Special Days, Weeks, Months

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In both the church calendar and in our wider communities there are many special days, weeks, and months that highlight all sorts of issues from World Environment Day, to Meadows Week, to Bogtastic Day on Exmoor.

These days offer a great opportunity for churches to put on events that tie in with our wider communities and add to the whole.

Details of such special days will be added here as we get details - if you come acros any you would like included please email info@devonchurchesruralforum.org.uk

14 - 20 May, Mental Health Awareness Week

Julia Neville writes: The Church is well placed to make a significant difference in the area of mental health. We can be a force to end stigma, and we can also be a place of inclusion, welcome and ministry. Mental Health Matters is working to make mental well-being a priority in our churches today. For more information see: http://www.mentalhealthmatters-cofe.org/ ; https://www.mindandsoulfoundation.org/; or read The Emotionally Healthy Church Workbook: 8 Studies for Groups or Individuals, by Peter Scazzero, Zondervan 2015, £6.99

From the rural perspective in particular, rural isolation and the various issues that affect our farmers' wellbeing are all important. More info available from the Farming Community Network.

21 - 27 May, Dementia Action Week

The Alzheimer’s Society says: ‘This year, Dementia Awareness Week is changing to Dementia Action Week. Raising awareness and offering support will always be important, but it’s time we all act to make change happen for people affected by dementia’.

Sally Farrant writes: People living with dementia in rural areas face particular challenges. Ian Sherriff, Academic Partnership Lead for Dementia at the University of Plymouth highlights these: lack of transport; fuel poverty; lack of broadband; lack of access to health and social care provision; living below the poverty line; and less of a sense of community. Here in Devon he recommends linking up with these organisations to work together: regional Parish Councils, local groups of Mother’s Union and the WI, Age Concern groups, local GP surgeries and local rural schools and Young Farmers as well as Dartmoor Rescue. Julia Halpin is a Parish Nurse in the Two Rivers Team Mission Community covering 11 parishes and recommends Parish Nursing for parishes wanting a caring and creative approach to pastoral care and mission, see http://parishnursing.org.uk/. Send your experience of living with dementia in rural areas to Sally Farrant, sally.farrant@exeter.anglican.org

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3 Jun, Environment Sunday

The Sunday nearest the UN’s World Environment Day. This year’s theme is ‘Beat Plastic Pollution’, see Beating Plastic Pollution for information and resources.

10 Jun, Open Farm Sunday

The 2018 theme for LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) Open Farm Sunday will be ‘The Great British Farm Day’ with a clear call to action to farmers, the farming and food industries and the public, to be part of it.. The day offers a chance for everyone to take part whatever the size or type of enterprise so it’s an ideal time for churches and farmers to collaborate to celebrate the work of those who produce our local food. Let Julia Neville know if you plan a local event that we can list next month, julia.neville@exeter.diocesan.org