Strong support for farmers at Ripon Cathedral's Plough Sunday

Farming life has been celebrated in style at Ripon Cathedral's annual Plough Sunday which marks the traditional return to agricultural work after the Twelve Days of Christmas.

Bishop Helen-Ann blessed a ploughshare brought by Young Farmers from Boroughbridge at the service, which is held in conjunction with the Yorkshire Agricultural Society.

It was attended by the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire Jo Ropner - representing Her Majesty The Queen, and the High Sheriff of North Yorkshire Chris Legard.

Other guests will include representatives of Yorkshire Young Farmers Clubs, Future Farmers of Yorkshire, Farming Help Charities and The Great Yorkshire Show.

The service, with a theme of ‘Challenges and Opportunities’, was led by the Dean of Ripon, the Very Rev John Dobson and one of the speakers was Lisa Winward, Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police, who said:

“With the help of the public and our partners, great progress has been made in recent years in the fight against rural crime in North Yorkshire.

"It is important that we all continue to work together to tackle the issues that impact our communities the most.

I would also encourage members of the public to continue to be our ‘eyes and ears’, by reporting crime and suspicious incidents, especially in remote farming communities."

Bishop Jonathan Gibbs of the Huddersfield EA also attended - and found himself "up to his neck" during a performance by the Highside Longsword dancers.

Plough Sunday in its present form goes back to Victorian times, but behind it there is a much older observance, associated with the first working day after the Twelve Days of Christmas.

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.






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