NFU President to Address County Harvest Thanksgiving Service

The Diocese of Canterbury will welcome Peter Kendall, the President of the National Farmers Union (NFU), when he gives the address at the annual County Harvest Thanksgiving Service, to be held at Canterbury Cathedral on Sunday 7th October at 6.30pm. This is the first time that an NFU president will have ever addressed a county harvest service, and all are welcome to attend. A reception will be held afterwards in the Chapter House.

With the monetary value of Kent’s farming calculated to be worth £5.4 billion, the service provides an important opportunity for the whole community to celebrate all that the county provides both locally and nationally, rightfully deserving its reputation as the Garden of England.

The service is also being supported for the first time by Waitrose, who it is hoped will work in partnership with the Diocese in further projects across Kent. Waitrose Canterbury branch will be providing the refreshments for the reception, all of which will be local Kentish produce.

Each year at the thanksgiving service, a collection is taken to support the work of 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.

Along with representatives from the RABI and FCN, there will be members from the local National Farmers Union branches, Women’s Food and Farming Union (WFU) and the National Fruit Show.

There will also be 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.

The Reverend Canon Caroline Pinchbeck, the Diocese of Canterbury’s Director of Communities and Partnership Network and Rural Life Adviser, which organises the service commented: “This is a vital public service, bringing together all sectors of the rural world to give thanks, and to pray for all those involved in the rural industry in what has been a very difficult year for many.”

Rupert Ellwood, Head of Retail Operations at Waitrose said: “Waitrose has a strong commitment to championing locally grown and sourced produce. We are therefore delighted to be part of this Harvest Thanksgiving, which provides an opportunity to give thanks for all the excellent produce coming from Kent.”


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

Canterbury: 01227 459401

Notes for editors

  • Photo attached shows: Peter Kendall, NFU President
  • Photos of the event will be sent out after the service.
  • 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.
  • 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. (
  • The figure of £5.4 billion is taken from a preview of the Kent Rural Plc annual report.