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New Bishop Of Portsmouth Visits Isle Of Wight

The new Bishop of Portsmouth has been visiting the Isle of Wight.

Among the stops for Bishop Jonathan Frost was St Mary's Church, Brading. There, he was pictured meeting locals and animals alongside his wife Christine.

The couple met volunteers who are helping to learn about animals on the small farm, run by the church. Over lockdown, the church transformed its hall into a shop selling local, organic, animal-friendly and Fairtrade items, and has turned a small meadow into a farm for goats, chickens, pigs and sheep.

Shop manager Aleksandra Morley said:

"It has really gone from strength to strength. People appreciate our vegetables, which are local and freshly-picked. They might pop in for tea and cake, and to relax and chat, and then decide to buy some of our ethical products.

"We want to provide accessible opportunities to buy things that won't harm our planet."

Volunteer Lucy Idle, 14, is one of several young volunteers learning about animal husbandry as part of the Level Land Farms project.

She said:

“I come twice a week, help to muck out and look after them. I’m an animal person and I’d love to work with animals in some way. It’s good to have a church where they really look after the environment.”

While on the Island, Bishop Jonathan also met with worshippers and community leaders at Newport Minster. 

He also made a point of calling in at HMP Isle of Wight, as part of his passion to tackle issues relating to poverty and justice.