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Harvest Service & Lunch 2011

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Peter Hill
01491 824355
Peter Hill

Guild members and guests packed St Bride's Church, just off Fleet Street in London, for the annual harvest thanksgiving service.

Generous sponsorship from Guild member Howard Venters of Shepherd Publishing meant the congregation could not only sit back and enjoy the professional choir's individual contributions but were assured of full vocal support during the hymns!

GAJ Service 2011After Guild chairman Adrian Bell gave the Bidding prayer, there were readings from Guild president Lord Cameron of Dillington, Peter Reynolds of Shepherd Publishing and Howard Venters, who gave a reading specially compiled by freelance Guild member Claire Powell.

"I think it was a really nice touch to have this personal contribution to the service from a Guild member ," says Howard.

Once enthusiastic renditions of 'We plough the fields...' and 'Guide me, O thou great redeemer' had been sung, The Venerable David Meara, Rector of St Brides and Guild chaplain led the prayers.

McVie's Songbird, sung by the choir, rounded off another celebratory harvest service.

In a well-received speech to more than 200 Guild members and guests at the harvest lunch that followed, Her Royal Highness, The Princess Royal, acknowledged the role of agricultural journalists in disseminating information to farmers and growers, and representing agriculture to the wider public.

Accompanied by Guild president Lord Cameron of Dillington and chairman Adrian Bell, The Princess Royal met representatives of sponsors, suppliers of an impressive harvest produce display, and members of the Guild's Under 35s group and management Council.

She then enjoyed a ‘Best of British’ lunch at Stationers’ Hall in the City of London and presented the Guild's prestigious Netherthorpe Award.

GAJ Harvest 2011In her speech, The Princess Royal said: “The Guild represents a very important part of the agricultural sector.... the work that you do in communicating the very best of farming practices is important and appreciated.”

A transcript of The Princess Royal's speech is available here.

Gareth Oakley of event sponsor Lloyds TSB Agriculture welcomed the opportunity to support the event and extend contacts with agricultural journalists and publications as part of efforts to increase the bank's engagement with the farming industry as a whole - see the attached leaflet issued at the harvest lunch here.

Once the Guild's Yara Journalism Awards had been presented (see Awards section of the website) and prizes awarded in the Charitable Trust draw (see separate News item), many members and guests made their way to the SOCIeTY wine bar - another new venue - where the lounge was reserved for their exclusive use to enjoy a variety of special cocktails, including Welly Warmer, Sward Lifter, Between the Sheep, Cart Wheel and Harvest Wallbanger - see their ingredients here!

Click here to watch a video recording of the Harvest Lunch.

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