Farming Matters!

Resources for Rogationtide services
including material to link with

'Beating the Bounds'

Many churches, especially in rural areas, 'Beat the Bounds ' of their parish. We hope that the following notes are helpful.
Whether you walk or hold the service in church the ideas behind the ceremony can help to focus our thoughts on farming and rural communities on whom we depend for so much.
The suggested readings, prayers and hymns are from various publications. Some have been chosen to sing as you walk, e.g. 'We are marching'. Others can be split to sing at several points, e.g. The Benedicite'. If you make copies please ensure that you have permission.

Before selecting your readings and hymns for beating the bounds take a working party on the proposed route, do the required safety checks, and decide on your stopping points. This will also give you the opportunity to check any awkward gates, stiles, roads and crossings and if you need to ask permission to pass through private land (Forestry etc.). You should ask the advice of the Police if your route is along the road or crosses main roads. Taking a mobile phone is a good idea in case of emergencies, and make sure someone has a first aid kit.

Anyone who cannot manage the walk might be happy to be part of your back-up team; meeting you at pre-arranged points with food, extra drink or to collect the weary. With all your preparations done, have a good day!

A selection from the following readings could be used at the meeting place to set the scene and explain why we are setting out to 'beat the bounds'.
Village/community. God created us to live in 'community'.

Genesis 2 v. 15 - 24. - Ephesians 5 v. 15 - 20

Boundaries. Identity and territory have been linked throughout history - for peace or war. Knowledge of tribal boundaries was important and they would be marked in some way; mining claims were staked for registering; villages and later parish boundaries were known by roads, streams and stone markers. There were two reasons for walking the bounds. One was to learn where it was in the days when there were no maps. The other was to check that no one had moved any of the marker stones and therefore laid claim to your land.

Deuteronomy 19 v. 14
Other readings may be appropriate before setting off.


Matthew 6 v. 5 - 15
Philippians 4 v. 4 - 7
Mark 11 v. 22 - 24


1 Kings 8 v. 35 - 36

Famine:1 Kings 8 v. 37 - 40

Psalm 95 v. 1 - 7
Psalm 100
- this could be split and used at various points.


Rogation prayers in:-

'Seasonal Worship from the Countryside'

'Common Worship'(C.of E.)pages 1279/1280;also the sheet 'Prayers for Rogation-tide' available from the NFU or from The Arthur Rank Centre, NAC, Stoneleigh Park, Warwks, CV8 2LZ.

The following verses would be appropriate for various places, depending on your locality and chosen stopping points.

Farming: cattle }Psalm 50 v. 7 - 11
sheep }Psalm 65 v. 9 - 13
corn }Psalm 107 v. 33 - 38
Sky/clouds:Psalm 104 v. 1 - 4
Rain/streams/rivers: Psalm 104 v. 10 - 13
Quarrying/mining:Job 28 v. 1 - 11
Sea/fishing:Psalm 104 v. 24 - 26;-
Psalm 107 v. 23 - 32
Village shop/pub/ hotel/bakery: Psalm 104 v. 14 - 15
Orchards/gardens:Genesis 1 v. 11 - 12


The following hymns are taken from a variety of books. If you wish to make photocopies please make sure that you hold a current Christian Copyright Licence or have the permission of the relevant copyright holder.

All creatures of our God and king ( S of P/ AMNS/ NEH/ C &P)
All people that on earth do dwell (S of P/ AMNS/ MP/ NEH/ S)
All things bright and beautiful (S of P/ AMNS/ NEH/ C&P/ S)
All things which live below the sky (S of P)
And did those feet in ancient time (S of P/ AMNS/ NEH)
Beauty for brokenness (S/ SH94)
Eternal Father, strong to save (AMNS/ NEH)
Fear not rejoice and be glad (MP)
For the beauty of the earth (S of P/ AMNS/ NEH/ C&P)
For the fruits of his creation (AMNS/ MP)
From the rising of the sun (MP)
Glad that I live am I ( S of P)
God is working his purpose out (S of P/ NEH/ S)
God who made the earth (S of P/ C&P)
Great is thy faithfulness ( MP/ SH94/ S)
He's got the whole world (C&P version) Could add in 'sowers and reapers'.
Jubilate ev'rybody (MP)
Let us with a gladsome mind (S of P/ AMNS/ NEH/ C&P)
Morning has broken (S of P/ NEH/ C&P)
Now thank we all our God (S of P/ AMNS/ MP/ NEH/ C&P)
O Lord my God (MP/ SH94/ S)
O Praise ye the Lord (S of P/ AMNS/ NEH)
O Worship the king (S of P/ AMNS/ MP)
Praise God from whom all blessings flow (various versions MP/ S etc.)
Praise the Lord (S of P/ AMNS/ NEH/ C&P)
Praise to the Lord (MP/ NEH/ C&P)
Rejoice O land (S of P/ AMNS/ NEH)
Rejoice in the lord (MP)
The earth is yours O God (C&P)
The king of love (S of P/ AMNS/ NEH)
The Lord's my shepherd (AMNS/ MP/ NEH/ S)
Think of a world (C&P)
We are marching in the light of God (SH94/ S)
We thank you Lord (C&P)
Will your anchor hold (MP)
You shall go out with joy (MP/ C&P/ S)


S of P / Songs of Praise; - AMNS / Ancient & Modern New Standard;
MP / Mission Praise; - NEH / New English Hymnal; - C&P / Come & Praise;
SH94 / Spring Harvest 94; - S / The Source.

Many of these hymns and choruses can also be found in other publications.

Useful Telephone Numbers:

Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution
(can provide financial and other help)
01865 724931

Farm Crisis Network
(provides pastoral support for farmers)
07002 326 326

Main index Worship indexTop

©2003 Countryside Matters!