Each edition of Country Way magazine contains a pull-out resources section. Here are a selection of resources designed to help you grow together in your rural community.
Corfe Mullen is a village on the edge of Wimborne in rural East Dorset. It has a population of 10,500, of whom a good percentage is older retired people.
A core principal of what we do is providing a form of radical hospitality to marginalised groups of people. These activities provide a doorway for carers as well people with some form of dementia to re-integrate and connect with people and services at a very challenging time in their journey. Dementia is sometimes referred to as a living bereavement; as such it’s seems important to provide a safe and sensitive pastoral base at this crucial time. This work is part of a wider more inclusive vision of growing compassionate communities.
What do you think of when you hear the word ‘growth’? Perhaps you think of the children in your family and their development from dependent babies to capable, creative teenagers. Maybe you’re a gardener, lovingly tending seeds from germination through potting on to planting out. Or you might be a rural entrepreneur watching a business you dreamed of become a reality.
Brooksby Melton College’s Hall Farm was the venue for the 10th annual Lambing Service for the Upper Wreake Parish. The congregation arrived by tractor and trailer and after the service enjoyed seeing the new born lambs, piglets and calves.
We live in a changing world in which it can seem like inherited models of church and mission are no longer bearing the fruit they once did. As we struggle to find ways to attract people to our services, is it possible that we have become so accustomed to speaking the gospel to the world, that we have lost the importance of listening to our world?
In January a heart-warming service was held in St Stephen’s Church, Sulby, on the Isle of Man. Sulby, with its population of 400 people plus a few wallabies living wild in local grasslands, nestles at the end of a winding glen where the Manx mountains descend towards the agricultural Northern Plain. The church is one of three chapels commissioned two centuries ago by Bishop Ward to serve remoter rural parts of the Isle of Man.
At the beginning of the year I was asked a lot about A Vicar’s Life, the BBC TV series which followed a number of clergy in the Diocese of Hereford. People outside the church asked, ‘Is that really what the Church does for people?’ People inside the Church asked, ‘Yes, but where’s the growth?’
The Talking Jesus research found that one in six young people want to know more when a Christian friend talks to them about Jesus. In response, young people are being encouraged to pray for six friends, asking God for opportunities to talk about Jesus with them.
Churches in rural areas feel so different in many ways today from how they were 50 years ago. Parishioners in some areas of Worcestershire still remember when their vicar rode around the village on his horse, visiting every household, knowing each person by name. Now a typical vicar often has responsibility for ten churches and races around the country lanes in her car, desperately trying to squeeze in another service, seemingly never having time to stop and really listen.
Four clergy in the Diocese of Hereford were the focus of A Vicar’s Life, a six-part documentary series broadcast on BBC Two in 2018.
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