Serving the churches that serve rural communities

What are the challenges facing the rural church? What does it mean to be a disciple in a rural community?

Rural Presence is the new interactive website for Christians engaged in rural mission. It provides a forum for all Christians to share good news stories and information about the church in rural communities. The aim is to encourage and inspire mission and discipleship in rural churches.

By sharing the wealth of ideas and practical approaches from churches around Britain it is hoped that an effective Christian presence can be promoted and sustained in the countryside.

"This site offers an opportunity to share in all that is good and exciting about the rural church," said Revd Graham Jones, National Rural Officer for the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church. "Whether it's setting up community cinemas or hosting local post offices, the opportunities for rural churches to serve their communities are endless. We want to resource, enthuse and inspire Christians to think differently about their ministry in the countryside."

As well as being a forum for debate and story-sharing Rural Presence offers resources for rural mission, including Presence - the indispensable workbook for all churches engaging in mission in rural communities (available to download for free).

What has worked in your rural community? What creative initiatives are you exploring? To share your stories and join in the debate go to www.ruralpresence.org.uk.