County Harvest Festival

On Sunday 1 October, the Cathedral will play host to Suffolk’s County Harvest Festival. Starting at 12.00 noon, we’ll be open to visitors with Farming Live!, family activities, produce stalls and animals, including the Suffolk Trinity.


Also joining the celebrations will be animals that are part of the county’s heritage ‘the Suffolk Trinity’ – a Suffolk Punch horse, Red Poll cattle and Suffolk Sheep.

Farming Live will be joining the celebration – a great, interactive, engaging demonstration from local Suffolk farmers. Perfect for children and adults alike, static farm machines will be on the Cathedral grounds for the public to get up and close with. There will also be live talks about the machinery, crops and farming in general with plenty of interactive elements and the chance to ask all your burning questions about farming!


There will also be the opportunity to create crafts during the family activities happening at the Cathedral, both inside and outside, from 12.00 noon. Later, children from Gislingham School in Eye, Suffolk, will take part in the Harvest Service.


The Harvest Festival continues at 2.00 pm with a special ‘Songs of Praise’ style service, which includes traditional hymns, readings and prayers. The service will be led by The Rt Revd Martin Seeley, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich. Mark Murphy, former Radio Suffolk presenter, will assume the role of master of ceremonies during the service as he interviews special guests on the Harvest theme of ‘Living Water’.


The Very Reverend Joe Hawes, Dean of St Edmundsbury Cathedral said of the event, “We’re thrilled to welcome the County Harvest Festival back to the Cathedral this year, following last year’s event at Trinity Park. The Harvest Festival brings Suffolk together to give thanks for what has been gathered from land and sea, showcase the excellence of Suffolk’s agricultural offering and collect provisions for local food banks. All are welcome to join us in what will be a great family-friendly event.”


Throughout the afternoon, there will be the opportunity for visitors to meet local producers and makers, as well as visit with county farming and agricultural representatives. The Cathedral will also welcome local and county-wide charities.


The Harvest Festival is organised in collaboration with Lightwave; a Christian community within the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich with a special focus on sharing God’s light and love in rural areas of Suffolk.  Their work has many aspects from foodbanks, youth work, environmental initiatives and pastoral care for the farming community. The Lightwave agricultural chaplaincy team will be at the Harvest Festival for people to meet. Lightwave Agricultural Chaplain, Graham Miles, spends a lot of time supporting the farming community in Suffolk. He said, “This year has seen challenges for farmers in the region, including heavy rainfall delaying harvests. The Harvest Festival is a chance to reflect and give thanks for the work farmers and agricultural workers do, and the food they produce to feed our country.” 


Donations of food will be very welcome and will go to the Gatehouse foodbank (tinned only please). These donations can be made on the day.


The event is free for all to attend.