Harvest service at the ‘Little Chapel in the Fen’ commemorates a tradition that is 129 years old

Upware harvest festival:Specially-baked 'loaves and fishes' loaf, baked by Fullers Bakery of Soham).

Upware harvest festival:Specially-baked 'loaves and fishes' loaf, baked by Fullers Bakery of Soham). - Credit: Archant

The 129th annual harvest service at ‘The Little Chapel in The Fen,’ near Upware, was held today (Sunday).

Upware harvest festival: Array of produce

Upware harvest festival: Array of produce - Credit: Archant

Peter Cockerton, of Little Thetford, conducted the service which included favourite old hymns - ‘Shall we gather at the river’; ‘We plough the fields and scatter’; ‘How great thou art’; ‘Come ye thankful people come’; and ‘Bringing in the sheaves.’

Upware harvest festival: Chapel congregration

Upware harvest festival: Chapel congregration - Credit: Archant

Mrs Shirley Randall, of Waterbeach, played the electric keyboard and Mr John Drewry, of Little Thetford, recorded the proceedings. CDs are appreciated by those unable to be present or who live abroad.

About 80 people attended and a total of over £500 was raised.

The offering, taken up Daphne Wyatt, of Landbeach, and Trish Reed, of Stretham, was for St. John Ambulance and came to £192.40. A retiring collection for the chapel’s upkeep produced an additional £332.60.


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One of the chapel’s trustees, Mr Geoffrey Woollard, of Soham, said that he was delighted with the perfect weather and with the good attendance.

He said: “I cannot believe how generous people are. Our ‘good cause’ and the chapel itself had another great day.”

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Another trustee, Alan Wyatt, of Landbeach, referred to the service being the 129th.

He said: “‘I often wonder about those people who attended 129 years ago. We thank everyone for coming to mark a very special Fen occasion yet again today.”

Mr Cockerton said: “It was probably just the same sort of service with a fine display of Fen produce, but none of the people would have come by car, that’s for certain.

“I think that they would have been proud of us keeping this Fen tradition going.

(Mr Woollard noted there were about 40 cars in the adjoining grass car park, by kind permission of Mr and Mrs Richard Webb, of Chapel Farm).

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