The welcome return of the Great Yorkshire Show saw many of our clergy and laity mingling with farming folk at this famous celebration of all things agricultural.
The Rt Revd Dr Helen-Ann Hartley speaks for the Diocese on rural matters and summed up the event’s importance:
“The Great Yorkshire Show contains visible reminders of our connections, and the important ways in which the rural economy sustains so much of our identity in this part of the country,” she said.
Bishop Helen-Ann met with Prince Charles and National Farmers’ Union representatives on Thursday.
“It takes an in-person show like this to fulfil what NFU President Minette Batters describes as the importance of ‘championing the positive messages of our industry’.
“One question that comes to mind as we continue to emerge from this challenging season is what sort of communities to we want to see into the future and what is the dynamic between people, places and profit?
“When the three are in balance, then maybe we might glimpse a more hopeful future?
“Our rural economy has a real opportunity to lead the way in finding that balance, because in so many places that is exactly what those in agriculture seek to do.
“Welcome back, Great Yorkshire Show!” Bishop Helen Ann said.
The Church on Show stand was well attended and Ripon Area clergy couple Chris and Sian Lawton, Archdeacon of Richmond and Craven Jonathan Gough and others engaged with showgoers.
The Rt Revd Jonathan Gibbs, Bishop of Huddersfield was also at the show and commented:
“It was fantastic to see this year’s Great Yorkshire Show in full swing again and huge congratulations are due to the Yorkshire Agricultural Society for managing to achieve this under very difficult circumstances.
"As always the show was a celebration of the very best of Yorkshire farming and rural life, and it was wonderful to see so many people enjoying the event, especially in such glorious weather.
“I was also very grateful to meet with friends and colleagues from organisations representing farming and rural life and to see how keen they were for the church to be engaged in helping shape the future of the countryside, food production and the environment.
“This was made abundantly clear by the launch of the report of the North Yorkshire Rural Commission, chaired by our own Dean John Dobson from Ripon. There is a place for us at the table – and we need to step up and play our part.”