The Agricultural Christian Fellowship (ACF) is open to all Christians in all branches of Agriculture, Horticulture and related activities. It exists to help them to make a Christian response to the many blessings, challenges and problems they face.
The attractions of agriculture…
Farming has always had a special appeal for many of us. Contact with the land and with livestock, the direct concern with producing food, and close contact with God’s creation make up a unique and satisfying calling.
…and the issues it raises
The whirlwind of technological change has brought in its wake much ‘green’ anxiety. We seek to root our response in the realisation that what is generally called ‘the environment’ is God’s creation to be lived in carefully, responsibly and thankfully. More recently there has come a severe economic squeeze which threatens many families, whether farmers, farm employees or those in related industries, with an end to the pattern and meaning of their lives. The ACF, with other partners, tries through the Agriculture and Theology Project (ATP) to be alert to all these issues and to think them through from a biblical perspective. This understanding can then be the basis for trying to influence the context within which are made the decisions that affect us all.
ACF and fellowship
Across the UK there are small ACF local groups. These draw together agriculturally minded people for stimulation, support, fellowship and fun! A variety of activities take place such as bible study, suppers, country & western singing, farm walks and barbeques. There may be a group close-by that you might like to be a part of!
A conference is held once a year at a central or regional location. A topical theme is chosen and God’s thoughts and ideas are gleaned throughout the day. This provides a valuable opportunity to widen your relationships and gives a sense of belonging to a broader network of like-minded people.
ACF and caring
A biblical understanding also heightens our concern to help and encourage each other; to try to dispel the demons of fear and failure that can thrive in hard times, especially when people are locked into their problems in isolation. ACF seeks to help its members to help each other, and to help them together to reach out to other people. ACF and the Arthur Rank Centre together formed Farm Crisis Network (FCN) which is a national charity helping farming families who are facing difficulties.
ACF and evangelism
A potent barrier to the growth of Christian belief is a widespread feeling that Christianity is irrelevant to the world of work. The ACF believes that discipleship involves all of life and that the gospel can, for example, illuminate economic relationships as much as family relationships. The more all-embracing the gospel we live by, the more points of contact we provide for any who are searching for the meaning of their lives.
ACF and young people
In all these areas the ACF has a special concern for young people: that their Christian understanding may grow with their professional expertise. We are particularly keen to relate to Christian students in agriculture and work closely with the Universities and Colleges Christian Fellowship (UCCF) in this respect.
ACF publishes an “update” with news and articles of interest to members. From time to time, through the Agriculture and Theology Project (ATP) it produces particular publications about issues in farming.
The World Trade Organisation and/or Farmers by ACF, Farmers’ Link and Farmers World Network, 2001. 7 pages. £0.50 incl. postage.
Christian Principles Behind Rural Development by Roger Sharland, 1999. 19 pages. £2.50 incl. postage.
The Money-G0-Round by Susan Atkinson, 2002. 40 pages. £3 incl postage.
Biblical Signposts for Agricultural Policy by Christopher Jones, 1991. 69 pages. £4 incl postage.