Church service held in Easebourne barn

On a Sunday morning recently the congregations of the Priory churches of Easebourne, Lodsworth and Selham gathered in a most unusual venue – one of the large barns at Buddington Farm in Easebourne.

On a Sunday morning recently the congregations of the Priory churches of Easebourne, Lodsworth and Selham gathered in a most unusual venue – one of the large barns at Buddington Farm in Easebourne.
On a Sunday morning recently the congregations of the Priory churches of Easebourne, Lodsworth and Selham gathered in a most unusual venue – one of the large barns at Buddington Farm in Easebourne.

An old door over a large wooden potato crate served as the altar and the worshippers brought their own garden chairs in place of pews.

Farm workers and tractors carried with their tasks outside the open doors during the service as swallows swooped about.

The dairy cows next to the large barn waited patiently for their turn to be milked in the two robotic milking machines, and their new calves relaxed in their pens near their mums.

On a Sunday morning recently the congregations of the Priory churches of Easebourne, Lodsworth and Selham gathered in a most unusual venue – one of the large barns at Buddington Farm in Easebourne.

There has been a farm at Buddington for hundreds of years, and the present farmer, James Renwick, told the congregation a little about their operation during the service.

His dad Robert took on the tenancy back in the 1950’s, and James with his wife Catherine and their four children took over 30 years ago when his dad passed away.

Buddington is a mixed farm – they grow cereal crops and potatoes. During the season they harvest about 25 – 30 tons of potatoes a day which are sold to supermarkets and for fish and chips shops.

They keep a herd of around 120 Holstein Friesian dairy cows, which produce 4,000 litres of milk a day A few years ago they invested in a milk vending machine which they installed in a refurbished stone shed on the farm dating from the mid-18th century.

On a Sunday morning recently the congregations of the Priory churches of Easebourne, Lodsworth and Selham gathered in a most unusual venue – one of the large barns at Buddington Farm in Easebourne.

After the service there was a queue of people waiting to fill up their bottles with milk which came from the cow less than four hours earlier.

James told the congregation that there will always be challenges for the farming industry, but with hard work and ingenuity this mixed farm has managed to weather those challenges and to look forward to the future.

The next time you are stuck behind tractors or combine harvesters on country roads please forgive an occasional delay and think about our farmers and how hard they work to put food on our tables and reduce food imports.