UK: Addington Fund’s Plough Sunday celebrations at St Paul’s hailed ‘an extraordinary success’
- Credit: Archant
Farming charity the Addington Fund has hailed the success of a celebration of the industry which it staged at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
The ‘Plough Sunday’ celebration on January 16 was organised by Ian Bell OBE, Fund Director of The Addington Fund in association with St Paul’s Cathedral.
On the Sunday before, Mr Bell presented the sermon at St Peters and St Mary’s Church in Stowmarket as it celebrated Plough Sunday with a special service to herald the beginning of the agricultural year.
The Addington Fund provides homes for farming families living in England and Wales who have to leave the industry and by doing so will lose their home and also offers emergency grants in times of hardship.
During the day there was an exhibition of modern farming and farming practices outside the main west front of the Cathedral. The general public saw state-of-the-art tractors, combine harvesters and handlers. Key rural bodies such as the National Farmers Union (NFU) and The Country Landowners Association (CLA) as well as food retailer Marks & Spencer and land agents Strutt & Parker took part in the event.
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Mr Bell said: “As a charity set up to offer help to impoverished farmers by providing both housing and grant funding, The Addington Fund spend considerable time promoting the British farmer and the agricultural industry to the general public who never cease to show a genuine and heartfelt interest in British agriculture and a thirst to understand how their food is produced.”
Organisers wanted to show workers and residents of the City of London, as well as many international tourists, where their food comes from, he explained.
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“It was an extraordinary success with hundreds of City workers and tourists asking questions about farming and farming practices and hundreds more rushing to take photographs of themselves against the backdrop of the magnificent machinery,” he said.
“At a time when the industry is faced with the horsemeat debacle and food prices rising inevitably, due to the disastrous harvests, events such as these are critical to our industry in order to help our end-users understand the very real issues surrounding food production and to maintain and build confidence in British farming.
“Farmers and those involved with British agriculture must keep engaging with their customers. Marketing of British Agriculture PLC is key for our future.”