FARMING MATTERS: Singing Christmas carols in the livestock sale ring

Virginia Stollery, chairman of the Buckinghamshire committee of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution

Virginia Stollery, chairman of the Buckinghamshire committee of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution

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Young farmers dressed as Mary and Joseph, a farmer’s wife playing the electric organ, and a livestock market sale ring full of farmers and their families singing carols.

This was the very first Christmas Carol Evening to be held by the Buckinghamshire committee of the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution (R.A.B.I.) and it was a great success.

Farmers know how to dress for the weather and so they were togged up in plenty of layers to keep warm in the Thame Cattle Market sale ring, singing nine carols, the Twelve Days of Christmas and listening to readings.

There was even a Christmas tree decorating the ring, and an auction - but instead of selling livestock, on this particular evening, auctioneer Simon Draper was inviting bids for a country print.

Afterwards, there were 200 delicious and festive mince pies to eat and mulled wine to drink.

The evening was led by The Reverend Glyn Evans from the Farm Community Network, a sister organisation to R.A.B.I.

And rural chaplain Jenny Edmans did a reading and led one of the prayers.

Virginia Stollery, chairman of the Buckinghamshire committee of R.A.B.I. said: “We had a lot of fun planning the evening and managed to do it without any rehearsals at all.”