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From the Vicar - October 2018

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Memories of the warm summer sun are beginning to fade as the autumn storms sweep across the country.

It’s difficult to believe now that this was one of the driest summers on record.  Yet when I went down to see how our apples were developing this year in readiness for the Apple Festival on 7th October, I could see the results of the lack of rain, with one tree not having produced a single apple.  With the reality of a poor harvest of our fruit, my thoughts turned to our farmers and how the dry, hot weather had affected them.  This year at our Harvest Festival we thought about that rich yet often overlooked resource of water.  It’s so easy to take it for granted or even dislike the rain when with the turn of the tap it is there for us or when we are drenched in a rainstorm after days of constant rain.  Yet this summer has seen a shortage of rain not only here but also in other parts of the world where drought is become a common occurrence.  Our Harvest festivities were slightly different this year as we held a Songs of Praise service with all our favourite harvest hymns, readings and prayers, along with the usual presentation of Harvest gifts to go to the Food Bank in Cowley.  Many thanks to Mark Chapman for once again putting on a wonderful Harvest supper in the evening.

Harvest is not only a time to thank God for all the gifts of his creation including water and to pray for our farmers but also for the gift of each other’s talents and the many ways in which faithful people contribute to the life of All Saints’ in their time, talents, support and financial help and to say thank you for all you do and mean to us.  In the coming months we will be writing to all our regular givers and supporters of the church to invite you to sign up for the Parish Giving Scheme.  This has been set up to enable us to best manage regular donations and relieve the Treasurer of administrative burdens.  Even though donations are made to the Parish Giving Scheme, they are restricted to our parish, giving you peace of mind that your gift cannot be used elsewhere.  Your gift is passed back to the parish on the 10th of the month.  Gift Aid is received separately.  Through your generous commitment, we can be assured of a regular, tax-efficient source of income, which enables us to serve you through acts of worship, life events, concerts, upkeep of the heritage and community outreach.

In the coming months All Saints’ offers a number of different events for you to enjoy.  We will be holding our first ever Pet Service on Sunday 28th October at 3.30 pm around the feast of St Francis to give thanks and bless our furry friends.  So please bring your animals along, or if you don’t have a pet, your favourite soft toy animal.  Then on 11th November we will be commemorating the centenary of the end of the First World War with a slightly longer Act of Remembrance at the village war memorial followed by coffee in the Village Hall where there will be further recollections of Cuddesdon during the war and a light lunch.  The newly restored bells will be rung some point during the day, 100 years since Siegfried Sassoon heard them ring out over the fields of Cuddesdon in celebration that war was at last at an end.  We look forward to seeing you at one or more of our events.