Mission Shaped Ministry Course

With the launch of the new ministry of lay pioneers within the Diocese of Southwark it is even more important to support and encourage pioneering and to develop not only pioneers but teams around them and churches and teams around the Diocese. One of the key ways that we do this is through the Mission Shaped Ministry Course.

The Mission Shaped Ministry Course is a one year course aimed at helping churches to be missional in creative and imaginative ways. This course will help churches to reach out beyond their natural fringe and to serve their communities and look to form new ways of being church. It will also help churches who might not be looking to fresh expressions of Church but want to explore new or different ways of mission.

In the course we have a variety of inspirational people who will be sharing their stories and their learning. There will be lots of time to reflect on where you are and where your church is and some of the steps that you might take to effectively reach those outside of the Church. Sessions can include videos, interactive times and questions, group work as well as sharing your own story, challenges and opportunities.

Participants may be at any stage – just starting to think about things, planning your first steps, wondering what to do next, planning a new community. The course is a great opportunity to learn.

Although you are welcome to come as an individual our experience has been that coming with a group from your church or mission activity have been the most fruitful. Coming in a team ensures that you can discover new ideas together, reflect with those in your situation and plan how you might start new things.

Key areas that we look at include contextual mission (i.e. what does the mission of God look like where I live and minister), gospel and culture, listening for mission and starting something new.

We are holding the next course at Christ Church, Brighton Rd, Purley, Surrey CR8 2BN. It is near to Purley Station (with good rail connections) and the A23. Dates for the course in 2020 are:

  • Saturday 18 January
  • Tuesday 11 February
  • Tuesday 10 March
  • Tuesday 21 April
  • Weekend Away 15-17 May
  • Tuesday 9 June
  • Tuesday 7 July
  • Saturday 12 September
  • Tuesday 13 October
  • Saturday 7 November

Saturdays run from 10am-4pm and Tuesdays are from 19.30-21.30

The Weekend away is being held at The Oasts, Tufton Lane, Northiam, East Sussex TN31 6HL

The costs for the course are £300 for up to three people from a parish in Southwark Diocese (if 3 people come then it works out at £100 per person). After the first three people it is £100 per person. If you are not part of Southwark Diocese the cost is £300 oer person.

For more information please contact Will Cookson at will.cookson@southwark.anglican.org or 0207 7939 9417

Lay Pioneers

On Saturday 14 September, at the Croydon Lay Conference, Bishop Christopher will be commissioning our first three Lay Pioneers for the Diocese of Southwark. Lay Pioneers are an exiting new ministry that will sit alongside other lay ministries in the Diocese and will help us in encouraging new ways to reach new people with the good news of Jesus Christ. As the Church of England helpfully says:

Pioneers are people called by God who are the first to see and creatively respond to the Holy Spirit’s initiatives with those outside the church; gathering others around them as they seek to establish new contextual Christian community.

As the work of the new Pioneering Ministry and Fresh Expressions department develops within the Diocese of Southwark we have started looking at this whole exciting area of Lay Pioneers and these first three are, we hope and pray, the first of many more.

Lay Pioneers will play a significant role in helping the Church to experiment and to take risks in reaching others with the love of Christ. Their primary focus will be to reach those outside of the Church. Their pioneering spirit often leads them to work with those most in need and in deprived communities. Of the three being commissioned this time round one is working with an estate community in Redhill; one is working with Japanese people who have had little or no contact with Christians and one is working with those who see themselves as being spiritual but not religious.

With the setting up of the Diocesan Lay Council this autumn we hope to create a range of options for lay people to explore in regards to Pioneer selection and training. As a first step we now have available the opportunity to explore the calling to a Commissioned Lay Pioneer. This is suitable for those who wish to explore a calling to Pioneering but may not yet have much experience or they may be part of a fresh expression of Church in their local context and would like some more training, support and recognition. Over time we hope that we will also be able to recognise those who may have been leading a fresh expression of Church for a period of time (or who lead more than one) and would like to go deeper with their exploration into fresh expressions and pioneering. We hope that to these people we will be able to offer the role of Licensed Lay Pioneer.

We already have a wide range of fresh expressions of Church in the Diocese from new monastic communities to cafe church and messy church through to communities who regard themselves as Spiritual and not Religious. We hope and pray that with an increase in lay pioneers we can see this range grow and deepen and the mission and evangelistic impact of the Church grow within the Diocese.

If you, or someone you know, believes that they may have a calling to pioneering within the Diocese then we would love to hear from you. You can either have an informal chat with Will Cookson, Dean of Fresh Expressions and Director of Pioneering Ministry or book into a Vocations Fair – Southwarkvocations.eventbrite.com.