Ripon Cathedral is perhaps one of the most Rural Cathedrals in the country and this was heavily in focus on Sunday the 23rd of August when they played a part in a new project that is set to help those who live in Wensleydale.

The Church about the Dale project has been set up as an ecumenical project between the Methodist and the Anglican Church.  The project aims to promote social inclusion and the good news of God’s love for all creation through both Methodist and Anglican outreach.

To carry out this project an exhibition trailer will be travelling up and down the area of Wensleydale providing active support and advice on issues such as debt, isolation, poverty, farming and community.

Rev. Michael Hepper, who is the Area Dean for Wesley Deanery said “We are already involved with Hope Debt services, providing debt counselling and advice to the Dales. With the trailer we can take the services out into the field and provide local advice and referral. In terms of isolation, we will be providing space when on tour for people to meet, to sit and to talk. We will also be taking referrals for visitors from the churches to call and help relieve isolation.  With regard to poverty although we don’t have monetary resources, we do have the ability to signpost people on to other organisations and services such as food banks.  Alongside this the trailer will also provide an opportunity to show support and solidarity to the Farming community”.

To celebrate the fact that this new resource for Wensleydale is ready, the trailer visited the Cathedral as a starting point for the pilgrimage of Blessing which will take place between the 23rd of August and the 31st of August.

Canon Ruth Hind, Canon Evangelist, along with Rev’d Michael Hepper, Area Dean, were involved in the first service of the pilgrimage outside the west doors of the Cathedral on Sunday Afternoon.  The service was a focus of blessing on all aspects of the area from Churches and Chapels, schools and hospitals to farmers and crops.

Canon Ruth Hind, said   “As Canon Evangelist of Ripon Cathedral, I am delighted to support the launch of a project which intends both to serve the rural community and speak of the Good News of Jesus.  Prior to working at the Cathedral I was Assistant Area Dean of Wensley and so I am very aware of the hard work and determination it has taken to get this far and am delighted to pray for the success of the initiative “

The Trailer will continue on pilgrimage throughout Wensleydale til the 31st of August when it will finish at the Jonas Centre with a final service followed by a barbecue.

For more information look at http://www.church-about-the-dale.org.uk/

Canon Ruth Hind, Canon Evanglist and Rev'd Michael Hepper, Area Dean of Wensley

Canon Ruth Hind, Canon Evanglist and Rev’d Michael Hepper, Area Dean of Wensley