What is Harvest Thanksgiving?

                                         Harvest Thanksgiving





               This leaflet is from 1880. Information about it is taken from the

                        British Library Online Gallery.

"This leaflet is advertising a Harvest Festival service. The tradition of celebrating

Harvest Festival in churches began in 1843, when the Reverend Robert Hawker

invited parishioners to a special thanksgiving service at his church at Morwenstow

in Cornwall. He was aware of the importance of the harvest to his rural congregation;

if the harvest failed his parishioners would go hungry, if successful they would have

plenty of food for the months ahead.


In England & much of Europe, thanks has been given for successful harvests since

pagan times. In the USA, it is traditional to celebrate the harvest at 'thanksgiving',

which falls on the fourth Thursday in November."


 Victorian hymns such as “We Plough the Fields and Scatter”, “Come ye Thankful

People Come” and “All Things Bright and Beautiful” helped to popularise Hawker's

idea of harvest festival and spread the annual custom of decorating churches with

produce for the Festival Service.


As British people have come to rely less on homegrown produce, there has been a

shift in emphasis in many Harvest Festival celebrations. Increasingly, churches have

linked Harvest with an awareness of and concern for less well off people in the community. 

At Craigsbank we are supporting the Edinburgh North West Foodbank.


You can read more detailed information about Harvest Festival

by clicking here.




                                                  A traditonal Harvest Thanksgiving