CHURCHES in a Yorkshire dale that is experiencing cuts in public services have launched an outreach project to take assistance to every part of their community.
The project, “Church About the Dale”, involves an exhibition trailer (above), which has this week been offering a place for the people of Wensleydale to meet and talk about any problems that they are facing.
The project has been devised by Church of England and Methodist churches in the dale, which has more than 60 places of worship. A recent consultation paper by Ripon Cathedral found that social issues such as loneliness and isolation were problems for rural communities because of cuts to services such as buses, libraries, and post offices — and are made worse by a lack of internet access.
The Rector of Bedale and Leeming and Thornton Watlass, the Revd Ian Robinson, said: “We hope to be able to demonstrate the ways in which the Church is not only relevant, but also active in people’s lives and in providing support.”
He said that the trailer could be used as a speaking space, or a place for prayer. It has seating, refreshments, and display space.
The Area Dean of Wensley, the Revd Michael Hepper, said: “With the trailer, we can take the services out into the field, and provide local advice and referral. Congregations feel under threat of closure; so the encouragement of the trailer will help them recognise that they are part of something lively and growing.”