Throughout the month of September Somerset will be hosting the ‘Harvest Torch’. The torch will be taken to various events around the County including ploughing matches, school harvest services, Young Farmers’ events and Harvest Festivals. The tour will culminate in the torch being driven by tractor to the doors of Wells Cathedral at the beginning of the Harvest Thanksgiving on 6 October.
The torch itself is a beautiful piece of ironwork and is similar in design to the Olympic Torch but with ears of wheat and poppies bursting forth from the brim rather than flames. Iron apples and mushrooms decorate the base.
Whereas the Olympic Torch would be paraded around towns and villages to build anticipation before it is used to rekindle the “eternal flame” at the opening of the Olympic Games, the Harvest Torch symbolically reminds us to honour and celebrate the British countryside and food producers.
It is a great privilege for an athlete to carry the Olympic Torch and to play their part in the journey of the eternal flame. As a farmer I feel a great privilege in being a co-worker with God in producing the Harvest – an eternal blessing. Like an athlete, I’ve done my training over the years, seeking to become more proficient in my work. However, whereas an athlete’s success is principally down to their own effort, ultimately I know that I can only influence part of the result. I am dependent (as we all are) on the Creator and Provider of the Harvest to fulfil the promise made in Genesis (ch8, v22); “As long as the world exists there will be a time for planting and a time for harvest”. Year on year in Somerset we are blessed with a harvest – the eternal blessing continues – and it is right that we celebrate this blessing and honour the One who has provided.
Prayerfully give thanks daily for our food and for those who produce it – and celebrate the eternal blessing!
Rural Life Adviser