Traditionally, the church in Alet donates all the produce it receives at its Harvest Festival to our local branch of Secours Catholique.
This year's Harvest Festival Service took as its theme "All Things Bright and Colourful". Instead of our usual donations of produce, we invited our congregation to bring toiletries, soaps and other hygiene items to be displayed. These are as much needed by the families who are supported by Secours Catholique as our usual donations of foodstuffs. Over 60 items were brought to be included in our harvest offering.
In her sermon, Linda Billenness recalled the old tradition of Lammas - "Loaf Mass" - when loaves baked from that year's grain harvest were brought as an offering. Changes in farming techniques have delayed the time of gathering the grain, and hence the autumn Harvest Festival we now celebrate.
On the altar we still displayed a loaf of freshly-based bread, a loaf baked according to an ancient recipe, with an open prayer book, to remind us that "Man does not live by Bread alone".
But we, too, are part of God's great harvest, and by our witness and acts we can reach out to others and bring them into the harvest.