Making her first visit to the Great Yorkshire Show, Bishop Helen-Ann Hartley, the Area Bishop of Ripon, has been taking part in a recording for BBC Songs of Praise which will come from the Harrogate showground in August.
Presented by the Revd Kate Bottley, the popular BBC1 programme will be broadcast on Sunday 19 August. This year is the 160th anniversary of the Great Yorkshire Show and Bishop Helen-Ann was filmed enjoying a cream tea with Kate Bottley as they talked about the importance of the church for rural areas (as well as serious matters such as 'jam first or cream first').
Bishop Helen-Ann said it was a great experience. “It was a lot of fun, and excellent that Songs of Praise came to the Great Yorkshire Show in its 160th year.
“There are many challenges facing our rural communities and to be able to celebrate the faithful commitment of so many to working the land and caring for its produce is a great thing indeed.”
The Great Yorkshire Show is on from Tuesday 10 July until Thursday 12 July and draws in tens of thousands of visitors each day.
Each day begins with Morning Prayer from the show bandstand (pictured) and Bishop Helen-Ann joined with Show Chaplain, Canon Leslie Morley for the first day’s prayers at 7.30am, filmed as part of the Songs of Praise programme.
From there she met with before a wide variety of those involved in the rural economy of Yorkshire including Nigel Pulling, chief executive of the Yorkshire Agricultural Society and chaplains to Yorkshire’s Auction marts .
“I met with people working in agricultural banking, supermarkets, tenant farming, farmer support, and land agency. It has been very helpful in getting a broad sense of many of the issues facing our rural communities today.”
Also exhibiting is the Yorkshire Church on Show pavilion (pictured). This year the theme is Time and already the ecumenical team, led by the Revd Canon James Allison, have been welcoming visitors young and old to the pavilion’s interactive exhibits and prayer areas.