How Village Churches Thrive

Resourcing small and rural churches

Based on How Village Churches Thrive, an inspiring, practical guide from Bishop Robert Atwell and others, this programme of events offers small and rural churches guidance and support on the issues that matter most.

From the chance to contemplate with colleagues on leadership to exploring how we can flourish in rural roles and expanding on practical ideas posited in the handbook, there's something for everyone.

Free copies of How Village Churches Thrive are available to parishes attending the Rural CMD Day or the Rural Lecture, ahead of six read-along sessions. Read on to get your free copy...

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Leadership in Rural Multi-Parish Benefices

Rural CMD day - SOLD OUT

27 Sept 10am-3.30pm, St Mary’s Convent, Wantage

Explore how leadership can be exercised in rural context in a Continuing Ministerial Development day centred on rural church issues. With the Revds Margot Hodson and Talisker Macleod providing expert advice, this is a great opportunity for all clergy, particularly curates, ministering in rural contexts.

The event is open and we recommend clergy bring along a support person - whether it's your warden or the village headteacher, this will be an inspiring chance to plan your collaborative work on the ground.

The Revd Margot Hodson has been the Associate Vicar for the Shill Valley and Broadshire Benefice since 2019 and also works as Director of Theology and Education for the John Ray Initiative. Prior to that she was the incumbent of the Wychert Vale Benefice in Buckinghamshire for ten years. The Revd Talisker Macleod has been Rector of the Cherbury with Gainfield Benefice since 2015.

Parishes attending will receive a copy of How Village Churches Thrive: A Practical Guide* and are warmly invited to our Rural Read-along later in the autumn.


Flourishing mission & ministry in today’s rural context

A rural lecture

Tuesday 27 September 7.30pm, Zoom

The Rt Revd Dagmar Winter, Bishop of Huntingdon and national Lead Bishop for Rural Affairs, considers how we can flourish in mission and ministry in our rural contexts today.

Introduced by the Rt Revd Gavin Collins, this inaugural lecture includes an open time for questions.

Parishes attending will receive a copy of How Village Churches Thrive: A Practical Guide* and are warmly invited to our Rural Read-along later in the autumn.

Register on Zoom | Watch live on YouTube


Wellbeing in rural communities

Rural forum

Tuesday 11 October 10-11.30am, Zoom

The pandemic has highlighted the number of people who feel isolated. The cost-of-living crisis is not only affecting people financially but also creating anxiety. This session looks at ways of engaging with wellbeing in rural communities, with an opportunity to reflect with colleagues on how the issues raised affect your context.

The speakers are:

  • Hannah Charles, Community Outreach Worker, St Mary’s Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire;
  • CAP Lifeskills courses and Kintsugi Hope Groups as ways of engaging with rural poverty and mental health;
  • Kristy Pattimore, Pioneer, North Westmoreland Deanery, Cumbria;
  • Renew Wellbeing Centres as a local church response to rural isolation.

Register via Zoom


How Village Churches Thrive

A Diocese of Oxford rural read-along

Various dates from Wednesday 19 October, 8pm, Zoom

Read along to How Village Churches Thrive: A Practical Guide, and join monthly discussions with colleagues across the diocese. Each session, we're joined by an expert in the field to give advice and support on the relevant chapter topic.

Register now

You are invited to attend as many sessions as you are able, and the Zoom details are the same each time. Sessions take place across a variety of evenings so there will be something available to everyone. Details of the monthly themes will be added shortly. The sessions will take place on:

19 October, 8pm - Extending a warm welcome.
16 November, 8pm - Making the most of life events
8 December, 8pm - Being the heartbeat of the community
9 January, 8pm - Welcoming more children
7 February, 8pm - Using buildings creatively & Caring for God’s acre
8 March, 8pm - Pastoral care


How Village Churches Thrive

A hugely collaborative effort, How Village Churches Thrive draws on a wealth of expert information to present practical inspiration for all who work and worship in village churches. Packed with real-life examples, the handbook addresses ten core themes at the heart of church life.

Download a taster and register for the Rural CMD Day or the Rural Lecture to get a free copy for your parish.

Canon Dr John Rees, the former registrar for the Diocese of Oxford, shares his thoughts on the book.


*While stocks last. Maximum two copies per parish.

Page last updated: Thursday 8th September 2022 10:21 AM
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