A RURAL focus group organised by the diocese has been assisting isolated addresses in Lancashire with the help of the fire service.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service have been performing regular farm safety visits and delivering information from Help Direct, Farm Community Network, individual churches and the fire service.

Rev Chris Halliwell, who chairs the group, said: “We are delighted to be co-operating with the fire service in our work with rural communities and we really appreciate the hospitality that is offered to us by officers.”

Bishop of Blackburn the Rt Rev Julian Henderson attended the latest group meeting in Garstang Fire Station, and heard about the initiative and the issues that face rural communities in the local area.

The issues raised were loneliness, isolation and the inability to gain easy access to many public services.