Reverend Tends His Flock at Resurrected Farm Show; Christian Aid Helps Recovery of Rural Life

Article excerpt

Byline: David Charters

IT IS as ancient as the world. For God gave man dominion over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creepeth on the earth.

But it hasn't always been an easy relationship. Sometimes the soil has refused to yield.

When disease has spread among the cattle, sorrowing farmers have had to lay the carcasses in piles to be consumed in great fires.

On such days, down the generations, people have knelt in prayer.

In this way, a strong spirit developed between the men of the land and their God.

So it was appropriate that the clergy should build a temporary church on the ground in Tabley, Knutsford, where this year's Cheshire Show finished yesterday.

The event had to be cancelled last year because of the foot-and-mouth outbreak which swept through agricultural communities, ruining the livelihoods of many families.

In announcing the presence of the church at the show, the Rev Barry Roberts, chaplain to the show, likened the gradual revival of the farms after recent catastrophes to the rebuilding of St Paul's Cathedral, which was destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666.

``Resurgam - I rise again - was an important statement of hope and encouragement for the people then,'' he said.

``As the agricultural and rural communities everywhere endeavour to rebuild their lives, and we resurrect the show, these are fitting themes.''

The showground was blessed on Monday by the Right Rev Nigel Stock, Bishop of Stockport. Services were held on the next two days, starting with Holy Communion, followed by prayers and thanksgiving at 10am, noon and 2pm.

The Tudor-style timber church, erected at the end of a marquee, had about 30 stacker chairs leading to an altar cloth featuring rural themes, topped by a cross fashioned from branches. It even had its own bell to call the faithful.

From the start of the crisis, farms have been helped by the Arc. …