All roads lead to Llanelwedd this week as the biggest agricultural show in Europe which annually attracts over two hundred thousand visitors takes place. The ‘Royal Welsh’ brings together the best in the world of agriculture and has become a prestigious in its own right by attracting exhibitors from throughout Wales and beyond. The quality of competition in all fields is always of the highest order and with sheep dog trials, sheep shearing competitions, falconry, and the added attractions of arts shows and crafts there’s something for everyone. What more would it take for even an old townie like me to appreciate the immense contribution those who work in farming and agriculture contribute to the nations good? Given ‘Royal’ status some years ago and with more visitors than ever before expected it’s no wonder that the Royal Welsh is the place to be this week. Just to walk around the field and to meet up with those who we may not have seen since last year is in itself a lovely experience, add some good weather and the lovely setting of the Powys countryside and the mix is just right.
Friendship, is of course one of the most precious gifts of life. A true friend is someone who does not fall into the ‘faith weather’ category, but who stays the course of being there for us in good times as well as bad. True friendship is also something which is essentially practical becausewe have to work at it. It means that we do not call it a day when we have differences or when something was needed to be said which only a true friend would say. Jesus always went out of his way to befriend those who were often thought of as the outcasts of society. So much so that the religious people of the day thought his actions outrageous. He broke down barriers with his love and compassion and that love extends to this very day. At the heart of our Christian faith lies the command to love our neighbour, to go that extra mile in service of others and to make the church a home for the friendless and lost. Hopefully the Royal Welsh will be another resounding success this year and that everyone will return from Llanelwedd refreshed and renewed having met old friends and made many more!