This year Harvest seems earlier than ever.

Trees groan with apples, while hedges burst full of blackberries. I love singing ‘We plough the fields and scatter’!

Having lived mainly in arable country, surrounded by wheat, it made perfect sense.

However, in Cumbria, farming is very different. Steep hills, which you’d never plough, are perfect for livestock. So do we need a

new verse for this much-loved hymn?

Our sheep graze God’s green fellsides,

Our cattle munch on hay.

And modern farm machinery

Help us to work each day.

Our fridge is overflowing

The freezer’s full as well.

Give thanks to God for farmers

Who feed us all so well.

All good gifts around us.

That’s more Cumbrian! But let’s think about the second half of the verse. We’re facing a credit crisis where filling the fridge will be harder for all, but impossible for many.

Do we need another verse...?

Then why are people starving. When we have life so good? And some in crowded cities

Search dustbins for their food; And even some go hungry, Who farm in distant lands, Lord, help us learn more swiftly, To share with open hands.

As we come to celebrate Harvest let’s think of it on two levels.

Yes, let’s really celebrate the skills of our farmers and a plentiful harvest, but – more than ever – let’s be grateful for what we have, and share as much as we can with those in need.

Remember, ‘God loves a cheerful giver’! (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)

Kate Hore, Beacon Mission Team, Kendal

READ MORE: The secret of finding faith and keeping it