WORSHIPPERS will bring their wellies to an 11am morning service near Henley-in-Arden on Sunday... for the event takes place down on the farm, in a 100-ft long silage barn at Wootton Wawen.
As well as suitable footwear, the congregation is asked to wrap up and bring folding chairs while hymn books and service sheets are supplied from nearby St Peter’s parish church.
A battery-operated keyboard will double for an organ.
The vicar, Canon Lawrence Mortimer. has invited Warwickshire farmer-priest the Rev Barbara Clutton, from Grange Farm, Grandborough, to give the address. Bales of hay will serve as church furniture in the barn, off Mayswood Road at Mayshill Farm.
The farm is part of a 500-acre enterprise of stock, pasture and woodland management run jointly by Sue Steele, a choir member at St Peter’s, and her husband Bob with other members of the Steele family.
Mrs Steele said: “We’re making the barn neat and tidy. The congregation should see sheep grazing and depending on the weather, cattle may still be in the adjoining barn where they have over-wintered.
“The track to the barn is best walked in wellies if it’s wet.
“There is plenty of parking and we’ll offer a lift in the four-wheel drive if conditions are difficult for anyone with a wheelchair.”
Canon Mortimer said: “Many farmers were unable to celebrate Harvest Festival at St Peter’s last autumn because they were dealing with the vagaries of the weather.
“So this is a special service to celebrate the start of spring, which will also acknowledge the many difficulties faced by farmers these days, both economic and environmental.”