Growing the Rural Church

“For centuries our network of village churches have been at the heart of rural communities. Their towers and spires speak of the changelessness of God. Rural life is at a turning point. People are rediscovering the gift of the local, supporting each other and finding imaginative solutions to the many challenges that are confronting us. All this bodes well for the health of rural churches and the communities they serve.  Bishop Robert

Rooted in prayer, Growing the Rural Church aims to:

  • resource rural Mission Communities…
  • …to creatively use their talents and buildings, and to…
  • connect with their unique communities and landscapes to develop sustainable futures.

Visit our website for events, toolkits, resources, and guidance on how to develop a sustainable future for your community.

Who we are

The Diocese of Exeter’s vision for growth includes the Growing the Rural Church Project.  The Project runs for seven years (2017-2023) and is backed by a £1 million grant from the Church Commissioners with additional funding from our Diocesan Synod.

What we do

Growing the Rural Church:

  • Resources rural Mission Communities. We offer advice and tools that will guide rural Mission Communities as they discern and make changes that will help them to flourish.
  • Promotes creativity in the way we think about solutions. This could be around governance, how we use buildings, the people and organisations we partner with, the worship we offer…
  • Encourages connections within Mission Communities, with local communities and businesses, with communities of interest, with the local landscape and environment.

Resources are available to guide you through making courageous decisions for the future, and offer detailed step-by-step advice on putting those changes into action. You can access our resources here.

Bishop Robert introduces our new approach here.

Devon Pilgrim

Devon Pilgrim is a project to help create and promote new pilgrimage routes linking Devon’s historic churches and ancient holy sites. Growing the Rural Church has worked in collaboration with churches, community groups and other organisations. There are currently four routes: the Archangel’s Way, the St Boniface Way, the Pattenson Way and the Sacred Waters Way.

Visit our Devon Pilgrim website:

Meet our Team

Contact Us

Jonathan Yandall, Project Support Officer

Email Jonathan Yandall or call 01392 294940