Rural Affairs Constable Julian Fry and Force Chaplain Roger Bird met a very special guest at a recent harvest festival event in Holsworthy.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend Justin Welby, was the guest of honour at the National Farmers Union Harvest Festival Service at Holsworthy livestock market on November 10. 

PC Julian Fry, from the Devon and Cornwall Police Rural Affairs Team, said: “I had a really good heritage crime discussion with the Archbishop Justin Welby, he was also keen to discuss rural crime and its impact on remote farming communities.”

“Police Chaplain Roger Bird came along to support me for the event and around 100 farmers attended. I want to extend my thanks to the team at the venue for inviting the Devon & Cornwall Police Rural Affairs Team and chaplain Roger Bird to the Harvest Festival. It was a really positive event and allowed us to speak to a large number of farmers as well as the Archbishop. It was clear how important this festival is in the farming year and how faith and religion is a central theme to the lives of so many of our rural farming families.

“I was delighted that his Grace, the Archbishop, was clearly interested to learn more about rural crime and our conversation about heritage crime and current heritage crime trends was really encouraging. We feel privileged to be part of the extended farming family.”

Verena Breed, Archdeacon of Barnstaple, helped organise suitable locations for Archbishop Welby to visit during his time in Devon.

Verena added: “I hold the brief for rural ministry in Exeter Diocese and am passionate about rural ministry and farming. I approached the livestock market as a possible venue. Thanks to the chaplaincy team and the amazing welcome by Kivells, we were able to organise this year’s harvest service to coincide with Archbishop Justin’s visit. Without this amazing local team the event would not have happened – I am deeply grateful for all the help & support.”

For more information and advice about rural and heritage crime visit the Devon & Cornwall Police website