This is a service
of prayer, dedication and blessing for
all those involved in agriculture and the countryside.
This year the service was part of
Wild Church, held at Hanger Farm, Fingest on 8th Jan 2023.
Many thanks to the Jacksons for inviting us to Hanger Farm Fingest to shelter in the barn on Plough Sunday. Over forty people several tractors with two ploughs braved the weather which stayed dry almost until the end.
As a local farmer I see society becoming more urbanised and more remote from where food comes from. It is refreshing to celebrate Plough Sunday, where we ask for God’s blessing on the land we farm, strength and wisdom to raise the year’s crops and the different challenges of the seasons.
The lesson was the parable of the Sower, found in Matthew, Mark and Luke’s gospels and unusually Jesus explained the meaning of this story. Rev. Sue Morton explored the idea that at different times in life we are sowers of the word, growers of the word and harvesters of the word. We had a large handmade map of the Valley on which we could draw local places and buildings and place a little soil from our fields and gardens for a blessing. There was also a giant jigsaw of a tractor and plough.
On our farm we have a steep field on the right-hand side of Fingest Lane going up to Bolter End. During the War, when Britain faced starvation, my grandfather had to plough up this field for wheat, he said “ if this poor bank can grow a crop of wheat we shall surely have victory “ It did produce a crop and we call this field Victory Bank to this day. Forward to autumn 2021 we reseeded the field and it failed due to drought, that is the seed germinated and there was insufficient moisture and the seedlings died, we resowed in spring 2022 and the same happened again, the third sowing in Autumn 2022 finally seems satisfactory, albeit with a few bare patches. Now, when my grandson and I go past we have taken to calling the field Disaster Bank!
Wild Church Plough Sunday reminded us that God is with us in challenging times and times of growth and encouraged us to notice him at work in the world around us.