Harvest allows countryside communities a big moment of celebration. It is well deserved. The underappreciated rural church pulls its weight in terms of percentage attendance. On an average Sunday, 40 per cent of bottoms on Church of England pews are in rural areas, although they contain only 17 per cent by population. At Christmas, 50 per cent of churchgoers are rural. Figures for donations suggest that rural churches also punch well above their weight in that regard.

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