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Re-imagining Rural Church

Rural Expression - Who Are We

Rural Expression is a Rural mission initiative that recruits, equips, deploys and networks self-financing teams pioneering creative and relevant expressions of the Christian church among under-churched groups and communities in rural areas.

A higher proportion of people in the countryside attend church than in any other environment in Britain. Churches are frequently highly visible and at the heart of village life.

However, church life in many rural areas is weak and growing weaker.

  • Because there has been a great break down in the stability of rural village life contributed to by greater mobility, the reduction in agricultural employment, the increase in tourism and population shift which affects all village-based institutions.
  • Because consumerist attitudes lead more Christians to choose to travel for the church experience they want, leaving Christian witness weaker in their own local rural community.
  • Because many rural churches are tied to buildings/ structures which are not always well-shaped for mission.
  • Because many rural churches are locally rather than network based and do not have within small congregations the resources to do effective mission among all the people groups present in their locality.

So under-churched groups and communities in rural areas continue to challenge Christians to engage in pioneering and creative mission. Rural Expression is one response to this challenge.


 Started in 2007 in response to converations and requests for a creative approach to the task of planting and re-planting Churches and Congregations in rural areas Rural expression. The first work was started in East Devon looking to replant a closed chapel in a village that had much potential. In 2009 two further teams may join the network.