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Reverend Fran Dearman with Worship Associate Susan Layng – Reflections on some themes arising from James Rebanks’ recent fran dearmanpublication, “The Shepherd’s Life: A Tale of the Lake District.”

How do we relate to animals? How are we to read a landscape?  How does human activity impact the very earth we walk upon, after millennia of agriculture with some methods more sustainable than others?

James Rebanks’ work is grounded in the day-to-day care of a farm in Northern England — his daily twitters about the work of the farm form the basis of his book. Rebanks’ understanding of agricultural impact has taken him far afield with UNESCO, studying other landscapes than his own.

Rev. Dearman was born and raised on Vancouver Island and likes to think of herself as a “founding toddler” at the First Unitarian Church of Victoria, which she and her family have attended since 1958.

After a career with the Naval Reserve and on Great Lakes freighters as a ship’s officer, Fran went back to school, read classics, then studied at the Vancouver School of Theology. Fran was ordained at First Victoria, then settled for five years as minister serving the Anchorage Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Alaska.

Since returning to Canada Fran has undertaken Interim ministries in Winnipeg, Calgary, Halifax, Mississauga, and most recently North Shore Vancouver. This fall she’s off to Essex County in Ontario. But first, and always, summer with family and friends here in Victoria, and perhaps a little sailing. Full disclosure: Fran was a shepherd for three weeks out East Saanich way, many years ago.