Burnley Bishop: prayers to thank for crop

Giving thanks: Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Rev. John Goddard, at Dyneley Farm, with farmer Jonathan Shorrock
Giving thanks: Bishop of Burnley, the Rt Rev. John Goddard, at Dyneley Farm, with farmer Jonathan Shorrock

The Bishop of Burnley has hailed the success of a prayer initiative launched by the Church of England earlier this year to pray for farming communities recovering from last year’s bad weather.

The Rt Rev. John Goddard, who is the acting Bishop of Blackburn, also paid a visit to a Cliviger farm to see the fruits of this year’s harvest.

He went to meet Mr Jonathan Shorrock (46), who farms Dyneley Farm with his wife and two sons and goes to St John’s Church in Cliviger.

The Bishop said: “I give thanks to God for our prayers being answered and a much better result this year for hard-working farmers everywhere, not just in Lancashire.

“As churches across the region and the UK celebrate the harvest season they will also be giving thanks for God’s provision.

“It is also important at this time we remember those who are less fortunate and I would encourage everyone to donate generously to local foodbanks at this harvest time as well as to my annual Harvest Appeal conducted through Lancashire churches and church schools.”

Mr Shorrock’s 1,250 acre livestock farm has been in his family for half a century, but it suffered greatly during 2012 and early in 2013 as a wet summer gave way to one of the worst winters in a generation. Lambs were lost and hay supplies were low.

Mr Shorrock said: “Things have been so much better this year for us and for other farmers – one of the best harvest seasons I can remember in fact.

“Our stocks have been replenished after the difficult winter, thanks to an exceptional summer season with just the right amount of rain and plenty of sunshine. In short, we are in a much better position now than I expected to be as 2013 dawned.”