Farmers to celebrate Harvest Festival at St Leonard’s

Farmers to celebrate Harvest at St Leonard’s

Farmers and their families will celebrate Harvest Festival at St Leonard’s Church, Sandridge on Sunday October 7th at 6pm. The historic village church, just north of St Albans, will host the special service for the Hertfordshire branch of the National Farmers’ Union.

The service comes during the St Leonard’s community Flower Festival that runs from Friday October 5th to Sunday October 7th. Many local groups and individuals are providing displays, and the popular Sandridge Knitted Village will be featured.

Rev Em Coley, Vicar of St Leonard’s, will be leading the farmers’ service. She said: “We are delighted to be holding this service for the farming community in the county. Farmers and their families perform a vital role for society and are under great pressure.

“As well as giving thanks to God for the harvest, we also want to acknowledge the hard work, all through the year in all weathers, that farmers undertake to help feed us all.”

NFU Hertfordshire County Chairman Jamie Burrows said: “We’re grateful to St Leonard’s Church for hosting this service, which comes after an extremely challenging year, weather-wise, for farmers.

“Farmers often work in isolation so this is a welcome opportunity to join forces, with the local community, to celebrate the harvest and the very best of food and farming in Hertfordshire.”

In a message to be read at the service, the Rt Revd Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans, said: “As you worship and give thanks for this year’s harvest, I am eager to assure you of the support of the Church of England in Hertfordshire. 

“You undertake a vital job in providing food for our country, as well as caring for the countryside and providing employment. At this time of uncertainly, with Brexit looming, we want to work with you to ensure that we maintain the highest levels of food security, food quality and animal welfare possible. Thank you for all you are doing for the flourishing and thriving of our nation.”

St Leonard’s will also be donating all money given at its harvest services to the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution, a welfare charity working with the farming community.