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Sending prayers to struggling farmers
It's been a tough year for farmers – and last week’s snowy weather has not helped.
But the Church of England in Sussex has come up with a holy good idea to help matters.
They are urging people to pray for farmers in despair.
Reverend Dr Mark Betson, the priest in charge at the parish of Lower Beeding and rural officer for the Diocese of Chichester, said: “While farmers will continue to make the best of a difficult situation, there is no doubt some will be facing a bleak beginning for 2013, with uncertain futures.
“We welcome these special prayers for the farming community.”
The prayer reads: “Eternal God, you crown the year with your goodness and you give us the fruits of the earth in their season.
“Grant that we may use them to your glory, for the relief of those in need and for our own well-being.
“Through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord.”
Father Phil Ritchie, from All Saints in Hove, said: “We will pray for farmers.
“In the city you don’t necessarily know how hard it is in the country. But there is rural poverty.
“But saying that, I can’t even grow my vegetable plot.”
Farmers said that they welcomed the prayers.
Mark Littmoden, who runs Courthouse Farm at Offham, near Lewes, struggled with the Schmallenberg virus last year, which hit Sussex harder than anywhere else in Britain.
One of his lambs was born without its head and with five legs.
He said: “I welcome the prayers. Anything at the moment is beneficial.
“It is nice that people are thinking of us. It is really kind and I really appreciate it.
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“At the moment farming is a constant battle with water to keep it from freezing.”
Pig farmer Andy Strong, 41, who runs Field Place Farm in Bolney said: “Bless them.
“Any help is gratefully received.
“We are struggling really. The weather is not good.
“Normally at this time of year we would have 450 acres in. Currently we have 50 acres in – that is not good.
“The weather is having an effect – we are desperate for a good spring.”