National President Praises Kent Farmers at Cathedral Service

Peter Kendall, the President of the National Farmers Union (NFU), praised Kent farmers and growers when he spoke at the annual County Harvest Thanksgiving Service held at Canterbury Cathedral on Sunday 7th October. It was the first time an NFU President has ever spoken at such a service.

Speaking to the largest congregation seen at the County Harvest Thanksgiving Service, Peter took the opportunity to say that Harvest provided a fantastic opportunity to remind society about the important role of farmers and growers:

“We all need to be thankful for the efforts of our hardworking farmers who have delivered quality food, despite experiencing one of the most difficult growing seasons in living memory.

“Being in the Garden of England, you are in the best place to understand the value and importance of food and the challenges that there are in producing it.”

He added: “Farming delivers for you, for me and for all of us. Just look at all that delicious, fresh, produce at your local supermarket or local farmers’ market and be thankful at harvest- time.”

A collection was taken at the service to support the important work of the Kent Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI) and Kent Farm Crisis Network (FCN). Both charities seek to offer both practical and financial support to those in the rural sector.

The Reverend Canon Caroline Pinchbeck, the Diocese of Canterbury’s Director of Communities and Partnership Network and Rural Life Adviser, who organised the event was delighted:

“It has been wonderful to see so many people, not just from the agricultural and rural communities, but from the general public too, coming together and taking the time to remember all that this wonderful county provides for us.”

She added: “It has also been fantastic to be able to enjoy the efforts of some of our local producers here in the Chapter House, which is no better reminder of the need to support them.”

The service was finished in style with a reception afterwards, provided by Waitrose Canterbury branch, containing plenty of local produce, including; Biddenden wines, Gadds’ beers and Kent Crisps, as well as apples from local growers A C Goatham based in Sutton Valence.

There was also a display of material from the ‘Kent is Delicious’ competition, where four schools across the two dioceses of Canterbury and Rochester competed to devise a menu and cook a dish from local produce in their area at the Kent County Show in July. Members of those schools were also present at the service.


Further information from: Jennifer Ross, Communities and Partnership Network, Diocese of Canterbury: 01227 459401

Notes for editors:

  • Ÿ Photo County Harvest Archdeacon to High Sheriff shows:

(Right to left) The Archdeacon of Canterbury, Revd Canon Caroline Pinchbeck, The

Dean, Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Canterbury, Peter Kendall, High Sheriff of Kent

  • Ÿ Photo County Harvest school group shows:

The children of Charing Church of England School and All Saints Wouldham with (right to left) Peter Kendall, Revd Canon Caroline Pinchbeck, Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress of Canterbury

  • Ÿ Photo County Harvest Peter Kendall shows: Peter Kendall addressing the congregation
  • Ÿ The Diocese of Canterbury’s Communities and Partnership Network aims to empower parishes and deaneries to serve their communities by working in partnerships with others. The Network has particular responsibility for rural and heritage issues, special  interest groups, forging links with local authorities, other faith groups and with charities.


  • Ÿ The NFU is the largest farming organisation in the UK, providing a strong, respected and independent voice for the industry. It champions British farming and provides professional representation and services to its Farmer and Grower members. (