Printable services for those unable to attend St C




                St Clement Church Community Harvest Service 24.9.23


Good morning to you all as we celebrate our Sunday service, whether in your own home or our church building.  This Sunday 24th September, we’ll be holding a Harvest Eucharist in Church.  If you’re unable to attend you can share in our worship with this service of the Word.

May Christ’s love sustain you this week and always. 

With much love and prayers,

Rev Di and family xx


Let us pray;

Loving Lord, fill us with your life-giving, joy-giving, peace-giving presence, that we may praise you now with our voices

and all the day long with our lives, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Hymn: ‘Morning has broken


Our prayers of Penitence

Secure in the knowledge that God, who created us loves us dearly,

let us now confess before him our sins, and humankind’s abuse of his creation:


God our Father, we are sorry for all the times when we demand cheap food without thought of the well-being of the growers,

the farm animals, or the land itself,

Lord, have mercy.  Lord, have mercy.

When we fail to consider those who produce our food in difficult conditions for little reward,

Christ, have mercy.  Christ, have mercy.


When we forget to give thanks to God for Good food and clean water,

Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.



May God who loved the world so much that he sent his Son to be our Saviour, have mercy upon us, forgive us our sins, and enable us to serve him in the world, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Let us pray our Harvest Collect: 

Eternal God, you crown the year with your goodness and you give us the fruits of the earth in their season: grant that we may use them to your glory, for the relief of those in need and for our own well-being;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.



Deuteronomy 8. 7-18

2 Corinthians 9. 6-15


Hymn; ‘We Plough the Fields and Scatter’  


The Gospel of Luke (12.16-30)

(Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke 

Response: ‘Glory to you O Lord.’)


Then Jesus told them a parable: ‘The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, “What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?” Then he said, “I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.” But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you.

And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich towards God.’

He said to his disciples, ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? If then you are not able to do so small a thing as that, why do you worry about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown away, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith! And do not keep striving for what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not keep worrying. For it is the nations of the world that strive after all these things, and your Father knows that you need them.


(This is the Gospel of the Lord.  Response: ‘Praise to you, O, Christ’)



Hoorah!! Its harvest time again!!

There we are, hurtling through the lanes in our cars on some mission of huge national importance, muttering venomously at the A30 roadworks, and those cyclists in helmets shaped like wasps’ bottoms, inconsiderate enough to want a bit of our road (and hoping they can’t lip-read), then we get past them, only to round a bend and come up behind the ponderous majesty of a tractor and trailer.

And I would bet a considerable sum of money that some of us do not, at this point, if running late, start singing songs of everlasting thanks and praise to our great God for his generous provision, or blessing the farmers for the work they do to put food on our plates!

But, if we get stuck on our travels behind a tractor, or a combine, or a plough, or any other mysteriously shaped implement of the sod, (by which I mean, of course, the soil!) we should take it as an opportunity for reflection, for thanksgiving and for praise.   

Why? You might ask….and I’m glad you did……. Firstly, because praising God for what he gives us should become a matter of habit in all of us, and secondly, because as a nation we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the farmers who are taken totally for granted by those who’ve become emotionally and practically detached from the source of our food. We cannot and must not take our national food security as a given.

Climate change and population growth mean that it’s more difficult for farmers to produce enough grain for the world’s needs. Global markets will sell to the highest bidder regardless of need. And political mismanagement and the power of global enterprise regarding the work of food production are putting countless family farms out of business all over the country.

I was talking to a dairy farmer a couple of months ago who told me he was only offered 50p per head of the calves he had taken to market.  50p! 

And another farmer told me that the majority of the broccoli he was growing for a large supermarket firm beginning with T, was turned down because the broccoli were too big!  Too big I ask you!  They harvested a few, some went for animal feed and the rest were ploughed back in….he doubted that he would break even with that harvest. 

So when we are slowed up on our travels by a tractor, we should smile and wave at the farmer when we do get past, and ask for God’s blessing on his family and work.

But it might be interesting to look back to the origins of the Harvest Festival, in the times of Jesus its earliest name was the Feast of Ingathering. It was held in mid-September, and was one of the three great feasts of the Jewish people.  Indeed, it was described as; “the holiest and the greatest of Hebrew feasts”.

It was a time of rejoicing.

People were told to rejoice at the feast and they needed no encouragement. It marked the end of the harvest when all the corn had been cut and threshed, and when the grapes and olives had been picked and put through the presses.

After the many long, hard working, days when folk had little rest or pleasure, they now made the most of this party. They relaxed, and enjoyed storytelling, laughing, eating, drinking and dancing. There was a Jewish saying – “The man who has never seen the joy of a harvest feast has never seen real joy in all his life.”

The festivities were interwoven with worship and lasted seven days, folk were not only glad the work was over, but also that there had been a harvest to reap, and now there would be food to see them through the winter.

But nowadays, is such harvest rejoicing a lost art?

Our harvest hymns speak of rejoicing, but if our British culture has lost this then we're the poorer for it.


Harvest is a time to rejoice at the wonders of creation; at the provision of food; at God’s goodness, but many people in this day and age don't have that sense of God's presence and kindness in their life. And a huge number of the population have no idea where their food comes from apart from the supermarket, so no wonder their gratitude to God is muted if they aren’t aware of his gifts.

The people of old were thankful, whatever their personal hardships, because they recognised that “all good gifts around us are sent from heaven above”.

