Ripon Cathedral service celebrates rural farm life

Regional Director of the NFU Adam Bedford with deputy Mayor of Harrogate Coun. Pauline Willoughby, The Bishop of Huddersfield Jonathan Gibbs, The Mayor of Ripon Coun. Pauline McHardy and Cannon. Barry Pyke.
Regional Director of the NFU Adam Bedford with deputy Mayor of Harrogate Coun. Pauline Willoughby, The Bishop of Huddersfield Jonathan Gibbs, The Mayor of Ripon Coun. Pauline McHardy and Cannon. Barry Pyke.
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Around 250 people came together at Ripon Cathedral to celebrate farming and rural life at the annual Plough Sunday Service.

Plough Sunday marks the first working day after the twelve days of Christmas. Historically, ploughs were brought into parish churches to be blessed before work began the following day on ‘Plough Monday’. In days when work was scarce in winter, the observance looked forward to the time of sowing with the promise of a harvest to come.

Charles Mills, the YAS’s Show Director, said: “The Plough Service at Ripon Cathedral provides a wonderful opportunity for farming families and those who appreciate the contribution of Yorkshire farming to our outstanding landscapes to come together at the beginning of a new year.”

The service was led by the Bishop of Huddersfield, the Rt Rev Jonathan Gibbs and Canon Barry Pyke who said: “The service was a great ecumenical celebration of farming and rural life bringing together many organisations and groups with a rural and farming focus throughout North Yorkshire. The service focussed on looking to the future in farming and featured ‘Future Farmers’ who told us stories of challenge and opportunities going forward into a post Brexit world.”

The Highside Longsword Dancers provided the entertainment before the service, with a display outside of a state of the art tractor and plough from Ripon Farm Services and a vintage machine courtesy of David Pearson.