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Otley hosts agricultural group’s harvest service
Gifts for Otley’s soon-to-open food bank were presented at a harvest thanksgiving service.
Members of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society and the Bishop of Bradford, the Right Reverend Nick Baines, joined Otley All Saints Parish Church for the celebration last Sunday.
The society holds a harvest service at a different church in the region each year and this time it was Otley’s turn – a decision reflecting its desire to stage it near the home of current president John Stoddard-Scott, whose family farm is at Arthington, and to engage the local community.
A large congregation gathered for the service, which was jointly led by the vicar of Otley, the Rev Graham Buttanshaw, and the Rev Canon Leslie Morley, who is the agricultural society’s Chaplain.
Symbolic gifts including water, soil, cereals, tools and a shepherd’s crook were presented by members of the farming community, and a loaf of bread was placed at the altar as those gathered sang Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow.
Church warden Margaret Parkin, praising a “wonderful celebration”, said: “In his sermon, the Rt Rev Nick Baines asked us to remember our past inheritance, who we are and where we came from, and how the rhythms of life become established. He reminded us that we all belong together and should be using what we have for others.
“The children of the church presented gifts of dried and tinned goods that will be passed to the Otley food bank, which is to be established shortly.
“Special thanks go to the ladies of the church and members of the society, who decorated the church so beautifully with fruit, vegetables and flowers.”
The society’s honorary show director Bill Cowling was the reader, while the Old Testament lesson was read by Mr Stoddart-Scott and the New Testament reading by the Rev John Parkin, honorary curate at Otley.
A special mention of the farming community was also made in prayers by Eileen Barr.