Devon Churches Rural Forum

Seasonal Calendar - Introduction - under development

Our Seasonal Calendar of Worship Opportunities, Community Celebrations and Awareness Days emerged from our 2019 Rural Worship Worskhop. You can read more about the ideas that were discussed at this event here

As we saw, in so many ways rural worship is truly missional. Large proportions of our rural communities enjoy coming together for celebrations of the main Christian and farming festivals held throughout the year, and many also enjoy joining in celebrating the many aspects of community life and appreciate opportunities to come together in remembrance of special people and events.

For each month of our Worship Calendar we have brought together a range of opportunities for both worship and other church and community activities spanning Christian and farming festivals, not forgetting our coastal communities and connections to fishing and the sea, rural tourism, days for focusing on particular aspects of nature and the environment, community and cultural events and rural social issues.

For the various festivals and events we have tried to include links to further information and to liturgies and other resources where we have them.

Some festivals will lend themselves to an act of worship and where we have them, we have included links to liturgies used by colleagues, including some examples used for local events including tree blessings, a cricket tour, Agri shows, a wartime commemoration etc and these can be found on our website here and, where appropriate, as links on the individual months of our calendar.

There are other opportunities not ties to a particular month which can of course be incorporated into any local calendar. Do let us know how you get on!

  • Local food festivals – e.g. Clovelly herring festival
    • Possible blessing of fishing boats
    • Harvest festival of the sea
  • Holy Well blessings
    • Especially where connected with a local or patronal saint
  • Commemoration of local events in history
    • Services of remembrance
  • New business start-ups – or closures
    • Blessings, prayers, acts of closure, remembering in intercessions
  • Local events eg pub openings, new cricket seasons
    • Services or celebrations in situ with prayers, intercessions in church

As well as liturgical services, events that could be considered might include:

  • Picnics - especially for nature and environmental days
  • Throwing a "thank you" party - for example for vulkunteers week or Village Halls week
  • Wild church events
  • Prayer / Awareness Walks -
  • Nature Appreciation walks
  • Theological reflection on seasonality, growth, death,
  • Awareness raising events - awareness raising is in itself always helpful and sometimes results in suggestions for action, sometimes reduces stigma, promotes engagement and understanding.
  • Articles in parish magazines
  • Including in intercessions
  • Asking a speaker to come to an event or service
  • Providing a subject for a theological reflection or prayer group
  • Ask if anyone would like to share their story in church – if this can be done “safely”
  • Take a church stand at a fete and have literature on a range of rural issues available to sign post people to support – especially farming help and support via FCN and FarmWell
  • Hold a church social event for people affected by an issue to come together for support
  • Can you find any case studies related to the issue in your parish – for example difficulty with affordable housing? Collecting these stories and passing them through to the “powers that be” provide colour and texture to dry statistics and help get things changed (this can be done through the DCRF).
  • Some ideas for prayer and awareness walks can be found on our website here
  • Walking nativities and other processions using local landmarks and facilities like the pub and the farm

Further Resources

Ploughshares and First Fruits – A Year of Festivals for the Rural Church by Chris Thorpe

Landscape Liturgies – Resources to celebrate and bless the earth by Nick Mayhew-Smith with Sarah Brush

Rachel Summers; "Wild Worship: Discovering God Through Creation." "Wild Lent: Discovering God Through Creation" and Wild Advent: Discovering God Through Creation."

"Crafts for Creative Worship: A Resource and Activity Book for Parishes." by Jan Brind and Tessa Wilkinnson. 

"Creative Ideas for Wild Church." by Mary Jackson and Juno Hollyhock.

Diocese of Norwich: "Wild Church Toolkit"

"Forest Church: Earthed Perspective on the Gospel." by Cate Williams.


The Calendar will probably always be a work in progress, and new ideas can be added, and most importantly, we hope that you, our readers, will send us samples of liturgies or activities that you have used so that we can include them for others to benefit from.

We hope you may find this section of our website helpful.

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