The Rural Focus Group for Blackburn Diocese is organising a short conference on mission in a rural context. The conference is taking place on September 20th 2023 from 9.30 am to 1.30 pm at Grimsargh Village Hall, PR2 5JS. A free ploughmans lunch will be provided.
The conference is open to anyone who has at least some rural areas within their parish, and ideally more than one representative from a parish will be welcome.
The Revd Cindy Rigney, Chair of the Group said, “it is hoped that those who attend will leave the morning with a concrete mission idea to develop in the parish. We aim to run at least one mini conference a year for people who are working in a rural or semi-rural context. Often the conferences have broad themes and are not necessarily just aimed at the Church community, but this time the conference is for lay and ordained Church leaders who are involved in mission planning within the parish context."
The guest speaker and leader at the conference will be Archdeacon Dr Hayley Matthews, of the Diocese of St Asaph.
Born and brought up in rural Worcestershire, Hayley’s passion for rural life has remained lifelong. Moving to the Northwest as a young adult, Hayley was ordained and served her curacy in Blackburn Diocese and is familiar with Beacon Fell and the Forest of Bowland, where many sermons have been written, and motorbike rides taken!
Latterly, as former Director of Lay Ministry in the Diocese of Leeds, covering a vast area of the Yorkshire Dales, Hayley developed new Lay Ministry pathways that would enable people to grow in discipleship & confidence; growing into ministry in their various contexts, through the ‘Setting God’s People Free’ project.
Hayley also led a diocesan project to develop a Digital Learning Platform that enabled those in isolated communities to join with others, across the Diocese, in fellowship and lay ministry training, whilst enabling Diocesan Officers the facility to reach their rural laity with a variety of support and training. This has now developed into a national consortium led by Coventry Diocese, to enable content and resource sharing across the Church of England.
Now Archdeacon in rural North Wales, Hayley says, ‘I have the privilege of encouraging clergy and laity from a wide range of rural contexts to engage missionally with their communities from a place of faith, hope and love for the Diocese of St Asaph.’
To book into the conference, please use the Eventbrite link by clicking here. Bookings need to be made by 11th September.