John Deere tractor blessed at St Edmundsbury Cathedral on Plough Sunday
17:51 10 January 2016
A tractor was blessed at Bury St Edmunds’ cathedral today to mark Plough Sunday and the start of a new farming year.
Around 120 people attended a service which focused on the hard work of farmers locally and counterparts in northern England who are battling severe flooding.
Canon, Philip Banks, said clergymen and women ran out of hymn sheets because of the popularity of the event.
“It was marvellous and we had quite a big attendance,” he said. “It was a very happy occasion, we had a lot of people from the farming world here, I think because of the pre-publicity. Prayers were said for farmers, particularly those going through difficult times at the moment with the flooding in the north.
“It was a fantastic way for us, the mother church of the diocese, to support farmers and those in the agricultural community.”
He said Plough Sunday began in medieval times and represented what was traditionally the first farming day after Christmas.
Dean Francis Ward blessed the John Deere tractor and plough loaned to the cathedral by the Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, Lady Euston of the Euston Estate, who was in attendance.
Representatives from the farming community, included the National Farmers Union, the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, were also at the service.