Blessing the lambs …

Date: Friday 6th May 2016

IT seemed like a miracle when, after days of rain, snow, frost and bitter winds, Sunday afternoon turned out dry and almost warm. At St. Theobald’s Church, Musgrave, parishioners had gathered for the annual service of thanksgiving and blessing of the lambs.

The Rev. Kristy Pattimore, Network youth minister for Appleby deanery, conducted the service, giving a lively address on Jesus the Good Shepherd who loves each of his flock and knows each one of us by name.

Geoff Gordon, of St. Lawrence’s, Appleby, kindly played the organ, and Barbara Dowson and Clive Hutchinson were readers along with five of the older children. Everybody prayed for farmers and farming community and those who make decisions which affect them, giving thanks and praise for all the wonder of creation.

After the children had presented shepherds’ sticks and toy animals for a blessing, everyone went out to where farmer Andrew Wells had penned a ewe and her lambs near the River Eden. Kristy gave a blessing for them as representatives of all our local sheep and lambs.

Everybody sang All Things Bright and Beautiful heartily very fitting in the lovely field by the rushes and river, with views of the Pennines not far away.

Next, the children and grown-ups, led by Pat Mitchell, made a huge circle for a dance about a farmer, his sheep and his lazy daughters. Then all went back into church for Kristy’s address, prayers, dedication and a final hymn.

A plentiful and delicious tea rounded off the afternoon, accompanied by lively conversation as young and old from the scattered parish and beyond mingled and enjoyed each other’s company.