Farmers grow congregation at Cathedral

It was the National Harvest Service at Chester Cathedral on Sunday 25 September. The service was well-attended, not least because a number of farmers from across the diocese came together to give thanks to God and rejoice in the splendor that nature has provided them.

We featured the National Harvest Service in a recent news item, which was written prior to the event. It would be fair to say that the actual day was delivered beyond expectations. A Massey Ferguson tractor marked the entrance to the Cathedral and proved to be of great interest to passing shoppers, with some then choosing to attend the service. 

The service began with the arrival of the Harvest Torch, which was carried by the Cheshire Dairy Queen (pictured above) along the aisle and placed at the front of the nave. The torch is passed to a different UK location each year. 

A farmers market was held in the cloisters area of the cathedral, where people could buy cakes, meats, pies, and other good, honest fayre. 
Alexia Robinson, Director of Love British Food, who organise the National Harvest Service initiative, attended the service and said; "Chester Cathedral took the National Harvest Service to new heights. I am over-whelmed by how glorious it was. And from talking to people afterward I sensed that everyone felt the same. Every detail…the tractor, milking cow and displays outside, the farmers market in three lengths of the cloisters, the flowers, the plough by the choir, and the service itself, choreographed with the hand of a genius.  The readings, the hymns, the choir’s angelic voices, the addresses, the children reading the prayers and others singing…it was a service that will remain with me forever. You have set a high bar to inspire Peterborough as they assume the mantle next year! "

Revd Anne Lawson, Chaplain to the Cheshire Agricultural Society was one of the main organisers of the service. In the video below she explains more about the torch and the service.




Pictured above from left to right: 1: A Massey Ferguson tractor at the entrance to Chester Cathedral 2: Mayor and Mayoress of Chester John and Heather Leather at the farmers market.



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