Harvest festival at St. Mary’s Parish Church in Woodbridge is always a colourful event, with beautiful flower arrangements enhancing an already stunning building. This year, on 7th. October, a warm welcome was extended to a group of visitors from St. Matthew’s Church, Harlesden, in North London.
Why visit St. Mary’s? Their Vicar, Revd. Alex Hill, was a pupil of Revd. Kevan McCormack, Rector of St. Mary’s, when he taught at the Royal Hospital School, Holbrook. Alex went on to train for ordination and was a surprise guest at the celebrations at St. Mary’s to mark Kevan’s twenty five years as a priest. Alex invited Kevan to preach at St. Matthew’s and the Harvest Festival visit was the outcome of that reunion of teacher and pupil.
So, on Sunday, after a very early start and a long coach trip, Alex and his Church members arrived in time for breakfast and then joined the large congregation of over two hundred for the Parish Eucharist service at 10am.
The Rector received harvest gifts from the many children present and spoke in his familiar and amusing style, challenging us to consider the signs and symbols they represent. And the signs we have all experienced throughout our lives. The large choir were in excellent voice to add to the celebrations of the rich and bountiful harvest which we enjoy in this country.
Following the service, the visitors joined with the congregation at a harvest lunch in The Abbey School, after which they enjoyed the sights of Woodbridge, described by several as ‘enchanting’. At the end of a thoroughly enjoyable day they travelled home, delighted to have experienced a tiny corner of Suffolk and shared in a memorable day with new found friends at St. Mary’s.
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