Rural Ministry: Supporting Rural Communities
Our rural communities are an important part of "Cheshire Life" which our Diocese seeks to serve.
Rural Support in the Diocese:
Economic factors are placing great strain on many of our farmers whilst the make-up of village communities, the price of housing, and the changing uses of the countryside all contribute to social stresses. As well as finding a voice on community issues, we also need to support the mission of the Clergy and Parishes. At present we do not have a designated Rural Officer but the Diocese has been working to ensure that the needs of rural clergy and parishes are met, and that we contribute to meeting the challenges posed as social issues in the countryside. In order to achieve this, the Committee for Social Responsibility has accepted the task of overseeing the Rural Ministry of the diocese, alongside its parallel concern for Urban Ministry and the Parish Development Team has accepted responsibility to support the mission of clergy and parishes. Officers will work collaboratively across CSR and the PDT to ensure that clergy and parishes are supported.
Diocesan Rural Steering Group - meets to organise events, training, support groups and to ensure that a plan for rural emergencies is in place and that relevant information is communicated. The group consists of clergy and lay people from rural parishes across the diocese, the Parish Mission Development Officers and the Director of Social Responsibility, and work in conjunction with the Agricultural Chaplain (Keith Ineson).
Rural Ministry Meetings - two events held during the year for anyone lay or clergy interested in Rural Ministry and mission. The meetings look at parish support and growth and rural issues, and include speakers who address wider issues.
The Arthur Rank Centre Resources
The Arthur Rank centre is an ecumenical Christian charity, which serves both the spiritual and practical needs of the rural community through a programme of community and social projects, resourcing and training. Below are some useful resources from the centre.
- Support for Dairy Farmers
- How Best to Use MC in Rural Areas
- Equipping for Rural Mission Toolkit A sutiable tool kit to help you understand your local congregation and the community you serve.
- Developing Rural and Small Church Worship
- Training & resources for those(especially lay people) leading or creating worship.
- Germinate leaders Course Aims to build creative skills for sural churches leadership.
- Resources for Rural Places of Worship
For more information please contact Keith Ineson Agricultural chaplin at Cheshire Agricultural Chaplaincy on 01270 522576, Mobile: 07967 559594 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Seasons and Festivals of the Agricultural Year (Service Ideas):
Harvest - A great opportunity for the church to connect in imaginative ways with their communities and to bring God to the people at the same time as we enable the community to bring praises and thanks to Him.
Rogationtide - An ancient Christian tradition in which God’s blessing is asked on the crops and on the land that takes place from the Sunday to Wednesday before Ascension Day. It often includes ‘Beating the Bounds’ - when parishioners walk around the boundary of the parish as a reminder to those in the parish and beyond as to where the boundaries lay.
Lammastide - An ancient Christian festival which many village and farming communities have re-discovered in recent years. It is the festival at which the thanks is given to God for the start of the harvest and grain and bread are offered as a symbol of this thanksgiving. Lammas is an Anglo-Saxon word for ‘loaf’ which is followed by ‘mass’ to indicate a Christian festival at which the Eucharist or Communion is celebrated.
Plough Sunday is thought to be a very ancient festival which was revived by the Victorians. Traditionally it is celebrated on the first Sunday after Epiphany, which falls on 6 January.
If you would like to be added to the Rural mailing list please email Hannah Jones