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For the first time, the Church of Scotland has chosen to have a 'farming minister' to help support the agricultural community.
Rev Chris Blackshaw, who was previously the Chaplain at the Cumbria Agricultural Chaplaincy, is a Methodist minister and has also worked hard at encouraging farmers to talk about their mental health and support each other.
His new role will see him continue to support agricultural families and provide a bridge between them and the National Union of Farmers in Scotland.
In a Church of Scotland statement they say: "The new role has been warmly welcomed by National Farmers Union Scotland and rural charity RSABI who say the perilous state of the ailing sector is taking a 'serious' toll on the health and wellbeing of many people who too often 'suffer in silence'."
Rev Chris responded to the role positively: “There are not many jobs I couldn’t do on a farm so this is the ideal job for me – showing people the love of Christ by walking alongside them.”
He said: “I go to the local market and call at farms to let people know I am there to provide support and share in celebrations and happy times as well."
Chris added: “I have been very pleasantly surprised by the faith that exists amongst the farming community.”
Rev Chris Bradshaw will continue to visit the weekly livestock mart and attend annual agriculture shows and hopes to host a lambing thanksgiving service on a sheep farm in the future.
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