Parish Letter


Dear All,

Although the physical harvest has already happened, we have chosen to celebrate Harvest Festivals in the Benefice Churches throughout October this year.  The celebration itself derives from the ancient custom of giving thanks to God for the farming harvest, and has historically been celebrated around the time of the autumn equinox which, this year, was actually on 23rd September.  The word Harvest comes from the old English word ‘Haerfest’ meaning autumn.

These days, we tend to celebrate Harvest slightly differently, focusing on the needs of those less fortunate than ourselves.  Our offerings this year will be for the Harrogate Homeless Project as well as for those in our communities.  As we are part of a group of four churches, we hold our Harvest Festival services and meals over a number of weeks.

This year, we begin the celebrations at Killinghall Church with a Musical Harvest Festival Weekend from 5th-7th October, with an open invitation to everyone to come and share in a weekend of music and hospitality.  There is something for everyone and there is no charge for anything – please just come and enjoy yourself, we very much look forward to seeing you.  Here at Hampsthwaite Church, our Harvest Festival All Age Worship service is followed by a soup lunch (and fruit pie and cream!) on Sunday 14th October at 11am with lunch in the Community Room at the back of Church.  At Birstwith Church we are also having a special Harvest All Age Worship service followed by a Bring & Share Lunch on Sunday 21st October and last, but not least, Felliscliffe Chapel will have a Harvest Evening Worship at 6pm on Sunday 21st October, followed by a Pea & Pie Supper in the Millenium Hall.

Please note that you are welcome to any or all of the special services and events, and also to the suppers and lunches that we are hosting.  Further details are to be found under Upcoming Events.

Come and celebrate with us!

With every blessing,


The Reverend Chrissy Wilson


‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap to the very edges of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest; you shall leave them for the poor and for the alien: I am the Lord your God.’

Leviticus 23.22