Surrounded by chickens, goats and alpacas, the congregation sang farming-themed hymns such as ‘We Plough the Fields with Tractors’ at an outdoor harvest festival service to raise money for struggling farmers.
The Mount family hosted the unusual service at their Roots Farm Shop in Barkby on Sunday 27 September, on behalf of R.A.B.I Leicestershire committee.
Around 100 people attended the service, sitting on bales of straw in the middle of a field. Fortunately, the sun shone brightly, although organisers had been prepared to switch proceedings to the old milking parlour if the weather turned nasty.
Readings were given by Deputy Lord Lieutenant Col Murray Colville, Baroness Hazel Byford and R.A.B.I Leicestershire chairman Veronica Sutton. Rural chaplain Peter Hooper led the service and around £500 was raised for R.A.B.I through a collection and sales of the charity’s 2015 Christmas cards. The event was part of a wider ‘Love British Food Fortnight’ celebration at Roots Farm Shop.
Milly Fyfe, R.A.B.I’s regional manager for the East Midlands, said: “It is so important at this time of year to reflect and give thanks to the farming community, who have worked tirelessly to gather in the harvest so we can enjoy plentiful meals each day.
“Sadly, not all farming families are experiencing happy times right now due to falling prices, but R.A.B.I is there to help provide support to people during hard times.”
Leicestershire R.A.B.I’s next function is the chairman’s lunch on Sunday October 18 at Barton in the Beans. In 2014, R.A.B.I gave out grants of £21,765 to farming people from Leicestershire.
Pictured: R.A.B.I Leicestershire committee, the Mount family, Rev Peter Hooper, R.A.B.I regional manager Milly Fyfe and Canon David White