Annual Hop Blessing
The Rev Will Mowll, vicar of St Peter’s and St Paul’s, Boughton under Blean, conducted the first annual Hop Blessing service, to offer thanks for another bountiful harvest in the East Kent hop gardens, in his church in September 2003.
Lessons were read by Jonathan Neame, local hop farmer Tony Redsell, and Ian Dixon, Shepherd Neame brewing director.
Soloist Mandy Reynolds from the brewery’s production team sang the Green Leaves of Summer and two-year-old Violette Rose Neame presented a basket of East Kent Goldings hops to Rev Mowll for the blessing.
The congregation comprised local dignitaries from the surrounding area and representatives from the brewing industry.
The Shepherd Neame horse-drawn dray, suitably festooned with Kentish hops for the occasion, was in attendance.
The Hop Blessing will henceforth be an annual celebration of East Kent hops and Kentish ales.