10% of the UK population live in rural communities of less than 1000 people, and the vast majority of the British landscape is catered for in terms of spiritual care by the Christian churches, mainly through parish churches, and parish ministry.
The network of Christian congregations across the British countryside provide a disproportionate amount of the social capital, adhesion and community support to the benefit of national life.
A small congregation should not be mistaken for a failed large congregation, but valued as a congregation in its own right meeting the needs of less densely populated areas, sometimes in a more personal manner.
There are organisations whose purpose it is to support these rural churches, with information, advice and resources.
They also identify and highlight the needs and opportunities which are specifically rural in nature to government and national church councils addressing issues regarding.
* Food production
* Energy generation
* Rural Poverty
* Farming education
* Agricultural ethics
* Immigration & employment
* Care of creation - conservation & ecology
Click here to access the Arthur Rank Centre site.
The Church of Scotland's Mission and Discipleship Council has a Rural Group, whose focus is continually on the Christian perspective on rural matters.
Part of its work is with the Scottisg Churches Rural Group - an inter-denominational group operating under the Action of Churches Together in Scotland (ACTS).
These groups work in harmony with the Arthur Rank Centre (ARC) to advance the work of the churches in Rural Britain