Blessing service for farm workers and gardeners at Minster Abbey

On Sunday 13 January (11am), farm workers, gardeners and those who work the land on the Isle of Sheppey, are invited to a special service of blessing.

The service, which will be led by the Vicar of West Sheppey Benefice, the Revd Tim Hall, will include a blessing outside of farm equipment including tractors and ploughs. Farm animals, including a shire horse, will also be blessed.

Revd Tim Hall commented: “This year has been a terrible year for farmers: – far too dry, and then far too wet. Harvests (where they have been able to happen) have given low yields – next year’s crop couldn’t be sown at the correct time because the land was too wet. Far too many people take the countryside for granted – they do not realise that hedgerows, trees and fields do not remain tidy and beautiful on their own, but only by careful and hard work by the farmers.”

He continued: “We want to give thanks for farmers, gardeners and all who work the land – for all that is done, and pray for all that must be done in 2013. We look forward to providing a warm welcome to all our visitors.”

The blessing service is the first of four services of blessing within the West Sheppey Benefice, which includes the parishes of Halfway, Minster Abbey, Queenborough and Sheerness.

In April there will be a special service in Halfway to bless the communities of Queenborough, Sheerness and Minster. In June all shopkeepers and business owners will be blessed in Sheerness and in September at Queenborough, schools and school representatives will be invited to a special service of thanks giving.

-Ends-

Photo opportunity with farm equipment, animals and farm workers at 11.40 am, outside Minster Abbey

For further Information: Emily Shepherd, Director of Communications, Canterbury Diocese –

07876 210 446 or eshepherd@diocant.org

Or Revd Tim Hall:

Telephone:            (01795) 877734

Email:                    tph@tesco.net

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