Nick Read: October 2017
The launch of the Borderlands Butty Van at Oakwood Farm, Longville, brought around thirty farmers together for breakfast and an introduction to the rural chaplaincy. Butty Van chaplains Virginia Clements and Samantha Campbell, team leader David Gwatkin and fellow chaplain David Dutton were assisted by several helpers who welcomed the farmers, cooked meals and provided drinks.
Prior to the launch the chaplains had distributed fliers around the local area and sent out personal invitations to the pilot event which, staged around farm buildings, used a gas barbeque to cook the food. One of two brothers who attended commented, "We've got to have breakfast anyway so we might as well have it here." Another farmer felt that Borderlands has "pushed the right button" with the Butty Van idea.
According to Paul Trenberth of the Borderlands core management team, every church in the Apedale group of parishes was represented at the event, which indicates the level of support from "those in the pews" for this latest Borderlands initiative. The success of the morning, he said reinforced the plan to purchase a van and fully establish the mobile venture in the very near future. Meanwhile two further Butty Van mornings are scheduled to take place on local farms before Christmas.
Following the launch David Gwatkin commented, "I was able to have three conversations that were pastoral. Most of the farmers would not ordinarily have contact with the church or a forum for social interaction with other farmers."
Paul Trenberth said the morning was very successful. "We are grateful to Derek Price and his wife for allowing us to use Oakwood Farm for our first ever event. One farmer offered his farm for a future event which indicates the level of support."
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