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Rural Ministry

Here in Norfolk, we are surrounded by beautiful countryside and agricultural culture. Life for rural parishes and clergy is very different from their urban counterparts and in today’s financial and political climate, we understand how difficult it can be for those in agricultural employment which is why we offer a listening ear as well as practical advice.

The Bishop’s Adviser for Rural Affairs, Revd Chris Ellis, is available for consultations.

How Village Churches Thrive

Bishop Jane and Archdeacon Catherine are hosting online sessions to share ideas with clergy, laity and volunteers to highlight current issues and encouraging stories from rural churches.

The sessions are based on chapters from the book ‘How Village Churches Thrive’ and are taking place once a month on different dates through 2023. Each meeting is between 6-7pm.

Future dates and login details

Bishop Jane would love to be joined by clergy, PCC members, churchwardens, AWAs and anyone supporting the rural church. If you missed a session and you would like to watch it back, please email

The discussions are based on chapters of the book, ‘How Village Churches Thrive’ which you can buy from Church House publishing here.

To find out more about the book, watch the actor and church enthusiast Hugh Dennis introduce it in this short video.

The Farming Community Network

The Farming Community Network (FCN) is a voluntary organisation and charity that supports farmers and their families through difficult times.

FCN runs a confidential national helpline: 03000 111 999 open 7am-11pm every day of the year and an e-helpline

FCN has a wide network of volunteers in England and Wales and a growing group in Norfolk, many of whom are involved in farming, or have close links with agriculture. They have a great understanding of the practical issues farm workers and farming families regularly face including financial difficulties, animal disease, mental health, retirement, succession and family disputes.

FCN works closely with YANA and RABI who offer professional mental wellbeing support and finance, as well as Norfolk YFC, the NFU, CLA, Norfolk County Council and many other relevant organisations.

Volunteers will be attending the Royal Norfolk and Aylsham shows and other agricultural events during the coming year.

Whilst providing help to those in difficulty is a core part of FCN’s work, it aims to be proactive in rural communities to encourage the maintenance of good health and wellbeing and planning ahead so farmers are less likely to experience problems. It develops engaging campaigns, leads research projects and produces wellbeing publications.

FCN is positive about farming’s future and aims to encourage and support new entrants and celebrate the vital role agriculture plays in providing solutions to global challenges.

For further information about FCN’s work in Norfolk or volunteering opportunities please contact its RSO for Norfolk on 07866 803798 or via email