Rural Chaplaincy

Here for you in all seasons

Rural chaplains are people with a heart for bringing the love of Christ to those scattered across rural and remote areas.

There are a number of initiatives in organised rural chaplaincy in various places around the world. The spirit and ethos of chaplaincy has long been part of ministry.

  • Being present.
  • Building relationships.
  • Meeting Christ in others.
  • Embodying the essence of human life in terms of the triad of relationships: God, people, and land.

This triad pervades the text of Judeo-Christian scriptures and is found at the heart of all indigenous cultures. People living with the land often retain it even in very westernised cultures. Life with the land – the seasons and the variables of weather, markets, and regulations – is always a life of faith.

When Jesus described his ministry in Luke 4:18-19, he did so in the words of Isaiah:
‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.’
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.’

“The good person brings good things out of the good stored up in their hearts.” Luke 6: 45

Around the World

The Agricultural Chaplains Association

Based in the United Kingdom ACA is an ecumenical association that provides support for Agricultural and Rural Chaplains, Farming Support Chaplains, Rural Support Officers, Diocesan Rural Life Advisers and Rural Officers working throughout the churches.

We believe that through our unique calling to serve farmers and rurality in general, we should:

  • Seek to serve people of all faiths and none
  • Share good practice
  • Provide mutual support
  • Be an advocate for the agricultural industry
  • Promote agricultural chaplaincy
Rural and Remote Chaplains – Salvation Army Australia

A 2022 story about the work of two chaplains in the far north of Australia.

This 2020 article speaks of rural chaplaincy as “being a presence with purpose” and describes a variety of ways the Australian Salvation Army supports chaplaincy work.

Rural Chaplaincy is also part of the work of the New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa Territory of the Salvation Army. This story was posted in 2016.

Derbyshire Rural Chaplaincy

A rural chaplaincy in Derbyshire was first established in 2003 following the devastating foot and mouth disease outbreak in 2001. Graham Hinds was the first agricultural chaplain to be employed through a collaboration between the Methodist Church, Workplace Chaplaincy in Derbyshire, and Rural Action Derbyshire. Their byword is:

First and foremost, we want to celebrate all that our agricultural and rural communities offer to our shared life in Derbyshire!

Borderlands Rural Chaplaincy

Working with people of all faiths and none, Borderlands Rural Chaplaincy was begun in 2012 and operates through the Hereford Diocese and the Shropshire and Marches Methodist Circuit. They are funded, supported and managed by churches of denominations including Methodist, Baptist, Pentecostal and Anglican, helping individuals and families through difficult situations such as animal disease, family problems, mental ill-health and the demands of farming processes.

We are a confidential, listening ear offering pastoral support to farmers, farming families and agricultural communities.

Southern Rural Chaplaincy

This is a brand new initiative in the Deep South of Aotearoa New Zealand. Being driven initially by Called South, the Anglican Diocese of Dunedin, the vision is of an ecumenical ministry. Beginning in Southland with Lead Chaplain the Rev’d Barb Walker, it is developing also in Central Otago.

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Get in touch if there is a chaplaincy programme operating in your region