"The Executive Committee of the Council for Social Service in its recent Report to General Synod again forcibly expressed its opinion that something more should be done by the Church to stimulate the life and work of our rural parishes. General Synod (September 1949) took one very small step forward in recognition of the need. First, the Synod commended the work of diocesan groups of clergy and laity who are studying the matter endeavouring to do something about it. That was a tribute well deserved. A Toronto Diocesan Committee has done much to inspire their own rural church ministers and has interested one or two individuals elsewhere. A group working from Cowansville, Quebec, is alive to the issue. Another gathering of clergy and laity a few months ago in St. John's College, Winnipeg, showed a keen sense of the need for further action in the West. Secondly, General Synod, without formulating any developed plans and without giving any present hope of real financial assistance, asked the Council for Social Service to open possible avenues of help through the establishment of Provincial (Ecclesiastical) Committees. It is possible that the Council under such limitations may be able to do just enough to convince the Church that a more energetic and well supported policy is needed and that such a policy will pay !" -- Editor's Note.
Contents: Editor's Note / W.W. Judd -- Training for the Rural Church / E.G. Bruton -- The Need for a Trained Rural Ministry : A Dominion-wide Problem / W.E. Mann -- Student Training `In The Field' / Allan Read -- The Training Ground at Roanridge : A Program with International Significance / George W. Sutherland -- Appendix -- Establishing Christian Families in Town and Country Communities.
That this Synod, recognizing that recruiting and training for the Ministry is a prime concern of the whole Church, endorses the principle of the observance of Theological Education Sunday throughout the whole Church of England in Canada, when the claims of the Ministry and the work of the Theological Colleges shall be put before Church people and offerings taken for the support of these Colleges, and urges the Metropolitans and Bishops to appoint such a Sunday in each Ecclesiastical Province. CARRIED in both Houses.
That the General Synod hears with satisfaction of the increased interest on the part of our Theological Colleges and of some Diocesan Councils in the field of modern social agency work and of the promotion of new emphases in the pastoral work of the Sacred Ministry.
And urges that continued efforts be made to ensure that all prospective ordinands and all men and women preparing for parochial, evangelistic or institutional work be given opportunity during their period of training to know and utilize the secular social services of the community;
Further, believing that church members everywhere should be well-informed and ready to use their influence toward the solution of the moral and social problems of their communities and of society in general, the Synod welcomes the plans of the Secretaries of the Council for an expansion of their services to the Colleges and Diocesan Councils and trusts that their efforts will be met with fullest co-operation. CARRIED in both Houses.
The Council for Social Service has convened the first National Rural Church Conference. It was held during the first week of May, 1958 at Grimsby, Ontario. .... General Chairman of the Conference was the Rt. Rev. S.C. Steer, Bishop of Saskatoon. Forty delegates from twenty Dioceses and including twelve from the United States were present. The Conference was designed to be inspirational, to provide an opportunity for the discussion of concrete problems and opportunities for service in the rural areas, and to suggest future policy with respect to the development of Diocesan, Provincial and National Rural Church programmes." -- Intro.
Contents : Introduction / Leonard F. Hatfield -- The Conservation of Rural Life in Canada / S.H. Prince -- Rural Training Schools and Supervision of Students (Some basic principles and values associated with a Rural Training Programme) / Lloyd Delaney -- A Rural Training Programme / K.H. Tufts -- Summer Supervision of Students / John Baden -- The Larger Parish / Howard Buchner -- Recommendations Made by the Delegates at the Grimsby Conference Concerning Future Policies for the Rural Church Movement -- Bibliography entitled "Some Books on the Rural Church".