16 Oct 2013
Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall GCVO attended a Service to Celebrate the Harvest, in association with British Food Fortnight, at Westminster Abbey on Wednesday 16th October 2013.
The Right Honourable Owen Paterson MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, and the Lord Mayor of Westminster, also attended.
The service was conducted by the Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall who said in his Bidding: ‘In the past few weeks, thankful people have gathered in villages and towns up and down the country for harvest festivals and harvest suppers. Now it is our turn to join in the celebration.
‘We are here to give thanks to God for the abundant harvest in this land of fruit and vegetable and grain and also to give thanks to God for the farmers and distributors
‘You know the joy of seeing seeds and seedlings grow into healthy plants. You know the fresh taste of fruit and vegetables from your own garden. It is our hope that many more children and young people might discover that joy.’
During the service children from Godolphin Junior School, 1st Glan Conwy Brownies and 1st Crookham Scout Group (Odiham District) presented harvest boxes at the High Altar.
Milly Wastie, Chairman of the National Federation of Young Farmers’ Clubs, gave a Reflection on British Farming. Jayda Moore-Elliott and Daniel Ng of Vauxhall Primary School read a Prayer of Thanksgiving.
The Secretary of State read Deuteronomy 8: 7-18 and Martin Clunes read St Matthew 6: 25-33. Damian Lewis read The Harvest by Henry Birtles.
The Address was given by the Bishop of London, the Right Reverend and Right Honourable Dr Richard Chartres KCVO.
Prayers were led by the Reverend Dr James Hawkey, Minor Canon and Sacrist of Westminster and read by Carrie Wyncoll, Megan Kemp, James Lyon and Eoin Finn, all from St Peter’s Church of England Primary School Eaton Square, and the Venerable Dr Jane Hedges, Canon in Residence.
The service was sung by the Special Service Choir of Westminster Abbey conducted by the Organist and Master of the Choristers, James O’Donnell. The organ was played by Daniel Cook, Sub-Organist. Peter Holder, Organ Scholar, played the organ before the service.
After the service Her Royal Highness viewed harvest boxes prepared by participating schools and groups of Scouts and Guides.
The Order of Service (PDF, 1.7 MB)
Click on the images to enlarge