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Ploughing On

by Michael Ford last modified 15 Jan, 2019 04:12 PM

Plough Sunday traditionally marks the beginning of the agricultural year and traditionally the ploughs and farmers are blessed. Many of our rural churches have been celebrating this rural tradition of the church and local community with a range of both outdoor and indoor church and barn events.

And just as elsewhere in the Diocese, in the parish of Sixpenny Handley, Gussage St Andrew and Pentridge farmers brought their ploughs to be blessed.

Taking the service, Revd Canon Richard Hancock, Priest in Charge and one of the Diocese Rural Field Officers said:
“It’s really important we keep these traditions alive and for the church to demonstrate that it stands alongside its farming community, as well as giving thanks to our Creator for all the benefits we receive from his hand.“

“Normally on the Epiphany Sunday I would expect no more than a handful of people in church. It is cold, it’s miserable, who wants to come out to church? However, this time we had over 50 people in church of which a third were new to the church and came with their children.

“Some may see these ceremonies as outdated, but they can in fact be a vehicle for mission. I got to know some of my local farmers on a recent brewery trip I was invited to attend. Many of them were young, some first generation, while others are third generation farmers, but only one of them had heard of Plough Sunday. I explained the tradition to them and that it was important for them to know that the church supported them in their endeavours.

“As a result of that trip all of them agreed to bring ploughs and more importantly their families to the service and several of the families said they would be back with the children.”

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