Wim writes….

Of all the different seasons in the year Autumn is my favourite. It is a season that brings a variety of celebrations and remembrances. It starts with harvest festivals, fairs and bonfire nights leading up to Remembrance tide followed by Advent and Christmas.

Celebrating harvest festivals in the Autumn is an ancient practice, followed by many different cultures. In the old scriptures, we see that during this period the people are instructed by God to have a big party. It says in the book of Exodus, “Celebrate the Festival of Ingathering (Harvest) in the Autumn, when you gather in your crops from the field.”

At St John’s we will celebrate Harvest during the last weekend of September. On Saturday 29th we will have the Copthorne Flower and Produce Show and on Sunday 30th at 10am an All-age Harvest Service followed by a Harvest lunch in the Parish Hub. Everyone is warmly invited to all the events.

The falling of leaves in the Autumn reminds us that all of creation is part of a cycle of life and death, including humans. This season the nation will be commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the end of World War One. Among the many physical reminders of the Great War are countless memorials inside and outside churches. Inside St John’s Church you will be able to find a War Memorial recording

the names of those from our own area who died in service during this period. On Sunday 11th November the UK Government, supported by the German Government, has invited people across the world to mark the centenary of the Armistice by taking part in international bell ringing. The Parish Church will join with this at 12.30pm after the Remembrance Service, coinciding with the nation’s tribute when thousands march past the Cenotaph. I hope you can join us at the 10.30 am service to be part of these important events.

The main reason that Autumn is my favourite
season is because of the change of colours and
patterns in nature. As the days shorten many leaves and trees turn to the most awesome colours and shapes. Change in patterns and shape will also happen at our regular church services at St John. From October we will have 3 different services on a Sunday at 8am, 9.30am and 11am.

The 8am service is a quiet Holy Communion service without music that follows the pattern set out in the Book of Common Prayer.

The 9.30am (moved from 10am) is a traditional service with hymns accompanied by the organ and choir, followed by tea and coffee.

The 11am is a new and informal service ideal for young families. This service consists of modern worship and teaching. Coffee, tea and other refreshments will be served at the beginning of this service.

I look forward to welcome you at any of these services.

Celebrating, remembering, changes in seasons, sadness and joy are all part of the different rhythms of life. Rhythm is a gift from God and it helps us to notice the new colours and patterns that are present in all of creation. My prayer for all of us this Autumn is that while we rediscover these new colours and patterns, we will also have a revelation of the beauty of our Creator who has given us these times and seasons to enjoy and to live in.

Every blessing,     Wim