All welcome at farm celebration service in Ripon

Ripon Cathedral will hold a Plough Sunday service on January 14.
Ripon Cathedral will hold a Plough Sunday service on January 14.
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Looking ahead will be the theme of a celebration of farmers and rural life at Ripon Cathedral in the new year.

An annual Plough Sunday Service for farming family and friends will be held at the grand place of worship on January 14, led by the Dean of Ripon, Rev John Dobson, and the Bishop of Huddersfield, the Rev Jonathan Gibbs.

Adam Bedford, regional director of the National Farmers’ Union, will be a guest speaker.

Plough Sunday marks the first working day after the 12 days of Christmas. Historically, ploughs were brought into parish churches to be blessed before work began the following day. Now the occasion is seen as a way of celebrating rural life.

Rev Dobson said: “The service is full of life, energy and joy whilst at the same time recognising the real challenges that face farmers and rural communities.”

Kate Dale, co-ordinator of the Yorkshire Rural Support Network which has helped to organise the service, said: “Plough Sunday gives the whole farming community an opportunity to offer friendship and support to each other and share a common positive hope for the coming year.”

An exhibition of farming and rural support groups will be held in the Cathedral from Wednesday, January 10, and on the day of the service, on January 14, hot drinks and pork rolls will be served free of charge from 2.30pm.

A tractor and a plough provided by Ripon Farm Services will be positioned on the Cathedral’s forecourt and the Highside Longsword dancing group will perform. The service itself starts at 3.30pm.