How to encourage rural life

Twenty locals representing a wide range of organisations connected with rural life in the Glendale area sat down to bacon butties and coffee with Jerry Marshall recently in Wooler.

Jerry is the newly appointed CEO of the Arthur Rank Centre, a Christian organisation geared to supporting rural communities and their churches, based in Warwickshire.

Visiting north Northumberland for the first time, he highlighted some of the issues facing rural communities across the country – farmers facing a second appalling year, following last year’s wash out; affording to feed livestock and replanting where arable crops have simply failed to germinate are just two of the issues that farmers currently face.

And where do the solutions lie? Well, he advocated an enterprise and diversity approach to developing and encouraging rural life and talked about the ways in which Christians can help and support people.

It was followed by a lively discussion session.