Messy Plough Sunday

by Michael Ford last modified 31 Jan, 2020 12:32 PM

For our rural communities, Plough Sunday is a chance to give thanks for the work of our farmers and bless the "ploughs" - now more modern machinery - that they use. The services can be traditional or, in the case of one Wiltshire parish, rather messy.

Messy Plough Sunday

Prayers around the plough

Trudy Hobson, Team Rector of the Upper Wylye Valley Team explains:

"A clear, crisp January afternoon saw 40 adults and 17 children from across the Upper Wylye Valley descending onto Sundial Farm in Corton for our annual Messy Plough Sunday led by the Revd Jane Shaw and Henry Collins, one of our Lay Worship Leaders and a local farmer in the Team.

"Upon arrival we were welcomed into the large tractor shed where Richard Witt keeps some of his historical and daily working agricultural machinery collection, including a 1941 Fordson tractor.

Messy Plough Sunday- Richard Witt
Pictured: Richard Witt

"We all enjoyed some time getting up close to the machines that over the last 100 years have worked the land, and the children (and some adults) took great delight in climbing up and sitting in the driver’s seat.

"Richard and Robin Witt had produced a fun quiz of things to spot on their farm for us all to take part in as they showed us around. As we explored the farm we were introduced to Robin and Richard’s chickens, rabbit, suckler cows and Tickles the bull, all of which were very happy to be receiving such attention and gentle stroking.

Messy Plough Sunday- Rector Trudy meets Tickles the bull
Rector Trudy meets Tickles the bull

"We gathered again in the tractor shed where we held our plough service which began with a rousing rendition of 'We Plough the Fields with Tractors...' Standing around the plough, prayers were read by local farmers asking for God’s blessing on all our human endeavours at the beginning of a new year. Finally the plough was blessed, it being a symbol of all the work carried out on our farms and a sign of all that God promises us.

"After the service we all made our way down to the village hall where a hearty ploughman’s meal was enjoyed amongst much chatting and laughter.

"We thank all who were involved in making this such a wonderful service. And we thank and pray for all our farmers who work tirelessly in all weathers to produce food for our country and beyond.

"We are very much looking forward to next year’s Messy Plough Sunday on another of our local farms."

Do you do Messy Church or another outreach activity? We would love to hear your stories! Just .

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