New rural consultant for the Methodist and United Reformed Churches

The Revd Graham Jones is to be jointly appointed by theMethodist Church and the United Reformed Church as RuralConsultant. His appointment will run for six years from 1 January2006, and he will be based at the Arthur Rank Centre at Stoneleigh,the headquarters of the Royal Agricultural Society ofEngland.

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

In his post as Rural Consultant Graham will encourage ruralcongregations to engage with their communities with renewedconfidence; allow the rural voice to be heard in both the MethodistChurch and the URC; and enable both denominations to contributeeffectively to the development of government rural policies.

Graham said, 'I am excited by the challenges facing ruralcommunities in Britain. I want to be able to play a significant anddistinctive part in the work of the Arthur Rank Centre as itcontinues to make its contribution to developing and implementingrural strategies in the churches and in wider society.'