Rural celebrations at St Oswald’s

Over the last 100 years the face of rural Britain has changed considerably. The drift from the land, which began during the industrial revolution and intensified by two world wars, continues.

Livestock from overseas such as Holstein, Limousine and Charleroi cattle are now common sights in the fields having joined the more native Friesian, Hereford and Ayrshire breeds.

In the early summer large areas of the countryside are turned golden yellow by vast fields of oil seed rape a further indication of the changes taking place as agricultural practices adjust to meet market demands. The tractor and combine harvester have supplanted the horse the binder and the threshing machine and large industrial size machinery working in the fields is now a familiar sight in the countryside.

In common with many rural churches three services are traditionally held at St Oswald’s to mark Plough SundayRogation and Harvest. These services have their origins way back in time. A time when the majority of the population worked on the land and the implications of a good or poor harvest were more immediately felt when a poor harvest could easily mean starvation or famine.

A fact not so apparent today with a choice of so many well stocked supermarket shelves to choose from.