MORE than half of the population of the village came to the
harvest supper laid on by the people of St Peter's, Winterbourne
Stoke, in Salisbury diocese. It is a tiny
Wiltshire village that bestrides one of the worst bottlenecks on
the notorious A303 as it runs past Stonehenge, not far away.
The population is only 200, and 120 of them filled the manor
barn on the Saturday evening for the harvest celebrations and
supper. The centrepiece was a traditional harvest loaf in the form
of a sheaf of wheat that had been baked that afternoon at the home
of one of the churchwardens, Vicky Moorhouse, with the help of the
children who attend the monthly Messy Church service at St
"We had all worked on the harvest loaf," Mrs Moorhouse says
(above). "Each child made a little bread roll by
themselves in the shape of an animal. We had mice, caterpillars, a
butterfly, a bird, and a hedgehog."
The next day they took the loaf to the Harvest Festival in St
Peter's. That, too, was well attended, and 35 adults and 12
children were in church - more than a fifth of the population of
the village. The service was conducted by Padre Mark English, a
chaplain who works at the army base near by, and helps out at local
churches on Sundays.
He got the children to hold up the letters H-A-R-V-E-S-T, and
taught them other Christian words using the same letters. They also
remembered the many people in the county who struggle to have
enough to eat in a country of plenty; and the collection taken was
for the Trussell Trust, which organises foodbanks.