Posted: Friday, January 20, 2017
RURAL folk from across Devon flocked to St Swithun’s Church in Sandford on Sunday, January 15, for the Devon Farming Community Network’s annual Plough Service.
A congregation of about 200 people attended, including the chairman of Devon County Council, Cllr Andrew Moulding; the chairman of Mid Devon District Council, Cllr John Daw and the chairman of Devon NFU, Jim Stephens. The service was led by Rev Paul Fillery, Sandford priest-in-charge.
He warmly welcomed FCN and all the congregation to his church and expressed pleasure at being able to host the event. The plough was carried into the church by members of Newton St Cyres YFC. The plough, made by John Eddy of Kenn, belonged to Keith White of Middle Henstill, Sandford, who said it had been his great grandfather’s match plough, his great-grandfather having passed away aged 74 years in 1896. Christine Chandler presented the seed and Colin Reed the soil for blessing during the service. Sandford Choir sang an Anthem, “The yes of all wait on Thee”, by George J Elvey and there was a reading by Joanne Jones, Devon FCN co-ordinator. The Sandford church bellringers rang a peal before the service.
The Blessing of the Plough reading was given by YFC members Georgina Davie, Matt Crooke and Angie Prouse. The speaker was Robert Partridge of Teignmouth, who talked about ploughing and faith and who was very amusing and thought-provoking. Refreshments were provided by friends of FCN Devon and ladies from Sandford church. A collection was taken in aid of the charity's work in Devon, which amounted to £513.31.