Pay More For Your Daily Bread To Help Farmers, Says Archbishop Of York
The Archbishop of York has called on British consumers to pay more for their food in recognition of the contribution that farmers make to national life.
And he predicts a "bright future ahead" for farmers when Britain leaves the European Union.
Dr John Sentamu, writing in the January edition of the British Farmer and Grower, says it is no accident that so many of Jesus' parables are set in an agricultural context.
"Whether it is in sowing, growing, and reaping, or in tending, shepherding and keeping stock, the meaning and mystery of life is revealed in the sacred covenant of God and nature," he writes.
Farming matters, because "The earth is the Lord's", he says, quoting Psalm 24.
"I don't know what will happen to farming when we leave the EU – but the skills, fortitude and resourcefulness I have seen indicates a bright future ahead," he says.
Whether it's English cheese, Scotch Whisky, Welsh lamb or Northern Irish beef, people want to buy this country's top-quality produce, he adds.
Sentamu, who last year undertook a six-month prayer pilgrimage through towns, villages and farms across his 2661-square-mile diocese, says he has become aware of how much farming is changing.
He writes: "The situation for many livestock farmers is that they would be better off financially if they gave up producing cattle and sheep. Hill farmers continue to have a precarious existence where the pressure on prices are such that it is difficult for a decent living to be made, with dairy producers bearing the brunt of poor prices."
This is why, he continues: "British consumers should pay more for the food they purchase at our supermarkets in recognition of the contribution made by farmers to national life."
Sentamu takes to the road again this year as he prepares to visit all 21 deaneries in his diocese.
"I hope that, as disciples of Jesus in the Diocese of York, we will invite all we meet to get to know Jesus more deeply. It's about all of us accepting Jesus' invitation to life in all its fullness, being encouraged in our journey of faith and being open to the grace of the Holy Spirit," he said.