Do you have an example of good practice?

We are looking to compile more case studies of good practice in rural churches.  If your church or group of churches has experience or knowledge in the following areas, do get in touch.  All we need initially is a couple of sentences about what is happening, the location and your contact details.  E-mail:

  1. Rural multi-church groups where the ministry of lay people is encouraged, enabled, and equipped.
  2. Rural multi-church groups that have been able to develop discipleship as a priority.
  3. Strategies and approaches that have helped rural churches to reach out to their communities and grow existing or new congregations.
  4. Churches that have been successfully able to bring different generations together.
  5. Churches/multi-church groups that specifically cater for any of the following age ranges: 11-16, 17-25, and 25-45.


2018-20 Germinate Leadership programme

Germinate Leadership is an exciting programme on leadership in the rural church to help lay and ordained leaders from all denominations to develop creative, entrepreneurial, and strategic skills for effective rural church leadership.  It is a subsidised 18 month programme which includes two residentials, programme days, a leadership style review, mentoring and work shadowing.  A blend of learning styles is used, building on lay and ordained ministry experience from across the denominations.  As a result it is practical, relevant, and tailored to the person and context.  The programme is overseen by an ecumenical steering group.  Bursaries are available.  Applications for the 2018 Germinate Leadership programme are now open.  Click Germinate Leadership for further information.

PCF funding for Germinate Enterprise

We are very encouraged that the Prince's Countryside Fund provided a significant grant to help us develop this rural business start up programme across the UK.  If you have ever considered starting a business or social enterprise, or might be willing to facilitate a programme in your church or community group, take at look at our materials.

Rural Ministry Course, King's Park Conference Centre, Northampton

This course is offered twice a year for those, lay or ordained, who are new to rural ministry.  It explores the current rural contexts, mission and ministry in multiple places, leadership and working with children and young people in the countryside.  It is ecumenical and suitable for those in their first appointment or wanting a refresher.

The next course runs from Tuesday 7 - Thursday 9 November 2017.  Each course can accommodate up to 20 people and early booking is advised.  Click on Rural Ministry Course for further information and booking, or e-mail

Regional Conferences 2018

Rural Ministries are running regional conferences in 2018 entitled 'Mission as a dialogue: reaching your community'.  The eastern regional event is at All Saints' Church in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, on 10 February 2018 from 10 am (registration at 9.30 am) to 4 pm.  Click on Rural Ministries Regional Conference for further information.

Rural Mission Sunday, 15 July 2018

Join hundreds of churches celebrating rural mission; further information will be available shortly.

Germinate Conference, 13 October 2018

A biennial one day event in partnership with all the rural agencies, networks and denominations, to inspire and equip you.  There will be key notes, case studies, and workshops.  Further details to follow.

'Open Welcome'

Open Welcome is a new resource to help rural churches consider how they might use their building to offer welcome and hospitality to those in their community, both residents and visitors.  This free, practical resource includes opening the building, welcoming visitors and telling the story.  Click 'Open Welcome' for further information.

More Information

Running a community event?  A comprehensive easy-to-use 'Can-do' guide has just been published by the Government, aiming to simplify the legal requirements and make things easier.

  • Tell us about your innovative worship!  If you have produced a new worship resource, would you be willing to share it via our Rural Worship Resource?  Please contact Simon.
  • All age worship resources, including full all-age services, shorter services, short talks, seasonal services, dramas, puppet scripts and more can be found at:
  • Help people in need in your community.  Choose a tried and tested project on the The Cinnamon Network website and apply for up to £2,000 towards the cost of starting it in your church.
  • Property Matters from The Methodist Church.  You will find lots of useful and interesting information in the most recent edition of the Methodist Church's 'Property Matters' magazine.  The guidance on how to apply for funding through the Connexional Property Grants Scheme is especially important for those who qualify.
  • Funding for Church Repairs.  Finding sources of funding and advice for repairs to places of worship can be a real headache.  SPAB have published a useful guide to indentifying possible sources of funding as well as links to advice for those managing a repair project.  It is available from their website.
  • The National Churches Trust's 2018 Community Grants programme and Repair Grants programme are now open.  If you need funding for a church repair project or want to install a toilet, kitchen, and improve community facilities in your place of worship, then the NCT grant schemes can help you.  The closing date for applications is 5 March 2018.
  • National Churches Trust Maintenance Grants are available for small urgent maintenance issues or repairs which reduce the need for, and long-term costs of building repairs to churches, chapels and meeting houses that are open for regular public worship in the UK.  Click the link above for guidance notes and an online application form.  Application deadline is 6 September 2017.
  • Funding for innovative Methodist projects: small grants for projects by Methodist churches and organisations, especially of an ecumenical nature, in creative arts, education, social and international concerns.

Rural Church Buildings Resource

Our comprehensive range of resources and information on all aspects of Rural Church Buildings has been updated, with new material, links and case studies.

There's also a new entry in our online Library of Rural Practice highlighting Creative Use of Rural Church Buildings.  This includes information on:  Citizens' Advice Bureaux (CABs); Credit Unions & Community Banks; Community Shops; Post Offices; Food Banks; and Farmers' Markets.

Launched nationally in November 2017, the revised and expanded Crossing the Threshold toolkit offers a step-by-step guide to managing a church building project.  This newly updated resource provides advice towards adapting a church building for wider community use, while balancing the needs of existing worshippers.  It is a free resource available to anyone to download.

A comprehensive guide to all aspects of church buildings for all denominations can be found in our Resources for Rural Places of Worship.

Further information about the above can be found at  Recent Country Way articles are now searchable in the resource section.

The Arthur Rank Centre
Stoneleigh Park
024 7685 3060


Information updated 17.1.18



Sarah Sutherland, 11/02/2014