It is a fantastic event. If you like huntin’, shootin’ and fishin’ – which I don’t – then you can buy all the stuff you need. If you are a very rich farmer you can buy the latest £80,000 baler or tractor. If you are a struggling arable farmer you have a chance to compare this year’s disastrous harvest with the people you’ve known all your working life – and those who have given up.
If you have no interest in agriculture but love flowers and woodcraft and horses and trades stands then it’s also the place to be.
It is, quite simply, the place where Cornwall gets together for three days. And right at the heart of all that is good are Christians: farming, winning prizes and sharing good news.
The team of show chaplains work out of a Churches Together marqueee which serves thousands of cups of tea and coffee during the week. This year there will be a Biblefresh theme in the marquee, including regular dramas on Bible themes.
Also, on the night before the show, there’s a service in the main parade ring which is publicised by the the Royal Cornwall Agricultural Association as well as the churches around the county. Church leaders help to lead the service and to commission the team of chaplains.
This year I was asked to write a new hymn for the event. Here’s a sneak preview. If you know the tunes to Who is on the Lord’s side (they are called Armageddon and Rachie) then you can hum it to yourself – if you dare!Heaven’s heart is pulsing to Creation’s hymn: as the Father speaks, the new world starts to sing. Light and love are radiant – everything is good. All the world is ringing with the song of God. Say among the nations, ‘let the earth rejoice, for the Lord is worthy of our highest praise’. Golden on the hillside, shines the evening light. All of heaven’s palette shades the infinite. Every life is marked as God’s own work of art: won, through cross and suffering; saved and set apart. Say among the nations, ‘let the earth rejoice, for the Lord is worthy of our highest praise’. Now Salvation’s rhythm moves our feet and hands: ‘do the works of justice’ is the Grace command. Make us more than singers in redemption’s choir, so the lives around us see our hearts on fire. Say among the nations, ‘let the earth rejoice, for the Lord is worthy of our highest praise’. Copyright © 2011 Gareth Hill Publishing/Song Solutions CopyCare, 14 Horsted Square, Uckfield, TN22 1QG www.songsolutions.org