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Rivers of Life service to celebrate rural life as diocese marks 10th anniversary

First published on: 29th April 2024

Rural life in all its settings across our diocese will be celebrated at a special service to be held at Ripon Cathedral on Sunday, May 12.

The Rt Revd Anna Eltringham, Bishop of Ripon and the Very Revd John Dobson, with the support of the Rt Revd Nick Baines, Bishop of Leeds, invite people from all parts of the diocese to share in Rivers of Life – a celebration of the many facets of country living.

Canon Wendy Wilby, from the Cathedral, said: “These past 10 years have speedily flown by with the diocese exploring different ways of working in virtually every aspect of its life.

“Ripon Cathedral and indeed the Ripon Area quite clearly has been called to serve the vast rural community of North Yorkshire with all its joys and concerns.

“Called Rivers of Life, this service will draw people together from across the diocese thanking God for all those who contribute to, and support rural community, farming and rural business.

“We will focus on four major areas.

“Firstly, we will reflect on the huge importance of water in the dales and moors with our fast-flowing rivers and reservoirs, not to mention the problems of increased flooding and water-logged land.

“We have invited Simon Warwick MBE of the Lower Ure Conservation Trust to share his experience with us.

“Secondly, farming and food production in this new Brexit age.

“John Dawson, whose family farms the slopes of Ingleborough, will give us hands-on information as they face all the challenges of contributing to feeding the country.

“Thirdly, visitors and hospitality, a fast-growing area as we welcome more and more tourists both from this country and abroad to visit our stunning countryside and historic sites.

“Justin Scully, General Manager at Fountains Abbey, National Trust, will talk about this renowned World Heritage site.

“Finally, Bishop Anna will be sharing what she has discovered about community life and community spirit in her first year of episcopal ministry whilst she has travelled around North Yorkshire.

“Community is central to our ministry as Christians where individuals are to be valued and loved for what they are, the children of God, and where sometimes, as acting as places of Sanctuary, we have made room in our homes and hearts for refugees from war torn countries.

“In all these areas we see the work of our Creator God unfolding, and in these past 10 years it has been our task to join in with that work and contribute to the bringing in of God’s Kingdom.”

The service starts at 3.30pm, and for further information, please contact Judith Bustard, Cathedral Office, on 01765 603462 or email

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