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Rural and Agricultural Issues

by Michael Ford last modified 16 Nov, 2018 03:07 PM

Many of the people in the Diocese live in rural communities. Church life and ministry in rural areas has its own gifts, opportunities, and difficulties.

Updated Listing = latest updates

FCN's Harvest Appeal

For farmers, it’s good to have someone to talk to when times are hard. Click the graphic below for a PDF with more info.

Farming Community Network


On this page:

Rural Officers 
Farming, Agriculture and Rural Ministry 


The ARC (Arthur Rank Centre) urges us to pray and support dairy farmers. Story here.

ARC prayer for those wanting to support British farmers:

Loving God, we give you thanks for all the food that is produced for us by farmers every day. We thank you especially for milk, a vital food, which we don't always fully appreciate. We pray for dairy farmers and the particular pressures that they face at this present time. We remember farmers under pressure because of low prices and late milk payments, may they know the peace of your presence. May we consumers never take our food for granted and may we value and support those who work tirelessly to feed us.
This we ask in Jesus name, Amen.

Rural Officers

Rural ministry is different from ministry in suburban and urban communities. It requires some understanding of how rural communities work, how people make a living in rural areas, and how many others appreciate the rural landscape as a place for recreation.

Rural Officers are available to support local parishes and ministers as they engage in mission and ministry in our rural areas. Training opportunities are provided for clergy who are new to rural ministry. Worship materials are made available for harvest festivals and Rogation Sundays and other celebrations of agricultural life. 

In times of crisis, as for example during outbreaks of bird-flu and foot and mouth disease, the rural officers will ensure that churches across the Diocese receive appropriate advice.

Rural Officers work closely with other organisations involved in rural and agricultural issues including Farm Crisis Network, which supports farming people in times of difficulty, the ARC-Addington Fund which offers housing for farmers who have to leave their farms and cannot find anywhere suitable to live, agricultural training institutions like Kingston Maurward College, agricultural show committees, and farmers’ organisations.


Farming, Agriculture and Rural Ministry

Outreach to the Farming Community is facilitated by Anthony Matthew, a member of the Farming Community Network.

FCN are a national organisation with local networks able to respond to a huge variety of problems faced by the farming community. For further information, visit
For those in need of support, the Helpline is available every day from 7am to 11pm. Ring 0845 367 9990 or email

Anthony represents the Church as part of his work which includes:

  • Visits to livestock markets, shows, rallies and farm open days
  • Attendance at a wide variety of meetings and forums
  • Networking with volunteers
  • Attending many training days and meetings
  • One to one meetings and discussions on matters of concern
  • Attendance at Diocesan Chaplains’ Meetings

Anthony also has links with the Agricultural Christian Fellowship which “helps its members to serve the farming world.” For further information, visit

For further resources for Rural Ministry contact the Arthur Rank Centre via

Main contact

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