The Bishop of St Alban’s harvest appeal this year was “Light up Tanzania” , which aims to provide solar panels as a source of electricity for rural homes in Tanzania. As usual the Church was beautifully decorated for the occasion by the flower arrangers, with this year some interesting “figures” attached to the end of the pews as well appearing in some of the arrangements.
Unlike previous years it was decided not to hold a silent auction of produce but arrangements had been made for all of the produce so generously donated by the Silsoe VC Lower School to be donated to local charities. The charities chosen were Bedfordshire Food Bank, Tibbs Dementia Foundation, NOAH soup kitchen, Leonard Cheshire Home, Moggerhanger Hospice and Newbury Lane Care Home.
The reflection at the service this year was given by one of our Church members Jim Ellis-Jones. Jim was born and has worked in in Tanzania and has over 40 years of experience of agricultural development work in Africa with National and International Research and Development Institutions, charities and commercial organisations, supporting small scale farmers. Based on his experience and knowledge Jim brought a personal perspective to this year’s Harvest Appeal. He provided a brief history of Tanzania, its current situation in relation to population and poverty and elegantly explained how important electricity is to improve the living and educational standards of people in rural villages. A copy of his presentation is available here.
Following the service people stayed for refreshments and enjoyed the range of delicious chocolate biscuits provided by Barbara Savage and Simon Stranks.
Two of the attractive flower arrangements decorating the Church for the harvest service with one of the friendly figures decorating the pew ends.