Reap what you sow: Vicar urges people to help others at Seven Kings Harvest Festival service

Churches all over Redbridge celebrated Harvest Festival yesterday with one vicar encouraging people to give time to others and care for the environment.

The festival traditionally marked when the harvest was gathered, but in more urban areas it has become a time to give thanks for God’s provision throughout the year.

The congregation at St John’s Church in Seven Kings celebrated by collecting food for Redbridge Food Bank and sitting down for a meal together.

More than 90 people attended a service of thanks at the church, in St Johns Road, followed by a meal where everyone contributed a dish.

Rev Jonathan Evens said: “Traditionally it would have been literally giving thanks once the harvest had been gathered as it would keep people going for the next 12 months.”

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He added the festival also stresses the importance of caring for our local community and environment.

“We need to think about our care of the environment and things we can do to be more eco-friendly,” he said. “Harvest is traditionally to do with care for the land and environment so that the land was as fruitful as possible.”

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This is not limited to the environment but also helping those in need which is why a group of Redbridge churches set up the Redbridge Food Bank, in Granville Road, Ilford.

He said: “There are things we can change about the way we act and improve our care for the world around us and make it a more sustainable place.

“Churches in the borough raise issues of homelessness and the recession which are particularly significant at the moment.”

As well as supporting the food bank, St John’s Church also supports a cold weather shelter at the Salvation Army, Clements Road, Ilford.

Mr Evens said: “We are going through a recession and many people are finding it very hard to make ends meet. There’s an increasing demand and have been a high level of community involvement to support people.”

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