More than 250 delegates with a heart for rural mission gathered in Coventry Saturday 15 October. The day consisted of key note speeches, presentations and workshops that all demonstrated that God is alive and working in rural locations.
Roger Walton, President of Conference this year, spoke of God being at work in the everyday things we do; what we do and what we say shares what God is about with people we meet. Our service starts when the Sunday service ends.
Pete Atkins spoke about the features of a genuine church; Authenticity, our faith needs to work out in daily life; Community, we need to belong rather go to; Encounters, where people meet God rather than just hear; and Space, there needs to be room to ask questions.
There were many case studies and workshops, ranging across Messy Church, Dementia friendly churches and setting up businesses to create jobs in the area.
The event was organised by the Arthur Rank Centre who provide resources, courses and support for christians in a rural setting.
Personally I came away with a reminder that we need to pray, we need to take risks one step at a time and we really need to find out how our own communities work and where God is at work in them already.