Call for prayer as rural communities face hardship
The Arthur Rank Centre is asking Christians to spare a thought for the needs of rural communities and some of the bigger issues affecting Britain's countryside.
It is inviting churches to spend some time on June 26 praying for the people who live, work and worship in the countryside as part of ARC Sunday.
The ARC said many people involved in farming were going through difficult times.
Whilst for some the situation is improving, it said others were facing problems of increased transport costs, lack of broadband access and finance, and the continued scourge of Bovine TB.
In particular, the ARC is concerned for some 900,000 households who are living on or below the poverty threshold in rural England, and those who feel isolated in places where demographic change, the lack of affordable housing, and the withdrawal of services are all taking their toll on communities.
Director of the centre, the Rev Dr Gordon Gatward said: "We want to encourage Christians to reach out to the wider rural community in prayer and in action on Sunday 26 June, particularly to those who are suffering hardship or distress, and remember that the Arthur Rank Centre is here to help in that task."
Worship materials have been made available for ARC Sunday, including specially written readings and prayers.
These can be downloaded from the ARC website: www.arthurrankcentre.org.uk