Growing the Rural Church

“Church buildings are at the heart of our rural communities and they can be both a blessing and a burden. The Growing the Rural Church project works alongside local communities to help them find sustainable ways in which our rural church buildings can enable the church to grow in prayer, make new disciples and serve the people of Devon with joy.” Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, Bishop of Crediton

Please read the latest blog from renewal and reform on how Devon’s rural churches are strengthening community spirit.

The Diocese of Exeter’s vision for growth includes a major new project, Growing the Rural Church. Launched in February 2017, the project works with rural churches and their communities to help find creative ways to ensure growth and sustainability.

Our vision is to help rural Mission Communities grow their mission and in particular develop the use of their buildings in a way which strengthens community partnership and mission.

Backed by a £1 million grant from the Church Commissioners with additional funding from our Diocesan Synod, the project aims to work with 100 rural churches over the next 7 years.

Our project team works closely with the Diocesan Mission and Ministry, Church and Society and Church Buildings teams to offer tailored support to Mission Communities. That support might include:

  • Help with reviewing a Mission Community’s Mission Action Plan
  • Strengthening of community links through community engagement, consultation and collaborative working
  • Advice and guidance on fundraising and grants
  • Advice and guidance on possible changes to the use and fabric of church buildings
  • Bespoke support to develop mission

At present the project team is working on a number of pilots with Mission Communities across the Diocese. Follow the project on Twitter @GtRCDevon

We welcome any Mission Community interested in working with us to download and complete a short Expression of Interest Form.

Marian Carson, Project Manager

Marian is a PRINCE 2 qualified project management professional with a background in delivering private sector led, government funded programmes at both local and national levels. She is experienced in community engagement, partnership working and change management. Marian is married to a priest in the Church of England and has two primary-school aged children.  The family relocated from London to Devon in 2015 and enjoy the wonderful outdoor spaces found across the county. Email Marian or tel: 01392 294912.

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Growing in prayer, Making new disciples, Serving the people of Devon with joy
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