A unique exhibition of farm livestock, food and modern machinery in the heart of London will celebrate the start of the farming year in January.
The event will be staged in association with St Paul’s Cathedral by the Addington Fund farming families charity, whose marketing and the events manager Lucy Mellor is a Friend of the Guild. It is being held on Wednesday, January 16 and will run from 8am to 8pm with a service of Evensong at 5pm.
“The annual Plough Sunday is the traditional English celebration of the beginning of the agricultural year and for 2013 we decided to celebrate it differently to remind the workers of The City of London where their food comes from,” says Ian Bell, director of the Addington Fund (pictured below). “This is a very exciting project and we’ve been delighted by the support of the Cathedral and the leaders of the agricultural industry.”
During the day there will be an exhibition of modern farming and agricultural practices outside the main west front of the Cathedral. People visiting or just passing by will see state-of-the-art tractors, combine harvesters and handlers set against the classic Wren architecture of the Cathedral building.
Key rural bodies will be present, including the NFU and Country Business & Landowners Association (CLA), as well as food retailer Marks & Spencer and rural advisors Strutt & Parker. Food businesses including The Ginger Pig Company, Yeo Valley Yoghurts and The Tregothnan Tea Company.
The organisers hope to also have sheep, pigs and cattle on display and have invited a wide and diverse representation of the rural community to be present.
The Reverend Michael Hampel, Precentor of St Paul’s Cathedral commented: “We’re delighted to welcome the farming community into the heart of The City, to see where the food we pick up in the local supermarket comes from, and to understand the human skill which lies behind the production of our lunchtime sandwich.
“St Paul’s looks forward to welcoming farmers and their families to Evensong when we will give thanks to God for their work and ask for God’s blessing on the crops,” he added.
The Addington Fund provides homes for farming families living in England and Wales who have to leave the industry and by doing so lose their home. It also offers emergency grants in times of hardship.
More information for journalists is available from Ian Bell (07909 538426), James Littlewood (07860 275569) or press consultant Joy Moon (07964 287078), all representing the Addington Fund.