The Christian Year
The Parish of All Saints is very rural and so the church year reflects the rhythms of life in an agricultural setting as much as it celebrates the major Christian festivals such as Christmas and Easter. Below is a list of popular ‘country’ services held at All Saints:
- Plough Sunday marks the start of the farming year. Though a good deal of ploughing takes place nowadays in the autumn, we hold a service in late January asking God’s blessing on the plough and on a new born lamb – both brought up the aisle by members of the farming community. The festival has its roots in ancient times and was revived by the Victorians.
- Rogation is held in May, with local farmers taking it in turn to host the service. It is an occasion to walk round the farm, stopping at relevant spots to sing a hymn, have a scriptural reading and to ask for God’s blessing on the crops, water, livestock, meadow, etc, and finally, at the farmhouse where the most generous hospitality is invariably provided! A collection is taken at this service for Christian Aid, in recognition of the wider work of the Church. Traditionally, this service was combined with ‘Beating the Bounds’ - and still is in some places - a very old custom dating from a time before parish maps, when it was important to know the boundaries of the parish.
- Community Service - being a small rural parish it is important for the Church to recognise others serving the community, both locally and further afield, and to work together as far as possible. Held first Sunday in July.
- Harvest is the most important of the country festivals; so important we have two! On the 3rd Sunday in September All Saints closes its doors and the congregation joins with the Methodist congregation in Snelson for their harvest celebration and they join us for ours in early October. Both services are followed by a splendid Harvest Lunch. Hospitality is intrinsic to life in the countryside!