'How Village Churches Thrive - A Practical Guide' is a new guide published by Church House seeking to “fly the flag for rural churches” and their central role in local communities.
This is not another selection of big ideas which tend to be supported in principle by parishes but are often completely beyond their capacity to deliver. It seeks to serve as a starting point to provide inspiration through “a menu of eminently practical, do-able things for local people to dip into and try in their contexts. It is designed to address some key areas where applying relatively small changes can make a big difference.”
Whilst aimed at rural churches, much of the advice will be relevant to suburban and urban churches as well.
“…this timely and helpful book…is full of practical advice and encouragement” Archbishop Stephen Cottrell
The ten concise chapters draw on the shared wisdom and experience of a range of contributors including our very own Head of Church Buildings, Geoffrey Hunter.
The guide covers ten significant areas:
- Extending a warm welcome
- Making the most of life events – weddings, baptisms and funerals
- Using buildings creatively
- Caring for churchyards
- Being the heartbeat of the community
- Celebrating our heritage
- Cultivating fruitful festivals
- Welcoming more children
- Reaching the isolated and lonely
- Communicating effectively
“…it does a commendable job in offering both space and stimulation for individual parishes, or benefices, to envisage imaginative strategies applicable to their own situations.
Having suggested to our benefice churchwardens and Readers that this is an ideal book to work through with a PCC or whole church community, I have received an enthusiastic response, and am hopeful that this timely volume will give encouragement and inspiration to many involved with the growth of vibrant and gospel-centred communities in rural settings.”
The Revd Richard Greatrex – Church Times 15th July 2022
Comedian Hugh Dennis, whose father was a bishop of a largely rural diocese, wrote the foreword for the guide and presents an introductory video available to watch on youtube.