At Lammas tide, which on August 1st, it is traditional to take a loaf, made from the first grain of the harvest season, to be blessed in church and to ask for God’s blessing on the ensuing harvest. This loaf is then used to celebrate communion.
Given the extremes of weather experienced in the Spring and early Summer this year, it is unlikely that any farmer will be in a position to harvest any crops by this date. Drought in the Spring, followed by weeks of continuous rainfall have made for extremely poor growing conditions. High grain prices have also pushed up the price of feed for livestock farmers and dairy farmers are struggling to maintain viable businesses as the prices they are paid for their milk continue to come under pressure.
Farm Crisis Network is calling for a day of prayer on Sunday, 29th July for our farming community who everyday face the consequences of this terrible weather and who often pay a much higher price than the consumers of their production.
The Right Reverend Donald Allister, Bishop of Peterborough, who is also an FCN Trustee, has composed the following prayer for use on Sunday:
the earth is yours and the harvests are your bounty.
We pray for our arable farmers
in this year of extreme weather.
We pray for our dairy farmers
with supermarkets forcing the price of milk down
and with bovine TB in some parts of the country.
We ask your blessing on the harvest
and on all who work in farming.
We ask that farmers facing difficult times
may know your love
and our support.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
This Lammas tide, take a moment to consider the plight of our farmers and their families as they feed the nation while managing and caring for our countryside in such difficult circumstances.