As a diocese which enjoys many benefits from its rural communities and the farming industry within them, it is important that we are aware of the issues affecting them.
The Rural Officers aim to work with parishes to bring about a growing sense of awareness of the changes, both positive and negative, while offering encouragement and advice to all who work, live, worship and visit rural areas. They aim to build up the level of pastoral support to those directly affected by the present changes.
Two Rural Officers with specific responsibilities are:
Revd Hugh Baker (with particular focus on broader rural issues)
3 Vicarage Gardens, Mirfield,
West Yorkshire WF14 9JL
Revd Dennis Handley (with particular focus on farming)
The Rectory, 2 Westgate, Almondbury
Huddersfield HD5 8XE
Present government initiatives receiving a special focus:
- The incorporation of what was the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food into DEFRA.
- The setting up of the Commission for Rural Communities.
- The Rural Strategy (2004).
- The England Rural Development programme.
- The Government's Regional Rural Affairs forums, that have been established for each English region.
- Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) single payment scheme 2005.
- The Environmental Stewardship Scheme.
Biosecurity when visiting farms
For information about the Blue Tongue Virus, Bovine Tuberculosis and important biosecurity measures necessary when visiting farms, follow the links below:
Biosecurity when visiting farms
Biosecurity when visiting farms - procedures and checklist
Blue Tongue Virus Information
Blue Tongue Virus - detailed information (large download - pdf 4MB)
Bovine Tuberculosis Information
A group of communities fighting plans to close their Post Office branches has launched a national organisation, Communities Against Post Office Closures (CAPOC) and hope that their experiences of dealing with the nationwide plan to shut 2500 branches will help other communities who may not yet know they're being targeted.
The website, www.postofficeclosures.org.uk, contains a wealth of hard-learnt lessons, advice on how to fight PO Ltd proposals, contacts in the media, politics, community affairs and other protest groups, briefings, copies of reports, documents and links to other useful websites, a forum in which to share views and opinions and much more.
For current or back copies of information and advice please click on the links below:
RuSource - help for the farming community - practical support groups and advice.
Thoughts from a Northern Mart - September 2008
Yorkshire Church on Show - a Christian presence at the Yorkshire Show - Autumn 2010 newsletter.
A review of 'Seeds in Holy Ground' - a workbook for rural churches.
Introduction to the Rural Officers .
Rural Harvest Resources from the Yorkshire and Humberside Churches Regional Commission.
Useful rural links:
Agricultural Christian Fellowship
ARC - Addington Fund
Arthur Rank Centre
Campaign to Protect Rural England
Christian Ecology Link
Churches Tourism Association
Farm Crisis Network
National Farmer's Union
Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institution
Rural Community Councils
Rural Evangelism Network
Rural Stress Information Network
Yorkshire Church on Show