Growing the Rural Church
The Diocese of Exeter’s vision for growth includes a major new project, Growing the Rural Church, which was launched in February 2017.
Growing the Rural Church works with rural Mission Communities to develop their resources and, in particular their church buildings, to enable them to grow in prayer, make new disciples and serve the people of Devon with joy.
We do this by supporting rural Mission Communities to partner with their local communities and external agencies to find sustainable missional, community, commercial or cultural uses for their church buildings, which benefit the whole community.
When we do this, we ensure that the public spaces offered by our rural church buildings, both for worship and extended missional, community, commercial or cultural use, are sustainably managed and remain open and available. Relationships between our rural churches and their local communities are strengthened, and more people are drawn into the life of our rural Mission Communities.
Introductory Video/Case Study
Throughout 2017 our project team is working on a number of pilots with Mission Communities across the Diocese. Watch our video below and read our case study to find out more: Yarnscombe
How We Work
We work alongside Diocesan officers, engaging with:
- Mission Action Planning
- Care, management and use of church buildings
- Organisational and governance structures
- Development of lay ministry
We work through consultations with:
- Individual churches
- Mission Communities
- Local Communities
- Friends Groups
- Local, Regional & National Not for Profit Organisations
- Local and Regional Businesses
And we develop:
- Formal links between churches and their local community to care for church buildings e.g. Friends Groups, PCC Special Committees, Trusts
- Community, social enterprise and business use of church buildings
- Specialist use of certain churches
- Best practice approaches, resources and training