Sustainable Futures for Deep Rural Churches

Clued-up from the Bottom-up: co-creating a decision making tool for managing our church buildings

Being the RCfE Rural Sustainability consultant for the last three years has been unexpectedly rewarding – I’ve been to some of our mos special communities and helped them develop their plans to make their communities’ church buildings more open and sustainable. I’ve met some truly impressive people, they deeply care about their parishioners and it’s been a privelidge to be able to help them work out how to do that with their church buildings.

Tomorrow I’m speaking at the end of project conference, and we’re booked out with over 100 people coming from across rural Northumberland with even a few venturing up to our wilds from London. It’s a bit daunting, because I feel the impacts of rural isolation too – I feel that we’ve developed an incredible resource, that really is tailored to the needs of PCCs and to the national picture. We’ve tested it with our volunteers and I’m pretty sure it’s almost as good as we can get it, but tomorrow I have to stand up in front of folks who haven’t been on the same journey as all of us working in the 30 churches in the project, and describe and explain it.

So to all the church wardens, PCCs and clergy who have been along with me through covid and Storm Arwen – thank you, and I hope I do you and your church buildings proud.