Friday, 25 May 2012


The Arthur Rank Centre has just launched four new resources on its website. All are outcomes of the Rural Life and Faith Project run by Simon Martin. Please feel free to circulate widely and put links from your blogs, websites, diocesan websites etc to the resources.

Journey To Faith: a Local Rural Church Training Course in Evangelism.
This is a low key, simple training programme that can be run by any local church – or group of churches - over 2 half-days. It requires no outside or expert help; all the material and resources that are required are freely available to download. Besides the material required to run the two course sessions, there are other resources, optional supplementary material, links to good material and ideas elsewhere, and a Resource Manual that every participant can take away with them to use in their own church to improve their ministry of witness & evangelism. This has already been trialled to good effect in Chichester Diocese.

This is a comprehensive online information and advice hub covering every aspect of rural church buildings, with links to details elsewhere and numerous case studies. It includes: theological foundations; listed places of worship and statements of need & significance; ecclesiastical exemption & non-exemption; looking after the building; funding; miscellaneous other building issues (e.g. bats, metal theft, security); getting the most out of the building; opening up the building for visitors; energy efficiency & sustainability; church art works.

Equipping for Rural Mission: a simple toolkit to help you understand your local congregation and the community your serve.
This toolkit helps provide a firm foundation for longer-term planning for community-based mission by small, rural or dispersed churches. There are four significant elements to it: Gaining an accurate picture of the nature, state and population of the local communities served by the church(es) - which includes an understanding of what needs are most acute there, and what resources or facilities already exist to help meet those needs; gaining an accurate picture of the resources, abilities, gifts and people present within the local churches - which enables an assessment of what may and may not be realistic for the local church; investigating what possibilities exist for partnership with other local bodies, agencies or organisations – whether church-related or otherwise; realistically assessing in what areas and in what ways the local churches can and should engage with and serve their communities.

Developing Rural and Small Church Worship: training & resources for small & rural churches.
This has been designed to meet the combined needs of lay people across various denominations for preparing and leading worship in small and, most frequently, rural settings. This is  especially in situations where other resources and support are not immediately available. This includes:  A set of answers and training materials in response to the sort of FAQs that often arise in these circumstances; a directory of web-based resources and links; access to our fully-searchable bank of worship resources, and further examples of good practice that have been developed; more detailed case studies of how contextual worship has been developed and employed in rural circumstances.

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