New rural consultant for the Methodist and United Reformed Churches

The Revd Graham Jones is to be jointly appointed by the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church as Rural Consultant. His appointment will run for six years from 1 January 2006, and he will be based at the Arthur Rank Centre at Stoneleigh, the headquarters of the Royal Agricultural Society of England.

Graham is currently Chaplain at the University of York and minister of an Anglican Methodist Local Ecumenical Partnership in the York South Circuit. He served previously in the Hull East Circuit where he was also a prison chaplain. Prior to ministerial training he was a residential social worker.

In his post as Rural Consultant Graham will encourage rural congregations to engage with their communities with renewed confidence; allow the rural voice to be heard in both the Methodist Church and the URC; and enable both denominations to contribute effectively to the development of government rural policies.

Graham said, 'I am excited by the challenges facing rural communities in Britain. I want to be able to play a significant and distinctive part in the work of the Arthur Rank Centre as it continues to make its contribution to developing and implementing rural strategies in the churches and in wider society.'

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