There was an article in last week’s Church Times about a £4.8 million Innovation Fund that has been launched by the Archbishops’ Council.
As I read the article, I quickly realised that rural churches will never be able to qualify for one because the projects must support the official Vision and Strategy for the 2020s; the priority of becoming a Church which is younger and more diverse.
In rural parishes like ours, We do not have young families moving into our villages. The problem is so acute that one of our village primary schools has already closed down.
As for diversity, rural areas tend to be quite traditional which is why the parish churches tend to be more middle of the road CofE than very high or very low.
What rural churches really need is priests of good calibre but sadly the Church of England is unwilling to fund that and prefers to waste her money away.