A few weeks ago I had the privilege of acting as one of the Chaplains to the Kent County Show. Over the space of the three days that the show ran, I managed to walk 23 miles round the Detling Showground
chatting to visitors, exhibitors and stall holders. One of my highlights was spending time with our Young Farmers from Brockhill Performing Arts Academy. Our young people were fantastic; they showed a tremendous work ethic, preparing and showing their animals, as well as a vast amount of knowledge of the
animals they cared for. Their hard work and enthusiasm paid off as they came home with a large number of prizes. I also think I may have managed to persuade the school to purchase a Belted Galloway, my favourite cattle breed, for next year! Let’s wait and see. Our young people have a great knowledge of farming. The same cannot be said for many in our society. One of the aims of events like the Kent County Show is the education of the general public. I saw and listened to several presentations on food production: how eggs
develop, how milk is produced, that kind of thing. The most disheartening conversation I had over the three days was also to do with food production. A young lad had been invited by a fruit farmer to come and collect some apples. The boy cheerfully went with the farmer to get the fruit but was confused when he saw the apples on the trees in the orchard. ‘Why,’ he asked, ‘had someone taken the apples out of their box and stuck them on trees?’ It was really saddening to think of a young boy from Kent who did not know where
apples came from. On the other hand, I remember a really wonderful conversation I had
a few months ago with a young Dad in the village. He was walking along the footpath, in the field next to the church, with his young son. They were both looking at the new lambs in the field. I commented on
how lucky we were to live in such a place and he agreed and went on to tell me that he could remember, as a young boy, walking through the same field with his father, to look at the lambs. Two ‘Boys of Kent’ with very different levels of understanding of the countryside, one who from his earliest memories would know where lambs come from, the other who had to be told where apples came from. We are so lucky to live in this place. Whenever I tell people that I live in Saltwood, the almost invariable answer is, ‘what a lovely place it is.’ We are fortunate to be here and as the world continues to become darker almost by the day it is easy for us to forget the plight of others and just relax and enjoy our good fortune. So, the next time you stop and think, ‘Thank you Lord, for this wonderful view, sight, place’, (or whatever it is that you are thankful for), maybe also remember someone who is less fortunate, and ask the Lord to bless them. Your
generosity of heart will not go unrewarded, and you may even feel better yourself.