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Prioritising a Sense of Belonging Within the Rural Nexus: An Empirical Study of Five Rural Church Primary Schools

Casson, Ann, Woolley, Mary, Hulbert, Sabina, Bowie, Robert A. (2023) Prioritising a Sense of Belonging Within the Rural Nexus: An Empirical Study of Five Rural Church Primary Schools. Rural Theology, 21 (2). pp. 95-108. ISSN 1470-4994. E-ISSN 2042-1273. (doi:10.1080/14704994.2023.2249659) (KAR id:103340)


The rural church primary school exists in a nexus of connections between school, home, and the institutional Church (parochial, diocesan, and national). This article applies Walker’s model of belonging to God through church to the sense of belonging expressed by families whose children attend a rural Church of England primary school. The data drawn from the Faith in the Nexus project undertaken at Canterbury Christ Church University, consists of 24 semi-structured focus group interviews, and 8 individual interviews with school and church leaders from parents, school staff, clergy, and governors across five rural Church of England primary schools. The findings highlight how rural church school families develop and sustain a sense of belonging through events, people, place, and activities. The discussion considers the value of Walker’s model of belonging, the fragility of the rural nexus and a need to acknowledge the relational nature of belonginess expressed by parents and pupils.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/14704994.2023.2249659
Uncontrolled keywords: Sense of belonging; church schools; rural parish; Christian education; Church of England
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Centre for Health Services Studies
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Depositing User: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2023 13:31 UTC
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2024 16:50 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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