Climate change was the focus for this year’s traditional harvest celebrations at Winchester Cathedral over the weekend.
As well as traditional stalls from agricultural representatives from around the region, the newly styled Green Hampshire Harvest Weekend invited visitors to reflect upon the impact of climate change in their daily lives and their local communities as part of the Winchester Green Week, a series of events around the district to increase awareness locally on climate change.
New for this year was the Big Top marquee, sponsored by Winchester University, which hosted talks and displays from Winchester University, Sparsholt College, WinAcc (Winchester Action on Climate Change), Winchester Green Week and many others.
A Giant Bee created from recycled products has gone on display on the front of the cathedral designed by Winchester Art School and funded by Winchester Council as a reminder that nature recycles so why can’t we. On Saturday the Cathedral was presented with an EcoChurch Silver Award by the Revd Rosie Ward from A Rocha, the UK award scheme for churches, recognising the steps that the Cathedral is taking to encourage an environmentally friendly approach in its ministry and operations.
The Very Revd Catherine Ogle the Dean of Winchester said:
“Harvest Festival is an ancient tradition in the church that is completely contemporary celebrating agricultural and farming life and food-production in our county today. We want to thank God and celebrate the harvest and also raise awareness of what is sustainable and just.”
“The bee is a great symbol of the beauty and intricate connection of creation. Humanity relies on bees and other small insects for pollination. This giant bee is one way to remind ourselves of the great significance of small things and the need to look after God’s creation.,”
Elsewhere other cathedrals donated their harvest produce to local food banks and projects that support the vulnerable and disadvantaged including Bradford , Manchester, Wakefield, Chester and Ripon Cathedrals. Lichfield Cathedral celebrated food, harvest and farming with a Eucharist to mark the centenary of Staffordshire’s National Farmers’ Union.