David’s story

david's story

The chaplaincy and wider agricultural community was shocked and saddened by the tragic suicide of a local farmer, well known to myself personally and many others.

My thoughts and prayers went out to family and friends forced to come to terms with the loss of a loved one. Although the Church, through the chaplaincy, had an opportunity to respond pastorally, this terrible incident forced us to ask serious questions about how we as the rural Church can best respond to such tragedy.

My prayer is that through the growing stress of a struggling industry – the ecumenical Borderlands Chaplaincy may grow in its ability and resources to be more proactive in ‘meeting people where they are’, whether in the tractor cab, in the livestock market, or the quiet early morning hours of the lambing shed.

We must seek to be incarnational in our support of those who involuntarily find themselves too busy to make Church, too rushed to talk, too overwhelmed by the daily grind of farming to seek help.

As a young man actively involved in farming, my ministry is to sometimes suffer alongside them through my own farming life as well as through theirs. I believe giving farmers and their families time to talk, is about genuinely showing we value them enough to listen and that we care enough to reach out in the darkest of times and walk alongside them.

David Gwatkin
Borderlands chaplain