‘All things bright and beautiful’ is a hymn most of us have sung since childhood and it is still very popular. It tells of all the various wonders of creation and how ‘the Lord God made them all’. Although everything looks fresh and new in springtime here in Dorset, it is at this time of year in early autumn that the church is growing a new tradition. The season of Creationtide from the 1st September to 4th October is a time to celebrate all of creation in our bright and beautiful earth. Within this season the church celebrates Harvest. Though few people are now involved with bringing in the harvest, at Harvest services we thank God for all the fruits of the earth and for providing us with our daily bread as we also give thanks for all who work so that we can eat. Saying thank you is very important to oil the wheels of our relationships with one another alongside those other little words; sorry and please. These words are just as important in our relationship with God. We often say please as we ask in prayer for the many needs of this world and just as often have to say sorry to God for the times when we have got things wrong through weakness, negligence or our own deliberate fault. But we should always be ready to give thanks and praise God whatever the season. Thanksgiving in Creationtide must however go beyond words and stir our complacency. We are called to action in the fifth mark of mission of the church ‘to strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth’. If we live more simply and less wastefully and work to protect and renew our world, then our earth can continue to be bright and beautiful for generations to come and people can continue to sing their thanks and praise to God.
Rev Jane Culliford, Vicar, St Andrews Church, West Stafford