Country life comes to town

21 November 2014

THE Parish of St Anselm, Kennington, in Southwark diocese, celebrated its Harvest Festival together with the opening of its own market garden. Unlovely garages at the rear of the church had been demolished, and the area had been transformed with raised beds and planters, largely thanks to a hundred volunteers from the London advertising agency AMV (above).

"It's wonderful to see the project come to life," the Team Rector, the Revd Angus Aagaard, says. "The planters and raised beds have given the church a much needed face lift, and brought some colour and love to our little corner of south London. We are very grateful to AMV for nominating us as their charity of the year and donating £30,000 to get the market garden up and running."

Within days of its being completed, the National Fruit Show descended on St Anselm's, bringing with it 17,500 apples and pears. The Fruit Show formed the backbone of a four-day Country Life Festival, and the sweet aroma of cooked apples hung over Kennington as cafés and restaurants in the neighbourhood produced an array of dishes made with Bramley apples.

There was a talk and demonstration of flower-arranging on the first day; the church was overrun with scarecrows on the second; the Fruit Show and scarecrow-judging was on the third; and the St Anselm's Harvest Festival Service was held on the concluding Sunday. All the remaining fruit was distributed to charities and community groups. Some of it even found its way into the kitchens of Lambeth Palace.

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