National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs

Fun, Learning, and Achievement

17 October 2013

While clubs across England and Wales are enjoying harvest suppers, Young Farmers were also represented at a special service to Celebrate the Harvest at Westminster Abbey.

NFYFC’s Chairman of Council Milly Wastie gave a moving reflection on farming at the service, where actor Martin Clunes and Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall were also present.

The service was held as part of British Food Fortnight's campaign to rekindle the tradition of celebrating the Harvest.

Milly (pictured below with HRH The Duchess of Cornwall) said: “I was truly honoured to be part of the Love British Food Celebrate the Harvest service. I had the most fantastic time reading at Westminster Abbey and representing NFYFC. I met Martin Clunes, Dave Myers and HRH the Duchess of Cornwall. It was an amazing experience and a highlight of my year that I shall never forget.”

Martin Clunes, television's Doc Martin, read from St Matthew 6, verses 25-33.  Martin is a passionate advocate of the countryside and owns a farm in West Dorset from where he runs Buckham Fair, a traditional countryside fair. 

Damian Lewis, the actor most well-known for his Golden Globe and Emmy winning role as Nicholas Brody in the television drama Homeland, read a new harvest poem that was written especially for the service by the BBC and Channel 4 sports poet, Henry Birtles. 

The Bishop of London, The Right Reverend Dr Richard Chartres, gave a special address.  The Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Owen Paterson MP, read from Deuteronomy 8, verses 7-18. 

The winner of British Food Fortnight's competition to find a new harvest anthem - a modern day ‘We plough the fields and scatter’ - also attended the service.Bryony Muir, a member of the Scottish Association of Young Farmers’ Clubs, was chosen as the winner for her song ‘Harvest Time’.

The song is a light-hearted account of farmer Bryony dreaming of harvest in Canada, Texas and France, but then concluding that she is thankful for the advantages of farming right where she is “I think I'll stay a farmer in this green and pleasant land”.

The Nave of the Abbey was filled with harvest boxes of goodies children had grown and cooked themselves.  All the produce was collected from the Abbey by the Fullers dray horses and distributed to those in need by the Royal Voluntary Service.



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