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Cowpat conference

14 September 2012


From the Rt Revd Dr John Saxbee

Sir, - It was good to see the extended review by the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James, of two recent collections of essays on the Church in rural areas (Books, 7 September). These books testify to the strength and vitality of the rural voice as we seek to position ourselves in mission for the 21st century.

At the beginning of the last century, English music was condemned as the work of "cowpat" composers, and dismissed as of little relevance in the brave new world of the avant garde. Likewise, rural theology has all too often been patronised or marginalised as out of date and out of touch in modern times.

But, in a world where, among other things, issues to do with urban pollution, environmental sustainability, and food security are to the fore, it is time for rural theology to recover confidence, and renew its contribution to our mission and ministry, worship and witness.

"From Cowpat to Cutting Edge: the Renewal of Rural Theology" is the title of a day conference to be held on Tuesday 6 November at the Arthur Rank Centre, Stoneleigh, Warwickshire. All are welcome to attend. To book a place, please contact cpinchbeck@diocant.org or Canon Caroline Pinchbeck on 01227 459401.

Chairman of the Rural Theology Association, 22 Shelley Road, Priory Park
Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire SA61 1RX


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