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New Local Charity Supporting our Rural Community 16 Nov

Lincolnshire Rural and Agricultural Chaplaincy is a new charity for the rural and agricultural communities in Greater Lincolnshire widening the Agricultural Chaplaincy work across the county.

Rural stress, isolation and high rates of suicide are familiar issues associated with farming and it is essential for Lincolnshire to retain an agricultural and rural Chaplaincy position. The current Agricultural Chaplain Alan Robson is now joined by four Associate Agricultural Chaplains covering the south, mid and north of the county and this charity will fund their great work.

Chaplaincy has proven to make a difference to the wellbeing of food and farming in this county. Working alongside other rural charities, The Lincolnshire Rural and Agricultural Chaplaincy is different from LRSN and other charities with which Rev. Alan Robson collaborates. Chaplains are a comforter, a catalyst for change, a champion ensuring rural voices are heard and a connector creating links between organisations and people. This charity needs your support to fund the many different roles and skills an Agricultural Chaplain covers.

The trustees have set a very bold objective of raising £1.5M to create an endowment fund. This will allow us to ring fence these funds, guaranteeing our rural and agricultural chaplaincy service in perpetuity. This is a fantastic opportunity for the agricultural community to join in partnership with the church and have a stake in the chaplaincy service.

Independent research has confirmed what excellent value chaplaincy is and for every £1 spent the chaplains generate £10.43 of benefit to the rural community of Lincolnshire.

Chairperson Meryl Ward commented “The launch of the new Charity comes at a critical time for the rural and agricultural community as we face the biggest change in rural policy for a generation. Chaplaincy is an essential service to rural life, providing pastoral care, independent voices to champion rural issues and being that catalyst for change. Canon Alan Robson has achieved so much already, and now is the time to extend his work. Please give generously to strengthen this service.”

The current Agricultural Chaplain Rev Canon Alan Robson explains how this charity differs from The Lincolnshire Rural Support Network which he founded in 1998 “This is a new development increasing ‘people centred’ capacity on top of the outstanding work of colleagues in LRSN. Chaplaincy is consistently creative and refreshing how we communicate faith, hope and love for all people in an ever changing agricultural and rural landscape. This is the right time to launch an additional group of passionate individuals who will meet the needs of vulnerable people whoever they are in the countryside. We will be raising the mental health and social care issues in our rural and farming family and also collaborating with a wide range of partners to connect town and country as we all face the challenges of climate change upon our social community lives. The Chaplains will be well placed to aid others and LRSN in that holistic spiritual reflection.”

To discover more about the charity and how you can donate visit lrac.org.uk or follow Lincolnshire Rural and Agricultural Chaplaincy on Facebook and Twitter @LRAChaplains.

Image: Three of the Associate Agricultural Chaplains from Left to Right – Rev Lee Gabel, Rev Sue Hentley, Rev Al Jenkins and Agricultural Chaplain Rev Canon Alan Robson

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