Faithful celebrate life of a cauliflower
Monday 29 September 1997
The Salvation Army's brass band belted out We Plough the Fields and Scatter and the congregation sang heartily. Sadly, the acoustics of the shopping mall left a lot to be desired, as did the surroundings.
In place of stained glass hung placards emblazoned with special offers and instead of candles, there was neon lighting; refrigerators hummed in the background and a checkout bleeper went off intermittently. But that, apparently, was not the point. What mattered was that they were praying in a public place. Just like Jesus.
The theme of the sermon was "From Soil to Shelf", a homily on what a wonderful job Asda does in getting a cauliflower all the way from the fields to its shelves in Lower Earley, near Reading, for a grand sum of 30p. It was not even given by a vicar.
Andy Clarke, director of fresh produce at the supermarket's headquarters in Leeds, had travelled to the store especially for the occasion.
He treated his "life of a cauliflower" address as something of a sales pitch. "Did you know during a year you can buy 50 different varieties of cauliflower? When you buy a cauliflower you know the last hand that's touched it is the one that's picked it." During the prayers, members of the congregation brought gifts to the altar (a converted jumper display stand).
As the Reverend Simon Howard, of Trinity Church, in Lower Earley, thanked God "for farmers ploughing and digging", two women trundled to the front with a pair of green wellies and a pitchfork. Prayers "for fishermen, miners and oilmen," called for coal and a white hard hat. A briefcase, sweatshirt, checkout overall and saucepan were offered as "symbols of our thanksgiving". Prayers were said for suppliers, pickers and shelf stackers.
"Oh Lord, sustain them in their work and help them to find satisfaction in their service of others."
- 1 Hair loss explained: How and why men go bald
- 2 Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe the Stark may have a twin sister
- 3 Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
- 4 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
- 5 Russia 'accidentally reveals' number of its soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine
Most expensive city to live in for expatriates: Luanda, Angola takes number one spot with Hong Kong and Zurich in top three
If Surrey were Syria: Social experiment shows what it's like to live under siege
Video of Irish 'professional boxer' fighting Istanbul neighbourhood goes viral in Turkey
Irish tourist filmed fighting with shopkeepers in Turkey says they 'messed with the wrong man'
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal get peerages
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith calls for urgent ESA overhaul as part of drive to cut down welfare costs
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive + incentives + uncapped comms: SThree:...
£13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Are you passionate about sale...
£25000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A large financial services company...