On a stunning afternoon, St Mary’s, Avington, opened its doors for Harvest Songs of Praise on Sunday. Led by Revd Peter and LLM Gerry Stacey, with organist John Purver and supporting pianist Debbie Emmott-Dart, the service was filled with plenty of joyous singing, including members of the Prince’s Mead School Choir, led by their Head of Music Miss Sue Williams.
During the service Revd Peter reminded us that Harvest is a time to thank God for his provision, reconnect with the rhythm of the seasons but to remember our responsibilities to the world too. Gerry led the prayers and we gave thanks to a number of former parishioners who were welcomed back in recognition for their previous efforts in the Itchen Valley – it was very special that they could join us.
The church grounds were decorated with harvest-themed artwork undertaken by children at Prince’s Mead School and Itchen Abbas School, inspired by Mrs Caro O’Brien, Head of Art at Prince’s Mead School. With thanks to some talented ladies in the village the inside of the church had beautiful autumnal and harvest themed flower arrangements.
A drinks reception was held in the church grounds after the service. All in all, a wonderful opportunity to bring members of Avington and the wider Valley together for a very happy occasion.
Thanks go to everyone who contributed to the service, especially to Sonia Cragg who was unable to attend herself due to illness. We pray for a speedy and complete recovery.