Weather and Farming, Spring 2020
Farmers have always had to battle the weather but this year it has been very unsettled. Problems began for some in August where flooding occurred in the North of England.
Autumn was particularly wet which meant that many crops usually sown at this time were not. About a third of the potato crop couldn’t be harvested. The recent storms have caused more problems for farmers of all types. Livestock can be difficult to reach, and sheep may have to be housed earlier than usual prior to lambing. Those who are lambing will have difficulty finding dry land to turn out the ewes and lambs creating pressure on shed space.
The ground is so sodden that there are concerns as to when it will be dry enough to plant with spring crops. Damage to fences walls and outbuildings all add to the difficult picture. In some areas flooded fields have lost any crop already sown. All of this creates a very difficult situation for our farmers and the impact on their mental health can be serious
Please pray for the farming community on whom we depend for our food:
Loving God, we pray for all whose lives have been affected by the recent floods, for farmers who have lost livestock and crops, those whose homes have been flooded and businesses ruined.
As the clear-up begins, be with those who fear the days ahead, unsure of how to keep farm and business going. Give them the strength to cope now and hope for the future.
Bless the communities as they support each other and bring light out of the darkness.
In Jesus name, Amen
If you need help:
Local responses to flooding
Some rural communities have also started appeals for financial support for local people and businesses. If you are aware of other local initiatives, please let us know and we will add these to our website.
Shropshire & Marches Flooding Appeal
The flooding following Storm Dennis has hit parts of the Wolverhampton & Shrewsbury District very hard. The Shropshire & Marches Methodist Circuit are raising money to offer assistance to those most badly affected.
Whilst recognising that floods have affected many communities, following extensive conversations they have chosen to split the monies given between the following two organisations.
Love Tenbury: Tenbury Wells was extensively flooded. Churches working together in the town, including the Methodist Church, are actively considering setting up a hardship fund. Money given will either go to this or to fund activities which build community cohesion in the aftermath of the flood.
Borderlands Rural Chaplaincy: Whilst news about the floods has focused on homes and businesses, huge areas of agricultural land are under water. Winter-sown crops have been destroyed. Spring sowing will be delayed. Livestock farmers have also been hit. This is one of many challenges currently affecting farmers. Borderlands supports those farming families under extreme stress.
How to help: Please send any money raised to the District bank account in one of the following two ways:
1. By bank transfer to Wolverhampton & Shrewsbury Methodist District, The Co-operative Bank, sort code 08-92-99, account no. 65495391 quoting reference “Flood relief”. At the same time please email firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us about the donation, e.g. the amount and who it is from or the circumstances in which it was raised.
2. By cheque payable to Wolverhampton & Shrewsbury Methodist District and sent to the District Office, Beckminster Methodist Church, Birches Barn Road, Wolverhampton WV3 7BQ. Please mark the back of your cheque “Flood relief” and tell us in a covering note who it is from, with contact details, and if not a personal donation tell us how the money was raised.
Important — Gift Aid: Personal donations are very welcome and, if paid directly to the District (i.e. not via your church), will potentially qualify for gift aid and thereby increase the amount by 25%. If you have not previously made a gift aid declaration to the District, Janet will be happy to send you a form to complete on receipt of your donation.