The modern British tradition of celebrating Harvest Festival in churches began in 1843, when the Revered Robert Hawker invited parishioners to a special thanksgiving service at his church at Morwenstow in Cornwall. 'Thanksgiving' is the keynote of harvest - it is a time when God's people acknowledge his grace and goodness in providing the fruits of the earth for our sustenance.
But the Lord Jesus speaks about another kind of harvest. "The harvest is plentiful" he says, "but the labourers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest." (Luke 10:2). Recently, Adam & I attended a conference called Re:New which was concerned to promote the gospel in our culture through the Church of England. Nearly 20 clergy from Sussex were present at this very encouraging, but challenging conference. We came away enthused and inspired and more than ever convinced that outreach and evangelism is at the heart of the church's ministry.