We’ve had quite a focus on rural issues recently – most notably with the publication of the Report of our Rural Commission at the recent General Synod. So it was interesting to visit the Royal Highland Show today and talk to people about the state of rural community today.
The thing which is most striking is the number of people employed in farming and all the related food production industries. It wasn’t just the people titivating animals before their show ring appearances – Lorna our Communications Officer has a particularly impressive picture of me with a prize bull – but the huge range of employment which depends on farming.
The rural population is predicted to increase – so we’re starting to realise that we are not necessarily facing a steady attrition of our rural congregations. But I think that we need to become much more interested in the issues which affect the state of the rural community – tourism, education, transport, health services, employment. I’ve written a bit about this for Saturday’s Scotsman.