The diocese of Ossory will have a stand (L564) at the upcoming National Ploughing Championships in Cuffesgrange, Co. Kilkenny.

K&L stand at 2007 championships

Listening Ear

Clergy from the diocese will man a stand (L564) at the event – which is the biggest in the agriculture sector’s calendar – to meet visitors.

This year’s National Ploughing Championships will take place on a farm in Cuffesgrange, a few miles from Kilkenny city, from September 23 to 25 next.

The diocese’s ‘Listening Ear’ initiative aims at reaching out to rural dwellers who predominate among the thousands who attend the show.

Fr Martin Delaney, who is co-ordinating the diocese’s stand, said the initiative of taking a presence at the show was part of the diocese’s attempt to respond more to the needs of the people it serves and to address the growing sense of isolation among rural dwellers.

It’s a problem we have been coming across more and more and many of them might not feel comfortable speaking to their own local priests about how they feel and might open up more to someone that they do not know

Fr Delaney said he was now busy rustling up volunteers among his colleagues to man the stand over the three days.The base would also give people the opportunity to meet their local clergy in informal surroundings, he pointed out. “People can pop in and meet us and we will be delighted to chat with them,” he said.

This is the official year of vocations and the Ossory diocese exhibition will also be used to encourage people to think about a role in the Church. Information on the priesthood and the religious life will be available and the clergy manning the stand will talk about their personal experiences of working in the Church.

K&L stand at previous championships

It will not be the first time that the Church will have a presence at the Ploughing Championships, which are hosted by a different farm each year.

For the previous two years, as the championships were held within this diocese (Tullow and Killeigh), K&L had an exhibition stand.

Gallery of 2006 and 2008 stands

Watch the slideshow.