A large congregation representing the farming and country communities of Essex joined together at Thaxted Church to take part in a service which dates back to medieval times.
Traditionally, the start of the farming year began with the plough being taken to church to be blessed and was followed much merriment. After this day the new farming year could commence.
In the modern day Plough Sunday service, the local Thaxted Morris Men pulled the plough into the church to be blessed, together with soil from local farms.
Reverend Janet Nicholls, Rural Adviser & Agricultural Chaplain, led the service and attendees also heard from a member of Essex YFC who gave an account of the farming year, including all the ups and downs of farming life.
At the end of the service the Morris Men led the congregation outside to where the Bishop of Chelmsford, the Right Reverend Stephen Cottrell, blessed the modern day Massey Ferguson tractor and plough, standing on the steps of the tractor.
The church served up a very appropriate and lovely ploughman’s lunch with the collection taken during the service shared between R.A.B.I and FCN for their work in the farming community in Essex.