The Centre was established in 1972 at the National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh, Warwicks as a joint venture by the Churches, the Royal Agricultural Society and the Rank Foundation. It was opened by HM Queen Elizabeth II and dedicated by the Bishop of Coventry. Facilities include Conference and meeting rooms and a library and resource unit. The ecumenical Chaplaincy Centre provides support for the Churches' rural mission and pastoral ministry, partly through the Rural Stress Information Network. Other activities include courses on rural ministry, training opportunities for young people, the Rural Housing Trust and the National Churches Tourism Group. Among Methodists who have served as its director are the Rev. John Clarke and the Rev. Gordon Gatward.
'ARC is described as an initiator, an innovator where new ideas and new projects take life, and I have always been impressed by its adaptability. Rural poverty, housing, stress and isolation, national policy formation, employment, local services, chaplaincy, preparation for rural ministry, are said to be issues still driving its work.'
Barry Weetman, in Methodist Recorder, 31 August 2012