Where are the rural fresh expressions pioneers? (Klynn and Susan Alibocus)

Monday, 25 January, 2010

Klynn and Susan AlibocusKlynn and Susan Alibocus wonder where the rural fresh expressions pioneers are.

Go to any number of talks, read the plethora of books available, watch the latest DVDs on fresh expressions of church and you will no doubt get a taste of the excitement surrounding pioneer ministry. Delve into the situation a little deeper, though, and you will discover that instances of pioneer ministry across the UK are, very definitely, not an even spread.

Where more urban environments are equipped and ready for the challenge that instigating new fresh expressions brings, in our experience, many rural areas are somewhat lagging behind. The reasons for this are many. It may be with limited resources it is right to focus on large populous areas. After all, didn't Jesus draw large crowds together to hear God's word? On the other hand, how precious were his moments spent one on one with the people he met outside the city walls.

Perhaps on the surface there appears more need in the city - where homelessness, alcoholism and drugs are clearly apparent - than in the quiet, quaint and often well-heeled villages of the British countryside. Jesus knew, however, that human need isn't restricted to boundaries of poverty and circumstance and in many cases it is where people seem to have the least material need that God is needed most.

Klynn says: 'I know from personal experience just how effective efforts to bridge the gap to the unchurched can be. Back in the nineties I fell comfortably into that group and, it was through involvement in an early suburban fresh expression of church that I came to have a meaningful relationship with God.

In many cases it is where people seem to have the least material need that God is needed most

'A recent news article highlighted the record number of people that are leaving cities to relocate in rural areas. This week our own fresh expression, Food for Thought in Winterslow near Salisbury, celebrates its third birthday – and we continue to face the challenge to serve everyone in our community, no matter how long they have lived here.'

The heart of the Anglican faith has always beaten strongly in rural villages; perhaps it's time we put that commitment to good use and reach out not only to long-term residents but also to those who move to the countryside at any time.

About the author: 

Klynn and Susan Alibocus are leaders of Food for Thought, Winterslow, Salisbury.


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
We use spam protection. View privacy policy.