Thursday, 27 August 2009



When we first moved to Ludgvan in July, the maize in the field in front of the Rectory Garden was just about knee-high. Since then, after all the sun and the rain, it has shot up in height and is over seven feet tall! Now the maize completely dwarfs us and it will soon be time to gather in and harvest this good, strong crop. For those with allotments, much of the hard work over this past year will also be coming to fruition soon. In some sense, the Celebration of Harvest Thanksgiving each Autumn in Church is a bit artificial. Those with winter crops have yet to harvest their benefits, those with cows are ‘gathering in’ their ‘harvest’ of milk everyday and the farmers around us, it seems, are always ‘planting’ and ‘gathering’ and their work is never done.
Not just out in the fields around us, but also in the Church too, Harvest is a time of ‘gathering in’: Harvest-time is about the ‘gathering in’ of people too. It is one of our big Festivals of the year. As we bring our gifts of food to the altar, the Harvest Thanksgiving Service will be celebrated at Perranuthnoe on Sunday 27 September at 11.15 am.
As well as celebrating the gifts of the Harvest and the gifts of God’s bountiful Creation, it is a time in the year when we also ‘gather in’ and ‘gather around’ and give thanks to God for the gift of each other too. As the Summer days turn to Autumn, preparations are well under way for an entertaining and great Harvest Supper feast for us, and St Hilary, at St Piran's Hall where we can all join in and share together on Friday 2 October.
This time of ‘praise and thanksgiving’, this time when we bring to God the gifts of his creation, is a very natural thing for us to do. Not only are we marking the changing of the seasons, as the days grow shorter, but, since ancient times, the first fruits of the Harvest were brought to the Temple as a ‘thanks offering’ to God for all his provision to us (Deuteronomy 26). It is very natural for us to want to thank God, The Great Provider and Sustainer of all our lives. It is good in the Christian Calendar each year that we have one time in the year when we pause and take stock and we give thanks for all God’s many blessings to us, for ‘all God’s gifts around us’ and to thank him for ‘our life, our health, our food’.
One of my favourite Harvest Hymns is sung to the tune ‘Morning has broken’:
‘Praise and thanksgiving, Father, we offer,
For all things living you have made good;
Harvest of sown fields, fruits of the orchard,
Hay from the mown fields, blossom and wood’.

May we all enjoy this time of ‘gathering in’ and Harvest, this time of praise and thanksgiving to God, for all his bountifulness and goodness to us.

Every blessing,

Revd Nigel Marns
Rector: St Piran's & St Michael's, Perranuthnoe

Thursday, 20 August 2009


It’s excellent that a Meal is the Central Act of Christian Worship, Sunday by Sunday. A meal is a time for coming together, for sharing food, stories and conversation. Of course, the Holy Communion Service or Eucharist we celebrate each Sunday in our Churches is a very much stripped down version of the Passover Meal that Jesus celebrated with his disciples: Jesus’ Passover not only involved tiny bits of bread and a sip of wine, but was a great feast involving roast lamb and bitter herbs too, a celebration of great joy as the Jewish people celebrated their release from captivity.

At this time of year, many people will be welcoming into their homes friends, family and visitors, and our local hotels, campsites and bed and breakfasts will be preparing to welcome the large number of visitors anticipated to be coming to visit Cornwall this Summer.

Feasting, welcome and hospitality are very much at the heart of our Christian faith. Jesus spends much of St Luke’s Gospel in particular, sharing meals and enjoying hospitality, sometimes from surprising sources like the tax collector Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-9) or leading Pharisees (Luke 14: 1)or people such as Simon the Pharisee (Luke 7:36).

And it’s not just friends and family that Jesus encourages us to welcome, but strangers too. Perhaps we might baulk at the idea of going out to ‘the highways and byways’ (Luke 14:21) and searching out and collecting people to join in with the celebration of Life and Joy, the abundance of blessings God has poured upon us, and the bounty of God’s feast, as Jesus suggested in his ‘Parable of the Great Banquet’ (Luke 14: 15-24, Matthew 22:1-10) but that I think something of that Spirit is expressed in the welcome and hospitality provided at the Thursday afternoon Teas at Perranuthnoe and when Ludgvan Church has entertained and welcomed overseas agricultural workers working in our local area.

All this talk of ‘welcome and hospitality’ is not just about enjoying fine food, wine and company but about having an open-hearted approach to those who cross our path, and a willingness to invite them and their stories into our lives so that their story becomes part of our stories and we can share, celebrate and enjoy our common humanity together.

As a family we have been recipients of so much welcome and hospitality over these past few weeks. We have been so very warmly welcomed by you all as I come to be your new Rector (and that welcome continues) with a large number of invitations and acts of kindness and friendship offered to us. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do as we settle into our new life with you, as we enjoy such a warm embrace and much welcome and hospitality, so many graces and blessings. Thank you particularly for all those involved in my Welcome & Induction Service on 7 July and all those who made it such a special and memorable occasion.

Jesus encourages us to join in the Feast of Life. I pray that we will accept his invitation, particularly if we are welcoming people into our homes and lives this Summer.

With very best wishes,
Revd Nigel Marns
Rector: Ludgvan, Marazion, St Hilary & Perranuthnoe