be a proper marathon. I hope he gets something to eat before he sets off. And let’s hope he stays strong in the five Harvest Raffles he’s now going to be involved in. Susan tells me that last year he won all five prize pumpkins. And that’s a lot of soup.


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