I was intrigued by something I saw on the way into the café at Hillsborough Castle. I think it was the question ‘Did you know?’ which caught my attention. It was a question about pineapples. Pineapples could be hired for the night at a cost of a guinea (£1.05), two guineas (£2.10) if eaten – equivalent to £5,000 in today’s money.
In the 18th century pineapples were symbols of welcome, hospitality, celebration, wealth and refinement. They became a fashionable necessity on the dinner table of wealthy families, not for eating but as part of the centrepiece on the table. Often the same pineapple could be hired and used at numerous events.
A pineapple topped with its crown of leaves is sometimes described as the king of fruit. It’s on this description of a pineapple that I want to focus our attention. In this season when we thank God for the blessings of harvest, may the pineapple, the king of fruit, be a symbol to us of God’s creation and of all God has provided for us and continues to provide for us.
Genesis 1:1-2:4 tells us about creation and all that God has made, and Psalm 19 tells us that the heavens declare the glory of God and the skies proclaim the work of his hands. God created an amazing world, a world of beauty, a world with remarkable resources and an incredible environment. He wants us to care for the world He has made, to care for the environment, to use the earth’s resources wisely and responsibly for the benefit of all people.
At times, we may think what we do will have little impact, but that doesn’t mean we do nothing. We have a responsibility to do what we can to fulfil the role God has entrusted to us and, of course, we can pray for the leaders of the nations and others whose influence is greater and more significant than ours. Pray, as well, for the discussions in the lead up to the COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow next month.
Furthermore, during this harvest season, may we be wholehearted in expressing our thanks and appreciation to God for continuing to fulfil His promise that ‘while the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.’ May the pineapple, the king of fruit, be a reminder of all God provides for our sustenance and enjoyment, that with thankful hearts we express our gratitude to God for His faithfulness, and for all He has given us and all He does for us.
Finally, let’s remember God created human beings, in his own image and likeness, that we have dignity and worth because we have been made in the image of God. We are made in the image of God in terms of our nature and personality, we are moral and spiritual beings with emotions and intelligence.
God created human beings to have a personal and intimate relationship with Him, but as a result of their disobedience, sin entered the world and that personal and intimate relationship with God was damaged and destroyed. However, God still loves people and wants them to know Him and have a relationship with Him. He acted to make it possible for that relationship to be restored and renewed.
God the Son set aside His divine rights and privileges and came to earth. At the end of His earthly life and ministry He suffered and died on the cross taking the punishment for our sin and disobedience. He was raised to life and again, and forgiveness of sin and a restored relationship with God is now available to all who, repenting of their sin, turn to Jesus and put their trust in Him as their Saviour.
In this season of harvest thanksgiving as we express our gratitude to God for the wonder of creation and all He provides for us, we also thank Him for the intimate and personal relationship we can know with Him, through faith in Jesus Christ as our Saviour, and the transforming power of the Holy Spirit as we live for Him.
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His faithful love endures forever.
9.45am Service in Holy Trinity Church | 11.30am ‘All-age’ contemporary service in Holy Trinity Church
10.00am Service in St Patrick’s Church | 10.00am ‘All-age’ contemporary service in St Patrick’s Church Hall
In addition to these services, we are planning to re-establish the 8.30am Holy Communion Service later in the month. Further details about this service and Holy Communion at other services will be announced at Church.
10.30am Morning Prayer in Holy Trinity Church
Our pattern of services will be kept under review, and further changes made in due course.
We are continuing to observe social distancing. Everyone is requested to wear a face covering (unless exempt), to hand-sanitise at the entrance and fill up designated pews/seats, starting at the front.
People attending services are requested to bring a piece of paper with their name, contact number, and the names of anyone from their household who attend the service with them.
Children come to Church with their parents and leave partway through the service for Sunday Space/School. The ‘All-age’ contemporary service in St Patrick’s Church Hall will continue for the time being.
Online Sunday Services
Our online Sunday services will continue to be available from 10.30am on the parish website (bchurch.co.uk), Facebook, YouTube, and the ‘dial-in’ number 028 4040 0345.
Harvest Thanksgiving Services
Sunday 10th October – St Patrick’s, Seapatrick – Preacher: Revd Sarah Parkinson
Sunday 17th October – Holy Trinity, Banbridge
Preacher (9.45 and 11.30): Revd Jim Cheshire
Preacher (6.30pm): Revd Ian Linton
Harvest Thanksgiving Offering – Please use the Harvest Offering Envelope, in the Weekly Offering Envelope box, to make your thank-offering to God for all His blessings. If you don’t have Weekly Envelopes and you wish to put your offering in an envelope, write your name and ‘Harvest Offering’ on the envelope and place it on the offering plate or bring/send it to the Parish Office. Thank you.
The Well | Wednesday 6th October 8.00pm | Holy Trinity Church
An opportunity to be refreshed and renewed as we worship together, hear from God’s word, devote ourselves to prayer, respond to the Holy Spirit and enjoy fellowship with one another. Come to The Well to be encouraged and inspired in our walk with Jesus – all are welcome!
Muddy Harvest Trail | Sunday 10th October 3.00 – 4.00pm | Holy Trinity Church
Join us for a Harvest adventure! – All families are welcome as we take part in a Harvest themed trail in the church grounds. This will be a great opportunity to focus on God’s creation and the blessings that Harvest brings.
The Harvest Trail will be in the grounds of Holy Trinity Church between 3.00 & 4.00pm. Refreshments provided.
Superhero Sunday | Sunday 31st October 5.30 – 6.30pm | Holy Trinity Church Hall
Come dressed as your favourite Superhero! Crafts, sweets, and lots of fun! Prizes for the best costume, best group costume and more! Hotdogs and hot chocolate or tea, coffee, juice. Please sign up at bchurch.co.uk
Pastoral Care and Support
Please contact me or the Parish Office (028 4062 email@example.com) if you, or someone you know, need help or support, or phone me (028 4062 2612 or 07933096720) if you would like to talk or would like someone to pray with you.
(All our services and activities will be subject to Covid 19 regulations and guidelines.)
Click on the month below to view previous pastoral letters: