Delegates from five northern Church of England dioceses will gather at Hadrian's Wall this weekend to celebrate rural communities.

The gathering is part of the Salt and Light Festival, a partnership involving Newcastle, Carlisle, Durham, Leeds, and York dioceses.

It follows the success of the 2022 Small, Faithful, Rural event, rallying rural specialists from across the northern regions for mutual learning and exploration.

Taking place at The Sill National Landscape Discovery Centre near Hexham on June 14 and 15, the festival will host a cadre of keynote speakers and workshops focusing on the historical, spiritual and socio-economic aspects of rural existence.

Attendees can anticipate insights from Frances Ward, Michelle Brown, Patrick Laurie and Sally Shortall, each renowned in their respective fields of theology, history, farming, and rural economy.

The welcome will be led by the bishop of Newcastle, the Revd Dr Helen-Ann Hartley.

She said: "I am extremely proud of our rural communities and the crucial role they play in the life of our region.

"The church is often at the very heart of these communities, so it is important that we play an important part in helping ensure they survive and flourish, both spiritually and economically.

"Many of the challenges they face will be similar across our five dioceses, so this is a wonderful opportunity for us not only to celebrate these communities, but also to share learning on how to protect them for future generations."