In those earlier days it was a time of sharing.

Harvest was a time when God reminded them of their responsibility to the needy. The poorest at that time were the widows, the orphans and folk who could not work because of age, disability or infirmity. So God laid down certain provisions: the fruit that fell from the trees was to be left for the poor. The olive pickers were only allowed one pick of the trees, anything left was for the poor, and this applied to the grapes as well. The gleanings of the corn fields were also left for the poor, both that which the reapers dropped, and the edges of the fields.

So for ourselves, this is also a time when we can remember our responsibility to the poor, both of this country and of the world at large. We often receive a pile of charity appeals at this time of year, and harvest sermons over recent years have tended to focus heavily on this particular theme.

And in those days it was a time of gathering together.

This Feast of Tabernacles was one of three occasions when all the people were asked to meet together. It was a strengthening of the bonds between them. A time of identification and commitment as these people reaffirmed their unity and renewed friendships.


So, to conclude; Hooray!  Its harvest time again!   Some folk might ask should we continue to celebrate this festival even though our culture is so very different in this day and age from its origins. Well, we can answer that question with a very confident and loud, yes! 

Too true we should, if our Harvest service continues to be: a time of rejoicing and thanksgiving. A time of sharing, and a time of gathering together. 

Harvest can be a valuable resource and a significant witness, for the lessons it teaches, and the experience it gives, to enrich our community throughout the year that follows. Amen



Hymn; ‘All Creatures of our God and King’’ 


Affirmation of our faith

Let us declare our faith in God.

We believe and trust in God the Father, source of all being and life,

the one for whom we exist. 

We believe and trust in God the Son, who took our human nature,

died for us and rose again. 

We believe and trust in God the Holy Spirit, who gives life to the people of God and makes Christ known in the world. 

This is the faith of the Church. This is our faith.

We believe and trust in one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen.


Our Intercessions this week are written by Liz Davies

Loving Lord, at this harvest time we thank you for all the good things that you give to us. We thank you for creating this beautiful earth and all the varied life forms within it.                                                                                                                                              Forgive us for recklessly exploiting it and depleting its resources. We confess to you our failure to be wise stewards of your world.

Lord of the harvest: hear our prayer


We give thanks for all who work on the land and the sea to provide our daily food. We pray for farmers in all parts of the world who have planted the seed and tended the crops and the fruit whose labours we enjoy. Grant that they may receive a fair return for their labour and hope for the future with a stable climate.                                                                                                                                          We pray too for those who process and distribute our food, and for ourselves, that we may shop wisely and with thought for others.

Lord of the harvest: hear our prayer


Father God, we are mindful that we are well fed and nourished. There are many who are short of food, whose harvests have failed for lack of rain or whose livelihood has been destroyed by war, inhumanity, and exploitation.  Bless the development agencies who are seeking to redress the balance and bring peace and justice where there is want, discord and destruction.  Give us generous hearts that from our riches we may increasingly give our support to those working among the poor and under-privileged in the world,

and keep us mindful of our Lord’s command to love our neighbours – whether close at hand or in the wider world.

Lord of the harvest: hear our prayer


We pray for the homeless and those who depend on the support of others. We pray for the work of foodbanks, providing food for those in need. Help us to share the harvests of the world more fairly, so everyone can be fed and there will be no more starvation. We particularly remember at this time all those in Morocco and Libya who lives have been so changed by the earthquake and flooding.

Lord of the harvest: hear our prayer


Loving Father, we bring before you all those who are struggling with ill health in body, mind, or spirit. May they feel your loving kindness and always know that they are never alone, that you are with them always and will carry them when things are at their worst.                                                                                                                         We especially remember: Ken and Diane, May, Terry and Dot, Pam and David, Michael and Patricia, Alison and Rob, Rupert and Linda, Sandra and Barrie, Margaret, Brian, Maureen, Diana, Stella, Alison, Callum, Jay, Andy, those known to each of us and those who have no one to pray for them.

Lord of the harvest: hear our prayer


Loving Lord, we remember those who have died recently; those who have lost their lives in the tragedies of the earthquake in Morocco and the floods of Libya; those who have died around the world who are so often forgotten because famine is an ongoing daily occurrence for them; those caught up in warfare, in gangland fights, in fatal acts of intolerance and hatred. Dear Lord, speed them on their journey to your eternal kingdom and bring comfort to those who are grieving their passing.

Lord of the harvest: hear our prayer


Loving Father, you are the giver of all life and all that is good. You gave your Son to be our Saviour, and the Holy Spirit to be our guide and comforter. As we follow our earthly journey, may we follow in the footsteps of Christ your Son, and always feel the nearness of the Holy Spirit.

 May we always heed the needs of others and be a friend to all. 

Merciful Father: accept these prayers for the sake of your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen                                                                                                                        

Gathering our prayers and praises into one, let us pray with confidence as Jesus taught us;

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.   And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever.  Amen.


Hymn; ‘For the Beauty of the Earth



The Peace

The harvest of the Spirit is love and peace, patience, kindness, goodness and gentleness. Let us then pursue all that makes for peace and builds up our common life. May the peace of the Lord be always with us.           Amen.



May God our creator, who clothes the lilies and feeds the birds of the air, bestow on us his care and increase the harvest of our righteousness;

And may the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among us, those whom we love, and remain with us always.

























Page last updated: Thursday 21st September 2023 7:15 AM
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