Sunday 16 July
Rural Mission Sunday is an opportunity to celebrate the life of the rural church. We know that rural Christians can and do make a real difference to their communities. However, that is not always how it feels; we can often feel overshadowed by larger urban and suburban churches. So it’s important to stop, reflect on what we do and give thanks.
We chose this year’s theme of hospitality and welcome long before the seismic national and international events of the
last year unfolded but it now seems particularly pertinent. Rural churches usually are hospitable and welcoming but we hope that taking part in Rural Mission Sunday will nudge you to really think about what being welcoming means for your community.
While Rural Mission Sunday itself takes place on 16 July, you can use this material at any time and in the way that’s most
appropriate to your church and community.
How can you get involved?
There are a variety of different ways in which you could make everybody welcome on Rural Mission Sunday!
Your Sunday service
Why not take Everybody Welcome as the theme for your service on Sunday 16 July? Our Rural Mission Sunday resources include:
- Brief reflections on some key Bible passages that explore hospitality and welcome
- Prayers and songs
- A suggested service outline
Nicola Grieves, the Children’s and Youth Development Officer for the Eastern Synod of the United Reformed Church, has created an extensive children’s resource for Rural Mission Sunday; focusing on the story of Jesus’ encounter with Zaccheus it enables children and young people to engage with the challenge of hospitality and welcome.
Exploring practical expressions of hospitality and welcome
Our resources give some suggestions for ways in which you might like to make everybody welcome in your community!
- Hosting a community event?
- Hints and tips on welcoming newcomers to your community
- Exploring issues around rural isolation
Tell us your stories!
We’d love to hear about what you get up to for Rural Mission Sunday! The diversity of rural churches and
their communities means that there’s a huge amount of creativity around and we like nothing more than sharing
stories of the amazing and creative ways in which the rural church is being celebrated.
The easiest way to share your feedback is to complete our feedback form and tell us what you got up to. Alternatively, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or even send us a letter!
Could you help us enable others to make Everybody Welcome?
We’d be really grateful if you would consider using Rural Mission Sunday as an opportunity to financially
support the work of the Arthur Rank Centre by taking up an offering during your service on Sunday
16 July. We’re entirely funded by our supporters so it’s the generosity of local churches and others that enables
us to continue to find imaginative and creative ways of supporting local churches and their communities.
You can send your contribution electronically via our donations page or by cheque,
made payable to The Arthur Rank Centre. For more information, please contact Louise Davis
(email@example.com, 024 7685 3060).
A prayer for Rural Mission Sunday
through whose word all things came into being, and by whose
power all is sustained: your creation renews inspires awe and
worship, strengthens us with hope and calls to us to wonder
at your mystery.
We pray that, filled with the Spirit who leads us to Christ, you
would open our eyes to see your gifts and open our hearts
that we may share them with others.
May the churches across our countryside be centres of
community, places of welcome and human warmth, and
channels of the hospitable love offered us in Jesus.
We pray this prayer in His holy name.
Rt Revd Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury