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Tractors revving up to make an entrance at Essex County Harvest Festival

PUBLISHED: 12:22 11 September 2017

Essex County Harvest Festival 2017 tractor rehearsal:  from left, Nigel Boreham of R.C.Boreham and Co; Rev Janet Nicholls, Essex Agricultural Chaplain; The Very Revd Nicholas Henshall, Dean of Chelmsford Cathedral; Karl Last of Ernest Doe and Sons Ltd. Picture: RALPH MELOY/DIOCESE OF CHELMSFORD

Essex County Harvest Festival 2017 tractor rehearsal: from left, Nigel Boreham of R.C.Boreham and Co; Rev Janet Nicholls, Essex Agricultural Chaplain; The Very Revd Nicholas Henshall, Dean of Chelmsford Cathedral; Karl Last of Ernest Doe and Sons Ltd. Picture: RALPH MELOY/DIOCESE OF CHELMSFORD

Ralph Meloy

The Essex farming community was firing on all cylinders this week as it geared up to celebrate Essex county harvest festival with a tractor rehearsal.

Tractor Rehearsal Chelmsford Cathedral 2017: from left, Nigel Boreham of R C Boreham; The Very Revd Nicholas Henshall, Dean of Chelmsford Cathedral;  Revd Janet Nicholls, Agricultural Chaplain; Karl Last, Ernest Doe. Picture: CLARE BROOME/CHELMSFORD CATHEDRAL Tractor Rehearsal Chelmsford Cathedral 2017: from left, Nigel Boreham of R C Boreham; The Very Revd Nicholas Henshall, Dean of Chelmsford Cathedral; Revd Janet Nicholls, Agricultural Chaplain; Karl Last, Ernest Doe. Picture: CLARE BROOME/CHELMSFORD CATHEDRAL

Tractors are set to lead the procession inside Chelmsford Cathedral which is due to place on Sunday, October 1, at 11.15am.

On Tuesday, September 5, Nigel Boreham of R C Boreham and Karl Last of Ernest Doe, practised manoeuvring the machines through the west door and into the nave in preparation for the big day.

Essex agricultural chaplain Rev Janet Nicholls admitted there had been some sleepless nights among cathedral staff prior to the rehearsal, but following the success of Tuesday’s dry run, there as considerable excitement about the harvest festival

She wanted it to be “a wonderful celebration of, and thanksgiving for, Essex farming”, she explained.

Essex County Harvest Festival 2017 tractor rehearsal: Nigel Boreham of R C Boreham driving out of Chelmsford Cathedral. Picture: JANET NICHOLLS/DIOCESE OF CHELMSFORD Essex County Harvest Festival 2017 tractor rehearsal: Nigel Boreham of R C Boreham driving out of Chelmsford Cathedral. Picture: JANET NICHOLLS/DIOCESE OF CHELMSFORD

“I was keen that our county harvest thanksgiving should provide a realistic representation of current farming in Essex,” she said.

“All our farmers rely on agricultural machinery so I was delighted when Dean Nicholas Henshall welcomed the idea of tractors leading the procession in to the cathedral.

“It was a challenge to find tractors that fitted through the cathedral 
door but R.C. Boreham 
and Ernest Doe have come up with perfect solutions for us.”

She was also pleased that agricultural societies and charities were enthusiastically embracing the idea.

“As well as farmers representing the great diversity of Essex farming, we have also got the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (RABI), Farming Community Network (FCN), Essex Agricultural Society, Writtle University College, the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) and the Rural Community Council of Essex (RCCE) involved.

As part of the celebrations, the cathedral will be hosting a tool collection for charity Tools With A Mission. All are welcome to the service and to a reception in the cathedral afterwards. Contact Rev Nicholls at jnicholls@chelmsford.anglican.org for details.

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