Forty people gathered on the boundary of Lichfield and Hereford dioceses last week for a 'Pioneer Mission and Fresh Expressions Catalyst Day'.
Andrea Campanale was the guest speaker for the day in which she shared her experience and challenged those present to consider, perhaps for the first time, ideas that guide much pioneering work.
Participants included some who are already considered pioneer ministers (working in new, creative ways to engage with communities outside the church); leaders of Fresh Expressions (replicating newer models of church congregations, such as Messy Church) and those in our dioceses and ecumenical partners who are supportive of, or considering new ways of being missional in their contexts.
Fittingly, the event was held at Telford Minster which is a pioneering church aiming to take the gospel to the thousands in younger generations moving into the 'new town' that continues to expand rapidly.
Kathy Bland, Pioneer Enabler for Hereford Diocese and one of the co-organisers said:
"When pioneers gather together, we can feel the collective energy in the room and gain a sense that the church would do well to utilise this irrepressible force for change. Andrea facilitated a day that was rich in challenge, inspiration and encouragement for pioneers and creative thinkers. We look forward to building on this day and finding more opportunities to grow pioneer communities in our dioceses.
Catherine Matlock, Pioneer Missioner for Lichfield Diocese said:
"The event offered creative, context-based training to existing pioneers and the encouragement to be imaginative and collaborative to anyone keen to engage in new ways with their communities. It was fabulous to have over forty people benefitting from Andrea Campanale’s pioneering experience and networking from across the wide Lichfield/Hereford Diocesan areas. There is clearly an appetite for further learning about new ways to do ‘church’."