"Rowan the Rainmaker" meets the Rural Team
The Oxford Diocesan Rural Team met the Archbishop of Canterbury during his recent visit to the diocese. "The diocese of Oxford is very rural with a large proportion of the population living in rural communities", said Canon Glyn Evans the Diocesan Rural Officer in his overview of the diocese . " Two thirds of the benefices of the diocese are either wholly rural or have a rural parish included in them" . The Archbishop heard presentations about rural social inclusion, farming, the work of a rural multi parish Vicar and reflections on the differences between urban and rural perceptions of church and community. Summing up his thoughts, the Archbishop spoke about the need to have people in the Church to help root the church in the theology of the land and creation; he also spoke about food security and rural stress. The Archbishop had been Bishop of Monmouth during the Foot and Mouth crisis in 2001 and remembers the important work done by rural stress organisations and by the church during that period.
Canon Glyn Evans also thanked the Archbishop for bringing the rain. " You will go down in the annals of the Team as Rowan the Rainmaker" he told the Archbishop. The rain was being welcomed particularly by farmers anxious about the effects of the driest weather for many years. Feeding livestock has been a problem for many producers.
The meeting took place over lunch with the majority of the food on the table being sourced locally from within the diocese. Bishop Colin was present and the meeting was hosted by Andrew and Jeanette Collett in their farmhouse; the sun shone long enough for a Team photocall with the Archbishop.