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Back to work

30 January 2015

IT USED to be "Plough Monday" in medieval times - the first day back at work after the 12 days of Christmas. At that time, ploughs were often kept in the church, and sometimes a "plough-light" was kept burning. Since the Victorians revived the ceremony, the blessing of the new working year has been on Plough Sunday, the first Sunday after Epiphany.

It is celebrated annually at St Edmundsbury Cathedral in the largely rural diocese of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich, when a plough and tractor are blessed on the cathedral green after a choral evensong in the cathedral. This year, the plough and tractor were provided by Andrew Blenkiron, who is estate director of the Euston Estate, chairman of the Bury St Edmunds NFU, and vice-chairman of the Suffolk NFU. During the service, the lesson was read by a local farmer, James Stamper, and the prayers were said by the Agricultural Chaplain, Canon Sally Fogden.

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