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A good harvest at Maitland during festival weekend

On the Sunday afternoon of the Harvest Festival at Maitland Corps, there was a combined band concert, featuring Parramatta Band.

Whilst some may consider traditions such as a ‘Harvest Festival’ old-fashioned, Maitland Corps in the NSW Hunter region has proven that just because something has been done for a long time, it can still be relevant.

“So much food!” is one of the comments by Maitland Corps Officer Captain Lloyd Stanimirovic when speaking of the recent Harvest Festival, which was attended by more than 800 people. Apart from the COVID-19 lockdowns, Maitland Corps has always held a Harvest Festival.

“Just because something was done in years past, doesn’t make it ‘old fashioned’,” said Lloyd. “An event that relays a ‘Christ’ message in a way that is relevant to the local community, creates opportunity to connect with non-Christians, utilises the gifts of believers, and is conducted in a safe, fun space so that all people can hear and enjoy, will always be relevant.”

And that’s exactly how the weekend went. Guests, Parramatta Citadel Band, led by bandmaster Major David Collinson, presented a Saturday evening concert with more than 200 guests.

“Many people in attendance were community members who were not otherwise connected to the local corps,” said Lloyd.

More than 800 people attended various events at Maitland Corps in the NSW Hunter region for the annual harvest festival weekend.

The band led the worship service the next morning, and then after an “amazing and abundant fellowship lunch” at which some of the men from Maitland and Parramatta sang grace, there was an afternoon combined celebration concert featuring Parramatta Citadel Band, Maitland City Band and a combined youth band.

Parramatta Citadel Band Sergeant Ian Roberts said it was a special time to celebrate God’s goodness: “As people from a large city, the idea of celebrating the goodness of God at the end of a good harvest is a concept increasingly lost to history or for some of us, lost to earlier generations.

“It was Lieutenant-Colonel Ian Hamilton who reminded us on the weekend that while many of us no longer work the land, we all have so much for which to thank God, and we would do well not to forget our blessings. His challenge was to be aware of what we are sowing – and what will be reaped as a result.”

Retired Lieut.-Colonel Ian Hamilton speaking at the Maitland Corps Harvest Festival.

On the Saturday afternoon, the corps held a market to celebrate local produce with stalls of crafts, fresh produce and freshly baked treats. A stall selling handmade jewellery, bags and clothing from the Mbuyu Foundation in Uganda, which the corps supports, was also popular.

“We also had a sausage sizzle, mushy peas with a dash of vinegar (a Maitland tradition), Devonshire tea, ice cream and many other delicious treats,” said Lloyd. He said Maitland Corps is already looking forward to next year’s Harvest Festival.

“Amazing music, food, and fellowship, with the Lord praised and worshipped throughout, and the Spirit moving powerfully. Hallelujah!”


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