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Centre for Studies in Rural Ministry

The Centre for Studies in Rural Ministry has seven new students this academic year working towards a Masters degree. Some of those ‘passing out’ are choosing to stay as part of this research community as they value the way the academic study and

theological reflection is enhancing their ministry. The flexibility of the course encourages students to follow their own interests, and is attractive to those who wish to deepen their understanding of key issues. Some themes examined in depth this year include: a study of visitors to the church tent at an agricultural show; the contribution of the village school to the vibrancy of the local community and its church; rural spirituality; how to assess the effectiveness of a team ministry.

The course is open to lay or ordained people of any tradition.

If you are thinking how to make best use of your sabbatical we can help. If you would like to discuss how your ministry can be developed by studying for a Masters degree call the course Director, Canon Jeremy Martineau on 01348 874886 or email to


shelter art

Nine years ago, being a small village with no real village green, we were a bit limited for a place to mark the millennium. We discovered that the bus shelter with post box and telephone box now occupies the space where village green used to be, in the middle of the village.

Cliffords Mesne parish council gave permission and £20 for paint. Veronica Gosling, our local artist, with local children and any adults passing by at the time, painted the village story, with its characters, on the inside walls of the bus shelter. Then people from the village we rarely saw wanted to know what was going on and they joined in too, and we had a great time. Pam, the church organist was painted on the wall with the music of ‘Now thank we all our God’. Charlie, a local character, with his bike, is there. He would push his bike up to May Hill in all weathers to look after his pigs, and then cycle down at

night. He died recently so it’s nice to have his portrait. Sheep, old cars, the church and village hall plus lots of colourful fictitious characters are there for all to see who pass by, or wait for the twice weekly bus.

When it was finished we had the best party right in the road by the bus shelter. It attracted people from all over the parish. Everyone is happy to be in the bus shelter!

Nine years on, it needed touching up so it was part of the activities for the Cliffords Mesne showcase

weekend. Veronica the artist, who had moved away, came back to help brighten it up. Again, it provided colour, fun and a sense of community. It’s a bit whacky but it’s an original, a masterpiece, and there for posterity!

Thanks to Veronica Gosling and villagers of Cliffords Mesne, Gloucestershire.

We think everyone should brighten up their bus shelter …it’s a great way of getting the community together! 

Nell Credland and Mo Braham


rural ministry roundup

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