Celebrating Upper Eden’s springtime harvest of the lambs …
THE true “harvest” for most farmers in Upper Eden is the springtime harvest of lambs, so St. Theobald’s, the “church by the river”, at Musgrave, each year holds a service of thanksgiving and blessing of the lambs, surrounded as it is by mile upon mile of sheep farms, their green pastures now live with hundreds upon hundreds of little lambs.
This year, church members were delighted that the Bishop of Penrith, the Right Rev. Robert Freeman, came for his first visit to the parish, to preach and to bless the lambs.
The little church was packed and the singing of favourite hymns filled the building. There were prayers for the farmers, farms and animals and for those who make the policies which affect them. Children brought shepherds’ sticks to be blessed by the Bishop.
Everybody then went out to where a ewe and lambs were penned by the River Eden, and where the Bishop pronounced a blessing to include all the surrounding farms and all the people.
Everybody sang All Things Bright and Beautiful and the children, with some helpful adult dancers led by Pat Mitchell, performed a circle dance on the grass.
It told of some naughty sheep and lazy shepherdesses and was greatly enjoyed by young and old.
All returned to church to hear Bishop Robert speak of the Good Shepherd who knows each one of us better than we know ourselves, loves us through thick and thin and will never abandon us.
The readers were Clive Pattinson, Barbara Dowson, Elspeth Clarke, Bishop Hewlett Thompson and David Opperman, who also played the organ. The farmer who brought his Texel ewe and lambs was Andrew Wells.
A fine spread of tea, scones and cakes, accompanied by plenty of conversation, transformed the occasion into a big tea party.