Bishop down on the farm

by Michael Ford last modified 27 Nov, 2019 04:57 PM

Bishop Nicholas has visited two large farms in our Diocese.

Bishop down on the farm

The Revd Richard Kirlew

The visits were set up by our Rural Officer for Dorset, the Revd Richard Kirlew.

Richard said:

"As a result of an opportunity gained from me visiting a farm on Open Farm Sunday back in June, I was able to discuss the possibility of taking Bishop Nicholas round a couple of weeks ago. This turned out to be 2 large 1,400 hectare (3,500 acre) farms.

"The farms are at Winterbourne Whitechurch and Winterbourne Stickland respectively. They grow combinable crops and rear a small flock of sheep. Bishop Nicholas and I spent a very interesting morning with Scott Bagwell, the manager.

"With the Bishop being the Lead on the Enviornment for the Church of England, it gave him the opportunity to get a ‘hands-on’ feel of modern eco farming, concentrating on the environmental and restoring the ecology and species back to the land.

"It was also a great opportunity for Scott and the staff to appreciate the fact that the church becomes involved in a pastoral way in farming and rural matters, both through chaplaincy and individual parishes. Wherever this pastoral support comes from, it takes time to build relationships and above all, trust with the farming community. This cannot happen overnight."

Bishop Nicholas said:

"It was good to meet such a thoughtful, hard-working and effective farm manager as Scott and to see the ways in which the land is being nurtured and wildlife restored. The scale of change being faced by the farming community is likely to need good and knowledgeable pastoral care from parish clergy and sector chaplains."

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