In A Big Country 2022

Details of next month’s rural conference and how you can book your slot are now available.

When: 18th June 2022

Where: Dingwall Free Church

Topics and speakers have been announced for the ‘In a Big Country’ rural conference taking place next month – and you are invited to attend. 

The day event, which is open to everyone, will be held at Dingwall Free Church on Saturday 18th June, from 10am until 1pm. 

It is being organised by the Free Church Mission Board, and it is a great opportunity for congregations to study God’s Word, to hear what He is doing in and around rural Scotland and to encourage each other. 

The day will be chaired by Jeremy Ross, vice-chair of Mission Board. Two plenary talks will be held and there will be a host of seminars to choose from. 

Ivor MacDonald, of Coatbridge, will speak on the topic of ‘Urban/Rural: Same but different’. 

This talk will examine the similarities and difference between rural and urban contexts. Ivor is a former agricultural advisor and has extensive ministry experience in both town and country.  

Neil (Lachie) MacDonald, of Lochbroom, will speak on the theme of ‘Rural 2022 not 1922’. 

This talk will outline the nature of rural ministry in today’s context making the point that the past is another world. Lachie has experience in island ministry as well as his current congregations in Ullapool and Achiltibuie. 

There will be opportunities to choose two out of the following four seminars which will be interactive. 

The seminar ‘Rural life is not all pretty … social and spiritual issues in today’s rurality’ will be facilitated by Hannah Macleod who is a GP on the Isle of Skye.  Behind the myth of the rural idyll are many people who struggle with health and social issues.  Hannah will give a perspective on the needs of present-day rurality.  You will help with the solutions! 

The second seminar ‘Village life … the good, the bad and the ugly’ will be facilitated by Ann MacRae who is a doctor in Inverness.  Ann was brought up in a Black Isle village and raised a family in the country town of Dingwall. The seminar will look at the issues raised through living in a village and how the church can help and perhaps hinder the process. 

The third seminar ‘Does a small population mean a limited vision?’ will be facilitated by Iain MacAskill who is a minister supporting mission and evangelism in the Northern Presbytery. Iain was raised in North Uist, was involved in church planting in South Uist and then senior minister at Rosskeen. Iain is a missional entrepreneur who will be asking a question about limits in vision. Does a rural situation automatically lead to parochialism and a small vision? You know the answer to this question.   

The fourth seminar ‘Communication in rural churches’ will be facilitated by David Meredith who is the Mission Director for the Free Church. David was raised on the Isle of Skye and ministered in Smithton, Inverness. CH Spurgeon in his extensive commentary on the Psalms (The Treasury of David) has a section entitled: ‘Hints to the village preacher.’ Is this an insult? The seminar will be looking at preaching but also wider communication issues for country churches. 

Sessions will end at 1pm. You are most welcome to bring your own lunch and stay for a time of fellowship and have lunch together. 

To book your place, go to: