A combine harvester in a field A combine harvester in a field

Rural Ministry

Churches have a place in creatively serving rural communities through living the gospel of Christ in response to the needs of our times.

Approximately half of the parishes and churches in the Diocese of Chelmsford are defined as rural (settlements of less than 10,000). 

Churches have a distinct place at the heart of rural communities. We recognise the unique challenges faced by rural communities including social isolation caused by reduced access to public services. We aim to help rural churches to creatively serve their communities and respond positively to the needs of our times.

Chelmsford Diocese is committed to enabling rural churches to serve Christ effectively through supporting clergy and lay people in their ministry. 

Rural Adviser and Agricultural Chaplain

The Diocesan Rural Adviser and Agricultural Chaplain, Revd Canon Janet Nicholls provides support, advice and practical help across our diocese.

Janet supports rural life and churches across our diocese. She represents the diocese on rural matters and provides chaplaincy for the farming community. She works with a number of agricultural and rural organisations and charities to provide practical help for those who live and work in rural areas of our diocese.

Janet is available to preach and speak at events and can be contacted on 01371 851317  or via email or on facebook as Rural Adviser for Chelmsford Diocese.

A cornfield


A variety of resources to support the church in the countryside can be accessed from the Arthur Rank Centre via www.germinate.net


Revd Canon Janet Nicholls has written a Harvest Report for 2022 which contains detailed crop information for our diocese and may be useful for our clergy prepariing for Harvest festivals. You can read the report on the link below. 

Harvest Report 2022 

The Agricultural Festivals

The Agricultural Festivals of Plough Sunday, Rogation, Lammas and Harvest Festival provide opportunities for the church to be at the heart of rural life.

Our Chelmsford Diocese resource pack contains materials for four agricultural festivals (Plough Sunday, Rogation, Lammas and Harvest) includes materials for worship, sessions for primary school visits, resources for Messy Church and All Age services, and resources for youth groups alongside some theology and information about these festivals. You can request a printed copy of this pack below. Alternatively download the relevant PDF from the digital download list.

Printed Version - This pack is available in printed form on request from Revd Janet Nicholls

For more information or to report anything wrong with this page please contact Janet Nicholls