Plough Sunday brings faith and farming together in north Essex
Farmers in north Essex had their fortunes blessed in a special Plough Sunday service this weekend.
The ceremony, held at Thaxted Church, saw farmers bring their soil to be blessed as well as performances by Thaxted Morris Men, who traditionally perform at the service.
It covered the parishes of Thaxted, the Sampfords, Radwinter and Hempstead, and around 250 people attended.
Plough Sunday aims to recognise the value of those who work the land, and is an alternative to the more commonly heard of Harvest Festival – which is usually held at a farm’s busiest time of year, meaning workers cannot attend.
The service was overseen by the Bishop of Colchester, the Right Reverend Roger Morris, and also in attendance was the Chelmsford Diocese’s new agricultural chaplain Reverend Janet Nicholls.
Rev Nicholls, from Shalford, grew up on a farm in Great Bardfield which her brother still runs.
She said: “People were delighted with the service, and we thrilled with the attendance.
“It was a really good opportunity to meet people and have so many people out supporting farming and agriculture.
“There was a good atmosphere and the Morris Men really added to it, bringing tradition, faith and farming all together.”
The Plough Sunday service was followed by a Ploughman’s lunch.