People 

Site Search
Twitter-button  facebookbutton

 

Sign up for our
free e-newsletter


Send us your latest local news and events

 Latest News 
Loading...

return to the country 750AT

Jesus meets us where we are

Anna Heydon looks back to her early years in the countryside, and reflects on the contexts in which Jesus meets us.

Having spent my early years living on a farm and in a remote rural community, I have happy memories of country life: milking the cows, a crazy school minibus driver who scraped up roadkill and put it in the back of the school bus for her cat, space and freedom, exploring abandoned ‘haunted’ buildings in the woods behind our house, small school classes with pupils from different years taught together, and snow days from school when our battered Land Rover couldn’t get through the vast snowdrifts which blocked our lane.
 
But life in rural areas has its fair share of challenges, which can include limited public transport, seasonal work and job insecurity, poor phone and internet connections, no access to mains gas, few community buildings or facilities. 900,000 people in rural Britain live below the poverty line and 18% of households experience fuel poverty. Those living in rural areas pay three times more in transport costs in spite of the fact that on average their earnings are lower.
 
Some of the joys and struggles of country life were brought home to me when I spent time with Rev. Mandy Bishop (Rector, Flegg Group, Ormesby). As she drove me round the group of parishes she ministers to, Mandy spoke with compassion, humour and obvious affection about life in country communities. She emphasised the importance of developing a deep understanding of the dynamics of the area, and of personal relationships. I was particularly struck by her accounts of simple but profound encounters with local people as she walks her dog on the beach each morning.
 
I was reminded of when Jesus met the Samaritan woman by the well. Jesus didn’t rush with his disciples to the centre of the village. Instead he chose to stay on the outskirts, and to spend time with this one individual as she went about her everyday work. Jesus relates to her using a context which she understands, and which is significant to her in her rural life, telling her that he can give her “living water” and that those who drink this water will “never be thirsty again.” As a result of his time with this one woman, many from the village came to hear what Jesus said and believed.
 
Whether we live in urban or rural settings I think we can be challenged by Jesus’s concern for reaching out to the individual and relating to them in the context they understand and operate in.
 
The above image is courtesy of https://www.cuf.org.uk

Anna Heydon 200AT


Anna Heydon is Development Worker for Imagine Norfolk Together in Great Yarmouth, a joint venture between the Diocese of Norwich and the Church Urban Fund, a national organisation set up by the Church of England to combat unmet needs in communities.

Read more about one of their projects here.

Visit: https://www.cuf.org.uk/together-norfolk

 


 

The views carried here are those of the author, not of Network Norfolk, and are intended to stimulate constructive and good-natured debate between website users. 

 

We welcome your thoughts and comments, posted below, upon the ideas expressed here. 

 

Click here to read our forum and comment posting guidelines


Do you appreciate our service and stories?

The Network Norwich & Norfolk website has been published for over 13 years now and we have an established team of professional journalists covering the activities, organisations and churches which make up the county’s Christian community. Our whole purpose is to support that community by daily providing accurate, unbiased stories and features.

To pay for that service, we rely on our partner organisations, advertisers and readers to, in turn, support us financially. We want to keep the website free for everyone to access and continue to be able to pay for writers to produce the content you can enjoy every day.

We would like to ask you to consider supporting our work and suggest you might want to make a small regular donation of just £1 a week and become one of our 100 Friends, or a larger one-off or annual amount.

Because we are part of a registered charity we can reclaim Gift Aid on your donations if you are a tax-payer.

Click here to fill out a standing order form and to add an extra 25% for free via Gift Aid

Click below to donate instantly via a credit or debit card or Paypal


 Recommended reading 

 

email envelope

Read more stories like this... Register to receive our bi-weekly email newsletter

Network Norwich and Norfolk > People > Opinion > Jesus meets us where we are

 Norfolk services........ 

 Accommodation......... 


Loading...