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Helping rural churches grow

An opportunity for rural churches to develop their existing missional activities taking next steps towards growth opened with the launch of a rural missional learning community in Aylesbury deanery. 

The Rural Missional Learning Community aims to walk alongside churches with a variety of missional activities in isolated areas as they discern and then put into action their plans for reaching underserved communities.

Pioneer curate the Revd Sue Hughes is one of the conveners of the learning community. She explained: “The aim is that these wonderful missional activities already happening around our rural areas, could be supported, and encouraged to grow into new congregations. When they first start, they do not look like a church that you or I would recognise. They are embryonic, so what you find at that stage is very different to what they will look like in years to come.”

Sue and three other conveners are working with a diverse range of creative activities, from café church to a makers and fixers group, to Little Wrigglers for toddlers.  The three criteria that we look for in mission outreach activities in the learning community are: that they meet regularly either weekly, fortnightly or monthly; are including mostly ‘unchurched’ people; and there is a worship element woven into the activity whether that be Bible reading and reflection, a prayer or scripture.

Sue added: “For example, with the makers and fixers, the joy and excitement that we can bring something about God to people that would never usually come to church, that we could tell them God is always making and fixing, restoring all things because that is what he does in His Kingdom and there is an invitation for everyone to be included.

“We are talking the language of God in a way that they understand. I’m keen that we are intentional about growing new congregations for people who would never come to church but are hungry spiritually.”

Inspired? If you have an idea for a new church community talk to our New Congregations team.


Page last updated: Tuesday 4th June 2024 4:22 PM
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