A Melbourn church has hailed its first Plough Sunday Service a "huge success".

All Saints Church in Vicarage Close held the service as part of plans to build relationships with the local farming community.

The event saw a tractor and plough blessed by the Acting Bishop of Ely, Rt Revd Dr Dagmar Winter.

Royston Crow: Plough Sunday at All Saints Church in Melbourn has been hailed  a huge successPlough Sunday at All Saints Church in Melbourn has been hailed  a huge success (Image: NFU)

Rev Andrew Birks, who became the vicar of the parishes of Melbourn and Meldreth in November, held the event as a show of support for the local farming community.

Rev Birks is eager to support farmers in the area and promote the National Farmers’ Union (NFU) and its work to support and celebrate British farmers and growers.

He said: “The Plough Sunday service was a huge success from our perspective.

“We had around 70 people in attendance, including some local farmers and I hope it will be the start of us building a relationship with the farming community.”

Royston Crow: A tractor and plough were blessed at the serviceA tractor and plough were blessed at the service (Image: NFU)

Rev Birks is from a farming background and said he understands the challenges and pressures farmers are facing.

He wants to hear from farmers about what more the churches can do for them.

Rev Birks is particularly eager to support mental health in farming and help the farming community in its efforts to tackle rural crime.

An NFU survey found that issues including rural crime, soaring costs of production and unfairness in the supply chain have contributed to poor mental health of farmers and food producers and has called on politicians to address these issues.

Rev Birks said: “Farming can be a very lonely and isolating existence.

Royston Crow: Rev Andrew BirksRev Andrew Birks (Image: NFU)

“I want farmers to know they are not alone and we are there for them.”

The NFU represents more than 45,000 farming and growing businesses across the country, with the aim of championing British agriculture and horticulture.

For more information about the NFU, visit nfuonline.com.