Faith in the Countryside

Small can be beautiful, and in this short book Declan Flanagan successfully challenges the idea that successful churches need to be large and usually found in the towns or suburbs. Looking across Britain, Flanagan highlights thriving, small, rural churches and looks at how they changed from decline to growth.

The book is written in a very accessible style with case studies providing snapshots of good practice. General principles are built up, and questions at the end of each chapter provide a very helpful ‘stop and think’ moment for you to consider your own church and where it fits in to the picture being developed. The book will work well for a church leadership to read through, or for a home group to spend a few weeks on. It will give you renewed confidence at what is possible, and also show some of the ways which churches have found to be effective missional practice in recent years.

Given that much of British Methodism is rural, this is an important book that shows how small rural churches can be excellent centres of fellowship and witness in the twenty-first century.