I found myself yesterday at a Seminar on Rural Churches – run by a group of architects, conservationists, planners and others. I think I was invited because of earlier blogging on this subject which arose from the Rural Commission Report which came to our General Synod in 2010.
I expected it to be all about the 101 uses to which redundant churches might be put – and no doubt they got down to that after I left. But what surprised me was the extent to which they wanted to know that the church has a vision of its future in the rural community – and an understanding of how it can contribute to the building and sustaining of community. Something seems to have changed. What is punished is not vision but lack of vision.