Rural Churches for Everyone

Helping PCCs to secure sustainable futures for their historic Northumbrian church buildings – a trial in four rural benefice clusters

Church buildings have stood at the heart of our rural communities for centuries, shaping the villages themselves and serving the communities living in these landscapes. As populations, work and lifestyles have shifted, and (particularly since the pandemic) the ways we worship have developed, what people need from our church buildings has changed. Rural Churches for Everyone has collated recommendations from recent research and consolidated it into an Action Planning process to support the PCCs who care for these buildings. 

Until September 2022, a trial programme will run in four clusters of rural benefices, supporting them to take a strategic approach across their PCCs. It will help them to plan how their church buildings can best meet the needs of their congregations, residents, visitors, finances, heritage and Net Zero Carbon commitments.

A structured programme of workshops in 2021 will be followed by a small scale pilot project in each benefice cluster during 2022. The programme and projects will be evaluated and a toolkit will be developed for use by PCCs in other benefices who wish to take a similar approach. A conference towards the end of the project will celebrate the progress made and also demonstrate to church wardens, clergy and laity from other benefices how we went about the project. The toolkit will be made available for everyone on the diocesan website.

We hope to release the potential of our rural churches to  serve community needs, adapt to rural change, and share our memories and stories of those who came before us.

Find out: 

Who is involved – our project partners

What we are aiming for - project objectives

Where we are working - participating benefices and their churches

How we are working - Benefice Action Plan process

Why we are doing this – research and foundation

How you can share - Download our free leaflet

Contact us:

You can follow us on twitter here [] and on facebook here [ ].

For more information on the project contact the RCfE Project Officer, Pam Walker MBE, 01670 772301

or the project consultant, Yvonne Conchie,

or the project email on

Rural Churches for Everyone is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and is part of Newcastle Diocese Rural Strand, with strong connections to their Transformation Programme and the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC)

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