Rogation in the countryside

If you’d asked me a year ago what ‘Rogation’ meant, I would have been baffled, and would probably have mumbled something about it’s being an Anglican thingy. I’ve learned that it’s an important festival for farming communities: the point of it is to ask for God’s blessing on local farmers (the name comes from the Latin, rogare meaning to ask), so it’s the natural early-season counterpart to Harvest.

Farming has been a difficult industry for many years, with one disease after another (such as BSE, bovine TB, foot and mouth disease – and now the Schmallenburg virus). Last year’s wet weather hit arable farmers hard as well. It doesn’t help that politicians no longer see the farming community as one that is electorally useful for them, nor that supermarkets have the perverse insistence on paying less for milk than the cost price. It is therefore vitally important for the local church to be actively praying both for the land to be healed, and for farmers to be blessed with abundant yields.

Last Sunday was my first experience of a Rogation service – held in a barn on a farm in Broadwas. It’s a great opportunity for the church to move out of the building and into the rural community!

Rogation service - in a barn in Broadwas

Rogation service – in a barn in Broadwas

It was also a great opportunity for David to entertain… all he needed was a pot, some water, a piece of card, and a curate…

The vicar's up to his tricks again...

The vicar’s up to his tricks again…

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