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

The Diocesan Rural Officer is Canon Glyn Evans. Tel.: 01608 686749 or 07581 491713 Email:

Glyn also works for the Farming Community Network. For more information see

Harvest Resources

Looking ahead to Harvest, you may find the Farming Community Network’s resources useful. They include a Harvest booklet, children’s and all age worship resource and a PowerPoint presentation.

See more here.

Rural Resource Roadshows

Held in the summer of 2017 the rural roadshows explored the challenges of rural church and ministry and responded to the Bishop of Oxford’s vision and strategy for the future of the Diocese.

View the full presentation here.

Agricultural Festivals

The four agricultural festivals of the church’s year give the Church an opportunity to make agricultural concerns central to the worship of the local church.

For more on each of the festivals:

Plough Sunday, Rogation, Lammas and Harvest

Lightening the Load Resources

Resources from a conference on rural churches and the simplification agenda held in 2015.

Archdeacon Karen – Refine Equip and Enthuse (Powerpoint | PDF)
Hardington Vale: Our Story (Powerpoint | PDF)

Further Contacts

The Diocesan Rural Office liaises with local parishes and communities and with farming and rural organisations, including