Faith and the Future of the Countryside Paperback
Pastoral and Theological Perspectives on Rural Sustainability
by Jill Hopkinson;
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Faith and the Future of the Countryside
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Faith and the Future of the Countryside by Jill Hopkinson was published by Canterbury Press in March 2012 and is our 29650th best seller. The ISBN for Faith and the Future of the Countryside is 9781848251175.
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Faith and the Future of the CountrysideAlan Billings, via The Good Book Stall
For three brief years I was a country vicar when a rural parish was added to my town parish. I therefore picked up this book with some interest, especially as it had the word 'sustainability' in the subtitle. We want rural communities and rural churches that are able to be sustained into the future. The book is the outcome of an ecumenical conference held twenty years after the seminal report on the countryside, Faith in the Countryside, published in 1990. It claims to offer 'fresh theological reflection and practical pastoral insights' for ministers in rural settings.
I have to confess to being disappointed. Like many collections of essays, it is a curate's egg, in part because the conference did not seem to make up its mind quite where to pitch its offerings, as a result of which they swing wildly between the more and less academic/practical.
The topics covered include: spirituality and the countryside (the theology implicit in the Big Society); the missional and pastoral opportunities for the local church (seeing the missional outcomes of pastoral offices); ageing (caring and campaigning for the elderly); changing rural economies (there is no such thing as 'the rural economy' only economic activity in rural areas); just food (more self-sufficiency); affordable housing (opposing Nimbyism); community well-being (no-one is an island). Each chapter is followed by ample referencing. There are also some very notable omissions: nothing about church schools and not much that might inspire about the non-church use of church buildings, which surely must be a major issue if we are concerned about the sustainability of the local church.
For anyone who works full-time in the countryside and thinks a lot about the many concerns now facing people and communities, there will be plenty to absorb. But for anyone looking for more practical examples or innovative ideas about what to do and 'what works', the heavy lifting will not have been done for you.
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Details for Faith and the Future of the Countryside
|Page last updated||8th July 2011|
|Author / Artist||Jill Hopkinson|
|Publisher||Canterbury Press (March 2012)|
|Number of Pages||144|