For 40 years the Arthur Rank Centre has served both the spiritual and practical needs of the rural Christian community through a programme of community and social projects, resourcing and training. The Centre is not just a building but an enduring symbol of faith in the countryside. Its mission: to resource rural churches of all denominations, to develop greater understanding between rural and urban communities and between different faith groups; and to reach out to those in hardship or distress has never been more relevant. The need for our help is greater than ever: over 20,000 people access our services each year.
The ARC is an ecumenical Christian charity founded in 1972 to be a focus and resource for the work of churches in rural areas through the sharing of good practice, the provision of training and the encouragement of Christian ministry. The ARC leads the Christian churches in their efforts to improve the quality of life of those living and working in rural communities and supports and extends the work of rural churches. Look at the resources and training pages to find out how we are doing this.
For all its beauty life in the countryside can be tough. Here at ARC we are very concerned for the 900,000 households who are living on or below the poverty threshold in rural England, and those who feel isolated in places where demographic change, the lack of affordable housing and the withdrawal of services are all taking their toll on communities. With projects like the Rural Stress Helpline and Computers for Rural People we can help people to cope.
It is so worrying that many farming families are still going through difficult times. For the unlucky few, problems of increased transport costs, lack of broadband access, lack of finance and the continued scourge of Bovine TB continue to cause hardship and distress. We provide support and help for these families through projects like Care Farming and the church network of Rural Officers and Agricultural Chaplains.
The ARC is the churches’ rural resources centre and much is being done to resource God’s people in their task of sharing in God’s mission in the countryside. If you would like materials and ideas for worship in your church try our worship resources section. Find information, ideas and inspiration in our magazine Country Way.
The ARC was founded in 1972 as a chaplaincy centre for the English National Agricultural Centre with support from the Rank Foundation, the National Churches and the Royal Agricultural Society of England.
The Centre was named after Lord Arthur J Rank who donated the original building at the National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh Park. It was opened by The Queen at the Royal Show in 1972. In 2002 the ARC moved to its current home in a newly refurbished building on the show ground.