Church about the Dale

 The “Church About the Dale” trailer is an ecumenical project shared by the Deanery of Wensley and the local Methodist chapels. About 18 months of planning has led to the purchase of the trailer and the establishment of our logo and website.  The trailer was unveiled at the end of July and has been on pilgrimage since 23rd August.  The Pilgrimage will end with a service of celebration at The Jonas Centre in Redmire on 31st August led by James, Bishop of Ripon.

In future the trailer will be used to inform those living along the A684 about the life and work of the local churches.  It aims to share the love of God throughout the community and provide active support to isolated areas of the Dale.

For several years the churches have hosted a marquee at the Wensleydale Agricultural show.  However, it was recognised that to have a more permanent show case for the church could be of benefit.  At the same time, the Wensley Synod Standing committee began considering how we might better serve the many remote villages and hamlets in our area… We particularly wanted to provide a source of help, advice and encouragement to those facing debt or isolation.  As we prayed we came to recognise that a fully fitted out trailer would enable us  to to bless the more remote communities where the church is less in evidence, and to offer a place of refuge, peace, prayer and healing at events, shows and a variety of other gatherings.

A Consultation Paper from Ripon Cathedral claims that, “Social issues such as loneliness and isolation are actually bigger issues in the rural community than in the urban ones due to the recent cuts to services such as the buses, the libraries, the post offices, etc.  Compounding this problem is the lack of Internet access to huge areas of the region.  Government (both local and national) tends to think in terms of centralising services and providing more and more information online believing it is the efficient method of delivery. These policies leave the rural communities without the most basic level of support…Urban solutions just do not transpose to the rural environment.  Yet the rural voices go unheard.”

This sums up well our purpose behind the trailer project.  We are acutely aware of the issues highlighted by the cathedral - isolation, debt, poverty and lack of access to services in the remote areas of the Dales -  and we hope to be able to demonstrate how the church is not only relevant but also active in providing support through the use of the trailer in the future.

Click on Photos for more photos and a slideshow


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