Rural and Agricultural Issues
Many of the people in the diocese live in rural communities, with some in remote villages. One third of parishes have fewer than 500 people and almost half have a population of less than 3000. Life in these small communities is distinctive. As a diocese, we seek to acknowledge and respond to this difference, and to the particular challenges and pressures facing rural communities.
In particular, the Diocesan Rural Officer, together with the Rural Team (lay and clergy volunteers) focuses on the issues and concerns of those living and working in rural areas. The Officer and Rural Team work to:
- Keep abreast of national, regional and local, trends in rural issues including rural proofing and response to rural social exclusion
- Be alert to and raise awareness of changes in farming and agriculture
- Keep the Church informed of rural issues and concerns
- Build bridges between the Church and rural organisations and communities
- Assist clergy and lay people within the diocese to understand rural society as a distinctive context for ministry and contribute to the diocesan policy, and decision making where it affects rural churches and people
Glyn also works for the Farming Community Network. For more information see www.fcn.org.uk
The Diocesan Rural Office liaises with local parishes and communities and with farming and rural organisations, including
- Voluntary and community organisations working closely with rural communities such as:
- Farming organisations including those working to alleviate stress in the farming industry.
- For a full list of organisations see Farming Help
- Health and social services including mental health services
- For example the Thames Valley Suicide Prevention and Intervention Network (SPIN)