Rural Church

Rural Life and Rural Church: Theological and Empirical Perspectives, edited by Leslie Francis and Mandy Robbins was published last month by Equinox Publishing of Sheffield (ISBN 978-1-84553-984-9, £19.99, paperback).

It reprints, together with a new introduction by the editors, 28 articles originally published in Rural Theology, the peer-reviewed journal of the Rural Theology Association, between 2003 and 2009. The book’s full contents are listed at: life

The journal is not that widely available in public and academic libraries, so it is very helpful to have this selection of key essays brought together in reader form. BRIN users are likely to have a special interest in the following quantitative chapters:

Chapter 6 (Norman Morris and Lewis Burton): analysis of 1,983 comments made, between 1993 and 2004, in the visitors’ book of a village Anglican church in south Shropshire

Chapter 7 (Tania ap Siôn): analysis of 1,067 prayer requests left in a rural Anglican church in middle England over a 16-month period in the late 2000s

Chapter 12 (David Lankshear): secondary analysis of confirmation and other statistics for the Church of England between 1950 and 1999 for three groups of dioceses: rural, urban, and mixed 

Chapter 13 (Carol Roberts): secondary analysis of statistics of seven rural Anglican dioceses (Carlisle, Exeter, Lincoln, Norwich, St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, Salisbury, and Truro) for c. 1960 and 2000  

Chapter 15 (Keith Littler, Leslie Francis and Jeremy Martineau): analysis of 765 comments by visitors to 163 rural Anglican churches in 1999

Chapter 17 (Emyr Williams, Leslie Francis, Mandy Robbins and Jennie Annis): analysis of the experience of 514 visitors to St Davids Cathedral (fieldwork date not specified)

Chapter 21 (Leslie Francis, Mandy Robbins, Angela Williams and Rhys Williams): psychological type profile of 185 rural Anglican churchgoers in Wales (fieldwork date not specified)

Chapter 22 (David Walker): profile and religious belonging of 1,454 adult attenders at harvest festival services in 27 rural churches in the Diocese of Worcester in 2007

Chapter 24 (Lewis Burton): deployment of clergy in the Church of England Diocese of York and the Methodist Church York and Hull District, reflected in a survey of 126 Anglican clergy and 46 Methodist ministers in 2003

Chapter 25 (Keith Littler): attitudes to baptism and confirmation of 384 Church in Wales clergy in 2003

Chapter 26 (Ann Howells and Keith Littler): attitudes to children receiving communion before confirmation of 400 Church in Wales churchwardens in the Dioceses of Bangor and Llandaff in 2003  

Chapter 27 (Christopher Rutledge): burnout of 318 stipendiary male clergy in the Church of England with responsibility for rural parishes (fieldwork date not specified)

Chapter 28 (Christine Brewster): happiness of 722 Church of England clergy responsible for three or more rural churches (fieldwork date not specified)


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