Television viewers tuning into this week’s Service on Sunday on RTÉ One will get the chance to watch a special Harvest Eucharist recorded by a Church of Ireland parish in East Galway.


Harvest Thanksgiving is an ancient tradition of giving thanks to God for the blessings of creation, for its rich diversity and our place within it; for our daily food and for those who work to bring it to us.  In this special Harvest Eucharist, the parishioners of the Aughrim & Creagh Parish Union will be offering offer back to God the finest fruit and vegetables from their own gardens and farms, as symbols of the harvest.


In this time of climate crisis, services like this one remind us that the fruits of creation are not mere commodities to be consumed and exploited.  They should always be handled with humility and shared generously, with grateful hearts.


In recent years, the parish has made a firm commitment to care for creation, launching a number of ecological initiatives in the Aughrim area, in response to the problem of climate change.  Their actions have been simple, but the results have been profound.


“It all started with opening up to the wider community private church land, in order to develop the Aughrim Climate Action Park and the Rectory Garden Project,” explains the rector.  “Instead of farming that land for profit, we now use it as an educational and spiritual resource which is offered freely to the whole community.”


Together with local churches, schools and Aughrim’s community employment scheme, the parish is now using those projects to model a more sustainable lifestyle.  They are growing their own fruit and vegetables, planting trees, hedgerows and wildflowers, enhancing the local river and creating spaces for rest and reflection.


“In all of those things, we are being reminded day by day that the land itself, together with the food and wildlife it sustains, is precious and sacred,” says Archdeacon Godfrey.  “Each changing season reminds us to be humble; each flower that blooms reminds us to be grateful; and every crop that ripens inspires us to be generous.”


Service on Sunday will be broadcast on Sunday 17th September at 11.10am on RTÉ One.  It will also be available to view throughout the coming month on the RTÉ Player.


You can listen to Stephen Fletcher’s podcast, In Conversation with the Ven John Godfrey, where they talk about the celebration of Harvest and the climate change crisis here:-




For more details contact:

Archdeacon John Godfrey, Rector of the Aughrim & Creagh Parish Union.

The Rectory, Aughrim, Ballinasloe, Co Galway

Tel: 0879008085





Emmet McCarthy, Assistant Producer, RTÉ Television, Donnybrook, Dublin 4

Tel: 01-2083476.  Mob: 086-3857880



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