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Last updated 28th January 2020

Rural churches

The Diocese of Blackburn supports our rural communities by convening regular Rural Focus Group meetings.  These involved ecumenical and statutory service partners (eg fire service) with a range of interesting speakers and input.  They are chaired by Revd Cindy Rigney, Area Dean of Lancaster and Morecambe.  For more information including meeting dates, please contact gill.beeley@Blackburn.Anglican.Org


One of the leading rural support organisations is the Arthur Rank Foundation.  Since 1972 Germinate: The Arthur Rank Centre, an ecumenical Christian charity, has served both the spiritual and practical needs of the rural community through a programme of community and social projects, resourcing and training.  See below for more information and access to their Toolkits for Rural Churches.

Germinate is the home of the National Rural Offices for the Church of England, Methodist and United Reformed Church; and also the hub for the church network of Rural Officers and Agricultural Chaplains. Their focus is to support and strengthen the UK’s 15,000 rural churches, so they can respond positively to change and impact the communities they serve. Click on the icon below to access their website

They provide hundreds of resources for rural churches including a comprehensive range of worship resources and rural stories, ideas and inspiration though our magazine, Country Way. Our highly popular Rural Ministry Course has been running for over 30 years and, through a special project, we are working hard to effectively resource those engaged in multi-church ministry.

Newer projects include Germinate Enterprise, a rural business start-up programme, Germinate Groups, learning communities for multi-church groups, and Germinate Leadership, a training programme developing the creative and entrepreneurial skills of rural church leaders. We also run a biennial Germinate Conference, a major national day conference for all those involved in rural mission and ministry.

Toolkits for Rural Churches

Open Welcome is designed to help rural churches consider how they might use their building to offer welcome and hospitality to those in their community. For more information visit our website ( or to request a free copy email


Accessible Welcome  is designed to help rural churches work towards ensuring that their church – both the building and their worship – is accessible to all. For more information visit our website ( or to request a free copy email

Worshipping Together is designed to help lay people plan and lead services in their local church. For more information visit our website ( or to request a free copy email





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