The Bishop of Gloucester, the Right Revd Rachel Treweek has spent time with Tanya Robbins and Will Frazer of Gloucestershire National Farmers Union, visiting local farming families to learn more about the highs and lows of the farming industry.
Bishop Rachel started off with a visit to Over Farm Shop just outside Gloucester where she learnt about the history of one of the oldest farm shops in Britain and how it continues to evolve as different generations take on the business. She then headed south to Elmore, where she spent time with Jenni and Jerry Hobbs of Hobbs Dairy Farm, discussing the recent launch of free range dairy products and the challenges of bovine tuberculosis. She then headed to Upleadon where she spent time in the lambing shed with the Dunn family discussing the role of farmers as stewards of the countryside and how farms are passed onto the next generation.
Bishop Rachel said. “These visits were fascinating and a real eye opener to the challenges and complexity of the rural farming scene. Farms are often at the heart of our rural communities and so the relationship between the Church and our farming communities is important, working together for the care of creation and the flourishing of our countryside and people.”
Tanya Robbins said “At a time when the number of people living and working in the countryside is dwindling it’s important that farmers, alongside the Church, work together to provide stability and support for rural communities. It was terrific to get Bishop Rachel out on farms, to meet the hard working families who look after our countryside and produce our great British food.”
70% of the UK is farmed landscape and there are 3,058 commercial farm holdings in Gloucestershire with 7,419 people employed in agriculture.