The Rural Pastoral Support Network Project (RPSNP) began in the summer of 2014, following initial research carried out by the Arthur Rank Centre into rural isolation across the UK.
The research found that isolation and loneliness can have a negative impact on physical and mental health problems among people of all ages and backgrounds; older people, parents, carers, children and young people. The causes of this included lack of transport, work or childcare commitments and being housebound. It was also recognised that there were likely to be many people in local communities with time and experience that could be used to contribute to addressing these issues, but initiatives and processes needed to be put in place.
This resource provides practical guidance for rural churches on how they can help address isolation and loneliness within their communities. It provides some case studies, details of good practice and links to other sources of information. There is a summary of the wider background relating to rural isolation in the UK, outlines the process and findings of the project and provides conclusions and recommendations which can be used by rural churches.