Plough Sunday Celebrations bless the work of the farming community
8th Jan 2019
A vintage plough will be led into Thaxted Church as part of the celebrations for Plough Sunday.
Plough Sunday Church Services traditionally mark the start of the agricultural year.
The service will also see the Thaxted Morris Men lead the congregation outside for the blessing of a modern plough and tractor as a sign of support for the farming community.
“Farming practices have changed over the years, but Plough Sunday continues to provide a valuable opportunity for the church to support our farmers and bless them in their work. January can be a dark and challenging time to work outside, so we aim to provide a nurturing service where, as in times past, farmers return to their farms uplifted, strengthened and fortified by God’s blessing, good friendship and good food.
“2019 holds uncertainty for the farming industry. We hope that the Plough Sunday service provides an assurance for our farmers that we are with them, in both a practical and prayerful sense.” says our Agricultural Chaplain Revd Janet Nicholls.
The plough will be blessed by The Very Revd Nicholas Henshall, the Dean of Chelmsford, on Sunday 13 January 2019. Members of the local farming community will be present for the Service at 11.00 am and this will be followed by a Ploughman's Lunch to which all are welcome.
Plough Sunday is a tradition that goes back to medieval times when the communal village plough was often stored in the parish church over the winter months. Early in January, usually the Monday after Epiphany, the farmers would gather in church to bring the plough out of hibernation. The farming year would begin with a special blessing of the plough and the ploughmen in church.
We have published resources for Plough Sunday from our comprehensive Agricultural Festivals Pack on our Rural Issues web page. The pack also contains resources for the other Agricultural Festivals of the Church Year – Rogation, Lammas and Harvest.
Plough Sunday 2018 at Thaxted courtesy of www.saffronphoto.co.uk