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Agents of love

by Michael Ford last modified 24 Jul, 2021 02:08 AM

As our new deacons continue in their first year of ordained ministry, some are learning about the joys and challenges facing our agricultural and rural communities.

The Revd Jenny Nelson is based in the Three Valleys Benefice, south of Sherborne.

She says:

"As Deacons we are called to be agents of God’s purposes of love, to serve the needs of God’s people in the communities in which we are set, and to bring to the Church the needs and hopes of all people. It is interesting to reflect on this in the Three Valleys Benefice.

"It was wonderful to be at St Hippolytus at Ryme Intrinseca on Sunday for the early Book of Common Prayer (BCP) Communion with Revd George Moody and the warm congregation in a beautiful place.

Agents of love- Ryme Intrensica Church

"There is something special about the BCP Service in these sacred rural spaces, with its memorable rhythmic language and cadence which calms and stills the soul in the grace and mercy of God, ‘not trusting in my own righteousness, but in God’s manifold goodness.’ The words seem to grow within us. [photos here]

"Worshipping at St Andrew’s School, Yetminster an hour later the same morning was extraordinary, and it was good to be with around 50, families and children, to worship with church, school, and community, to meet with those speaking of justice and peace and God’s Kingdom in this place.

Agents of love- Salisbury Livestock Market

"I am thankful for the opportunity to visit Salisbury Livestock Market and Ryland’s Farm, home to Future Roots as well as the first Countrymen UK Group, which provides a range of services and activities to men with long-term health and social conditions and to their families, with Revd Richard Kirlew (Rural Chaplain) and Revd Bev Hervé (St Marie du Castel and St Matthew Churches, Guernsey).

"It is good to meet people where they are and to learn more about the challenges facing our agricultural and rural communities. [photos here]

Agents of love- Morning Assembly and Prayers, All Saints Primary School, Blackmore Vale

"I'm also thankful for a lovely Morning Assembly and Prayers with the children of All Saints Primary School and a beautiful view of the Blackmore Vale. [photos here]

"Incarnational ministry is an important focus in rural communities. Many of the points we focused on in our training (on the Rural Pathway) at Sarum College are in evidence here: joining in the community and listening for the needs of the community and ways of belonging in the rural Church.

"It has been good to begin to put some of this into practice as we hold people in our hearts through the current challenges facing the rural Church and the rural communities in which we are set.

"Thanks be to God and for the Three Valleys Benefice, for all these opportunities to pray, serve and grow." [photos here]

Below: the Revd Richard Kirlew at Rylands Farm

Agents of love- The Revd Richard Kirlew at Rylands Farm

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