Carol Service for farmers from inside the livestock ring

16th December 2021

A carol service held in the very unusual setting of the livestock ring at Junction 24 Livestock Market, was welcomed and well attended by farmers and members of the farming community. The event was organised by the Market Chaplain Lorna Hasell, together with the charity Farming Community Network (FCN) to support farmers and their families, many of whom have not seen even their closest neighbours on a regular basis for the past few years because of covid. 

Lorna said, “Opportunities to get together are especially important in the farming community, farming can be quite a lonely occupation and it can be quite isolating. Isolation in the farming community has been particularly severe in the last two years during the pandemic, so an opportunity to get farming families back together again, is something that we really value.”

For the service, a band, The Polden Players, set up Inside the market ring, whilst those who came to the service sat in the area normally reserved for farmers bidding for sheep. For many who came along the market is a home away from home, they said of the service, “For the past two years we’ve really just kept ourselves to ourselves and only gone out for our business really, so It is just nice to see everyone, to sing some carols and to relax and enjoy time together.”

Lorna said she was delighted to be able to offer something which gave farmers, their families and their community the opportunity to get a break from the stresses and worries they are facing, “Farmers are quite resilient, they need to be, but they are also quite private, and they don’t like to shout for help. There’s a lot of isolation, particularly at the moment, they’ve missed things that would ordinarily give them a bit of social contact. Things  like farm sales and all those events that bring farmers together. Farming is going through many changes post Brexit and there are many concerns about that, there are also worries about how new farm payments are going to work and confusions over the new systems. The Carol Service is one small way we can support them by offering a bit of time away from those worries.” 

You can hear BBC Somerset's report from the service below.



Powered by Church Edit