A nativity play – held at Thame Farmers’ Market – helped raise more than £700 for those struggling financially in the agricultural world.
The Buckinghamshire R.A.B.I committee organised a Christmas carol evening with the support of hosts Thame Farmers Auction Mart Ltd. The market was festively decorated throughout and sixty-two guests attended this first-time event.
The service was a mixture of light-hearted readings, sketches and carols. An interactive nativity play provided something very different, with the king being chosen straight out of the audience. Bicester Junior YFC members Lewis Sullivan and Lucy Willoughby took the parts of Joseph and Mary, with Andrew Thompson starring as the innkeeper. Laura Thompson and market auctioneer Daniel Slade were shepherds, always key roles when playing to a farming crowd.
Admission was free but donations were collected on behalf of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I), a welfare charity that gives out grants of around £2m per year to working farmers, farmworkers and their families in financial difficulties. R.A.B.I also helps retired farmers, farmworkers and their dependants.
Jenni Thompson, R.A.B.I regional manager for South Central, said: “The carol evening was an absolute joy to be part of – a great example of good old-fashioned British fun. Even with a few last minute changes to the cast, the nativity show went without a hitch in true Blue Peter style!
“We were delighted to be given permission to use the Thame market site, which proved to be the perfect location with fantastic acoustics. It was wonderful to see so many people get involved too – both in terms of organisation and attendance – and we now hope to make this an annual event.”
An oak framed print of Cotswold Farm Park’s Highland cow, Imogen, raised £190, with Simon Draper leading the auction.
R.A.B.I would like to thank Creslow Events, Taplin’s Plant Hire, Decoy Farms and the Deddington, Aylesbury, North Bucks and Great Milton NFU branches for their support.