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Delegates discuss rural issues at Catholic conference
7:00am Wednesday 13th February 2013 in News
A MALTON hotel was the venue for a three-day conference involving delegates from across England and Wales to discuss rural issues and how different policies can impact on areas such as Ryedale.
Some 26 delegates from different dioceses attended the ninth annual National Catholic Rural Conference at The Old Lodge Hotel hosted by Father Tim Bywater, parish priest at St Leonard & St Mary’s RC Church.
As well as speakers on a variety of issues affecting rural areas, including farming, shopping, housing and food and agriculture in the global economy, the delegates also visited the Food and Environment Research Agency at Sand Hutton.
The Rt Rev Terence Drainey, the Bishop of Middlesbrough whose diocese embraces Ryedale, said: “I am very pleased it is being held in Malton because the diocese is twothirds rural and it is important to take an interest on how various issues can impact on rural areas.”
Father Tim said: “Our aim is to develop a rural policy and work ecumenically with other denominations in a rural context.”
Among the speakers was Robert Sword, estate manager for the Dawney Estates embracing Wyenham and Danby.
The first speaker was Victoria Elms who runs The Prince’s Countryside Fund.
She said: “This was a good opportunity to talk to people with a wide role in the community and to talk about some of the issues that affect rural communities such as low incomes, isolation and the lack of village shops, post offices and public transport and how we can support communities to enable such services to continue and develop.”