On Saturday 21 March 2015 members of Strathalbyn Parish, together with folk from as far away as Renmark and Christies Beach met with Bishop Michael Langrish at Mount Barker to consider a biblical model for the mission of the Church in rural areas.
Bishop Michael who is a former Bishop of Exeter, an English diocese which includes many rural communities in Devon, described the kind of situation which is faced by the Church in many country villages there as more and more people move away from the cities to live in the country. Surprisingly the situation there is not dissimilar to that which we experience in our country towns.
In order to meet the challenge which this new situation brings he presented us with a biblical model based on the history of the people of Israel and the story of the development of the Church as it spread from Jerusalem into all the world. This was then illustrated by reference to the way in which the Church was brought to England in past centuries and then to Australia in more recent times.
We came away with a great deal to think about and to share with our fellow parishioners in the weeks ahead.