Deep Wells and Green Pastures – Bishop of Leicester’s Rural Commission Report 2018

Deep Wells and Green Pastures – Bishop of Leicester’s Rural Commission Report 2018


I’m enormously grateful to all the
members of the Rural Commission who have been working so hard in recent months
and have produced an excellent report. I’m particularly grateful for the
listening that they’ve done as they’ve traveled around the diocese convening
meetings of different church groups, different community groups, hearing
people’s joys and concerns and bringing all that together in a very clear report. It’s been a privilege to be part of the
Bishop of Leicester’s Rural Commission of “Deep Wells and Green Pastures”, looking at
the rural life of our diocese identifying and celebrating many of the
good things which are happening in the rural Christian community I know when I
speak to many people across the country, of Leicester they usually think of us as
a urban multicultural multi-faith community and that we are certainly, but
we’re right in the heart of rural England and actually in terms of land
mass, most of our diocese is actually countryside and so one of the big
changes we hope that will come from our work in the Rural Commission is a change
in the way we think about ourselves to being fundamentally a rural diocese that
has towns and a big city at its heartlands. Our title of this Commission is “Deep
Wells and Green Pastures” and that’s actually been our experience all the way
through our listening, our praying, and are discerning something of the future.
That’s why we’ve come up with the idea of WAGOLLs learning from our schools and
school children. A WAGOLL is something that speaks of a green pasture or a deep
well it’s “what’s a good one look like?” We recognise that that means affirming
much that’s there already, it also means changing some things and
reshaping the way that we are Church in the 21st century, and above all it means
learning from one another not just staying in our isolated little worlds in
the city or in the town or in the countryside but coming together as one
diocese sharing what it means to be the people of God now, and discovering that
we have riches to offer one another in our learning, and in our practice Not
every village now has its own minister we share our minister with five other
parishes. The services are not every Sunday so that connection of regularity
with our community is something that we have to work harder on, so getting out to
lay people, talking to the village community, finding that connection so
they value the Church as part of what they are here for, part of what they come
to live in a village for. I arrived here in Leicester in 2014 and this is a very
new environment to me and to my family because this is England and this is the city, and we miss the farm that we have in the Philippines and
that’s the time that I developed my understanding of God, that through the
help of the priest who works with the farmers in the
farms, and that’s the opportunity for me to learn that God came here that people
will have an abundant life and so it’s really nice that to see that the diocese
now is working with the farmers because to me, it makes this diocese a real home to me. If we could only do that as one
community then we will see God working even more with us in our growt,h and in
our change, and in our confidence that He provides for us Deep Wells and Green
Pastures. So the challenge now is how we take the recommendations of this report
and put them into action across the diocese. I’m committed to doing that, I
hope you’ll take it away and look at it at PCC meetings and deanery meetings all
around the diocese as together we seek to celebrate what God is doing in our
midst. www.bit.do/RuralCommission

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