Rivers of Life

A celebration of 10 years of rural life in the Diocese of Leeds with Bishop Anna and Dean John.

Sunday May 12th 3.30pm

By Canon Wendy Wilby

These past 10 years have speedily flown by with the Diocese exploring different ways of working in virtually every aspect of its life. One of the challenges has been having three cathedrals serving one Diocese, when, let’s face it, the norm has always been one cathedral! It has encouraged our cathedrals to recognise that, after all, they don’t have to be all things to all people all of the time. To that end, as ministry has come into focus, Ripon Cathedral and indeed the Ripon Area quite clearly has been called to serve the vast rural community of North Yorkshire with all its joys and concerns. It seems appropriate that, when we take stock and give thanks for the past 10 years, the service for celebrating Rural Life in the Diocese of Leeds is hosted in Ripon Cathedral.

Called Rivers of Life, the service will draw people together from across the diocese thanking God for all those who contribute to, and support rural community, farming and rural business. We will focus on four major areas. Firstly, we will reflect on the huge importance of water in the dales and moors with our fast-flowing rivers and reservoirs, not to mention the problems of increased flooding and water-logged land. We have invited Simon Warwick MBE of the Lower Ure Conservation Trust to share his experience with us. Secondly, farming and food production in this new Brexit age. John Dawson, whose family farms the slopes of Ingleborough, will give us hands-on information as they face all the challenges of contributing to feeding the country. Thirdly, visitors and hospitality, a fast-growing area as we welcome more and more tourists both from this country and abroad to visit our stunning countryside and historic sites. Justin Scully, General Manager at Fountains Abbey, National Trust, will talk about this renowned World Heritage site. Finally, the Rt Rev Anna Eltringham, Bishop of Ripon, will be sharing what she has discovered about community life and community spirit in her first year of episcopal ministry whilst she has travelled around North Yorkshire. Community is central to our ministry as Christians where individuals are to be valued and loved for what they are, the children of God, and where sometimes, as acting as places of Sanctuary, we have made room in our homes and hearts for refugees from war torn countries.

In all these areas we see the work of our Creator God unfolding, and in these past 10 years it has been our task to join in with that work and contribute to the bringing in of God’s Kingdom.

Please let us know if you can make it by emailing Judith Bustard.

Do come and join us at the service, you are most welcome!