Missing the show

14.5.2020 | Prayer, Mission in Ireland, Mission, Farming and Rural Life, Presbytery News, COVID-19 Emergency

For many years on Ireland’s rural calendar, the second week in May would see thousands of people attend the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society’s annual show. Like all public events, this year’s show at the Maze Showgrounds in County Antrim has been cancelled due to the Coronavirus emergency. Along with many people across the farming and agri community, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland’s Dromore Presbytery will miss this staple part of the farming year.

While the Show has been cancelled, Presbytery Moderator, Rev Andrew Faulkner, minister of Sloan Street Presbyterian in Lisburn, said members will be keeping farmers and their families in their prayers, and are looking forward to the day when they will all be able to meet again at the Showgrounds.

“Normally, over the past week, we would have been welcoming you onto our stand, renewing old friendships and making new ones. We would have been serving you with tea, coffee and biscuits galore, enjoying the craic and praying with you, if you asked. But, these are not normal times,” Andrew Faulkner said.

“It is fair to say that we have really missed you this week. Yes, really! We also felt that we wanted to take time to say ‘thank you’ to the many people who have supported and encouraged us on our stand, over these past five years.”

Speaking directly to the farming community, he continued, “We realise that while you continue to provide us with exceptional quality, fresh and traceable food, you have been doing so without the thanks and appreciation that you are due. And so we want to say ‘thank you’ to our farmers, for work that you do so faithfully season by season.”

Mr Faulkner acknowledged that at a time when Coronavirus has made life for everyone in every sector extremely difficult, farmers have also faced specific challenges with the closure of livestock markets, significant reductions in milk and beef prices, coupled with rising costs.

“As a Church our strength is, without doubt, in our rural areas. We are part of the local community and we want to assure our farmers and those in the agri-sector, and indeed everyone who is experiencing uncertainty and difficulty at this challenging time, that we in the Presbytery of Dromore are praying for you, and want to support you in any way that we can,” he said.

Rev Kenny Hanna of Second Dromara Presbyterian Church, one of the stand’s organisers and a contributor to the fortnightly ‘Good News for the Countryside’ column in Farming Life added, “While we don’t have a Balmoral Show this year, we do have the Farming Life each week and I would like to express our thanks to everyone for getting the paper out each Saturday, which I am sure, is no mean feat. When so much has changed, I think we are all genuinely grateful for its comforting presence on the kitchen table and its familiar feel, especially at this time.”

Kenny Hanna’s phone number appears at the end of each column and he is happy to speak to anyone who needs a listening pastoral ear. His number is 028 9753 1234. For more formal support and advice:

  • Rural Support:                           0800 138 1678
  • Ulster Farmers’ Union:            028 90 370222

Prayer for Farmers

Heavenly Father

Every day I see and hear something of Your beauty, in the wonderful world I work in.

I rise to the birdsong and see the new life You give as lambs sport in the fields.

I realise that I am an under-farmer to You, the Creator and Sustainer of all things and that my job is to pass on my little part of Your creation to the next generations.

Father I know that You are just and fair, but I have seen milk and beef prices falling, while costs rise, and so I pray that You, the just God, will step in and restore fairness for farmers.

I also pray for rain, to help the grass, and other crops, grow.

I pray for those who are really struggling, who feel isolated, or even hopeless.

Please draw especially close to those who have lost loved ones, through the virus, or in other ways.

Thank You for everyone who is playing their part in helping our country through these difficult days, from government to our NHS.

Help me to know that as I help to feed the world, what I do is important and valuable too.

Thank You that I am so precious to You, that Your Son Jesus has died to bring me into a living relationship with You, for every day and forever.

Help me to trust in Jesus and experience His strength, wisdom, encouragement and peace, knowing that Jesus is in charge of my life, my family and His world.

In Jesus’ name I pray,


Back to News