A DEVON and Cornwall police constable and force chaplain met The Archbishop of Canterbury at a harvest festival earlier this month. 

Rural affairs constable Julian Fry and chaplain Roger Bird met The Most Reverend Justin Welby at the National Farmers Union (NFU) harvest festival service at Holsworthy Livestock Market on November 10. Around 100 farmers attended the event. 

PC Fry explained that he had a discussion with the Archbishop about heritage crime and rural crime and the impact on remote farming communities. 

"I want to extend my thanks to the team at the venue for inviting the Devon and Cornwall Police rural affairs team and chaplain Roger Bird to the harvest festival," he said.

"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 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 the visit. 

She 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 and support.”

To find out more or for advice on rural or heritage crime, visit the Devon and Cornwall Police website.