Lightening the Load

This 5 session toolkit covers every area of church life. It contains resources to help you reframe what success means in a rural church setting and begin to think about how you might lighten some of the burdens.

An Introduction to Lightening the Load

We suggest you read the Introduction document and watch the video below before starting to use Lightening the Load

We hope you find this resource stimulates discussion in your Mission Community. We may all experience the same challenges and burdens in rural ministry, but there is no ‘one size fits all’ set of answers.

Be creative, be blown by the Spirit!

Read or download the resource documents below
A Theological Reflection on Rural Ministry

An extended reflection on the positive aspects of rural ministry, of which there are many. We hope that people will read and reflect on this at home before they come to the first session.

(this video is available to download at
Session 1

We begin by celebrating and appreciating our rural church life. We encourage reflection on what is life-giving about rural ministry.

Session 2

We move on to name and explore the burdens and expectations which weigh heavy upon clergy and laity alike in rural Mission Communities

Session 3

We reflect on models of ministry. If traditional ways of structuring our church life are beginning to buckle at the knees, what alternatives are there? Which model(s) will best promote the mission of the Church over the next 10 years?

Session 4

We focus on lightening the load of buildings and bureaucracy. We ask what is essential, what could be done with more economy of effort, what could be given up altogether. We point to practical resources which Mission Communities may find helpful.

Session 5

We draw everything together in a final session about priorities and pruning. What is critical, what needs to go? How can we lighten the load and free people to enjoy their discipleship more fully? What needs to change to enable us to be a missional Church in a world shaped by Coronavirus?

Visit our Events page for more details

Past events

Lightening the Load webinar

(recorded on 12th April 2021)

You can make a difference to the Rural Churches in Devon