The Scottish Churches Rural Group (SCRG), which brings together churches within ACTS with rural interests, has attempted to tease out from the Census figures a rural orientated analysis.
Our report on the Census has a dual focus. We have looked at the church as it is now and assessed what we think are its ramifications for the future. We ask, what are the trends we currently see in the rural church? What conclusions can we draw? And what action needs to be taken to ensure a thriving future for rural ministry?
The information from the Census is not the only information which has recently become available. In 2016 Steve Aisthorpe published the results of a study he had undertaken into why some Christians no longer go to church, under the title 'The Invisible Church: Learning from the Experiences of Churchless Christians'.
In our report we have also tried to make use of this information in order to come to conclusions as to the way ahead, using all the information which has recently become available.
This was the theme of a day conference hosted by the Scottish Churches Rural Group on Wednesday 9th December. Over sixty people gathered to hear presentations which covered a wide range of topics including tourism, agriculture, energy, planning, and land use.