Yesterday there was a celebration at Lambeth palace of 10 years of ordained pioneer ministry. Several CMS ordained pioneers were there. It was encouraging to hear (via twitter) that Archbishop Justin Welby has said
Pioneers are a gift to the church and we need more
We wholeheartedly agree and have been saying that for a while but good to hear it from the top!
It was also interesting to hear that a view being shared was that pioneering has engendered culture change in the whole of the church. I am not sure who was saying that. I think it is probably true. Certainly in the region around Oxford I would say that through the South Central RTP (which is the region covering about 6 dioceses plus methodists and urc) the last five years has seen quite a change in relation to both how pioneer ministry is being perceived and encouraged. Yesterday I spoke at Winchester diocese conference and there is a desire to see a lot more pioneering mission there. There is of course a long way to go in all these places but good that the church took time to celebrate this milestone.
The day also saw the launch of a new Church of England pioneer web site. This looks like it will be a useful resource and gathering place for information, research, jobs and so on. Dave Male has clearly been busy in his role as he also has a new book coming out which is a very practical – how to pioneer even if you haven’t a clue.