Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday 7th October 2011
        Back up the valley the eighteen miles to Kielder village for a harvest assembly at Kielder First School.  It's a good thing that I'm the one to make the journey rather than children aged four to eight.  If there were no school at Kielder, Bellingham would be the nearest to their homes.
The whole school admire fruits of the harvest
        There is always a great family atmosphere in this very small school.  All ten pupils were present today.   Assembly is held in the Community Room and afterwards I had conversations with a teacher, with the school secretary and with someone using the village libray and with the  librarian who comes in every Friday morning to provide the local library service.  So what felt like a long journey for a short assembly turned out to be a sensible drive for two hours of meeting parishioners.
         On to Greenhaugh School for St Aidan's after-school club.  I'm heading for the next valley in the distant sunlight.

       Here we're thinking about harvest in a rather different way.  There is some energetic play out of doors before the fifteen children (a third of the school staying voluntarily for the equivalent of "Sunday School") come in for the Bible story.  We illustrate Jesus' Feeding of the Five Thousand with the felt figures as we retell the story, which the older ones remember quite well.  Harvest Thanksgiving offers an occasion to express our appreciation of all that we have.  Guided by the team of five parents, the children make fruit and vegetables out of play dough.  We enjoy mugs of vegetable soup made by one of the parents.  The play dough creations will be taken to St Aidan's Church for the Harvest service on Sunday, as will the prayers which the children are writing and illustrating on apple-shaped card to hang on branches in church.
       Let's see what the farmers' contributions to the service will be.....

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