Local parishioners and members of the agricultural community came together to celebrate the new farming year at a Plough Sunday service held at Reaseheath College, Nantwich.
A packed congregation of almost 100 gathered at Reaseheath’s Centre for Horticulture, the Environment and Sustainable Technology to take part in the service and afterwards enjoyed a soup, bread and cake lunch in the Old Hall. The event was held in support of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI), a leading agricultural charity which helps farmers in financial difficulty. A total of £373 was raised, with Reaseheath donating the sale of lunch and the remainder coming from those who attended.
The Bishop of Chester, Rt Revd Peter Forster, preached and blessed the plough and the service was conducted by Rev Anne Lawson, Vicar of the Cross Country Parishes of Acton, Church Minshull, Worleston and Wettenhall, who is also Chaplain to the Cheshire Agricultural Society. Musical accompaniment was provided by the music group of St Mary’s Church, Acton.
Rev Anne Lawson explained: “The purpose of this service was to encourage communities to gather together to celebrate the traditional start of the farming year and also to raise awareness of RABI. This was the second Plough Sunday event at Reaseheath College, and something which we hope has now been established as a regular event.”
Georgina Lamb, North West Regional Manager for RABI, who attended the service along with other representatives from agricultural institutions said: “This was a great opportunity for us to give thanks for the contribution our farming communities make by providing food for our tables and by caring for the wider landscape.
“It also allowed us to remember farming families who are often overlooked, particularly those in difficulty in Cheshire, where in 2016 RABI spent over £70,000 supporting farming families struggling with financial hardship.”