At Greenbelt this year we were one of the partners in the Exchange venue which was a venue focused on business for good. It was great to have a base where we could meet people and we chaired three panels sharing the amazing things pioneers have got started with three stories in each. Several of the stories were ones that had started having come on the make good course – if you are landing here following Greenbelt to find out info here’s the link to the next course which is highly likely to sell out so I’d book early if I were you.
It was also fun to share the stand with friends from Cumbria. Having launched the partnership with Cumbria for the Northern Centre by canoeing across a lake we wanted to make the most of being at Greenbelt to celebrate with a wider group of people together so we had an evening to toast the partnership which was a lot of fun (spot the Bishop who had the vision and created the space, and spot the chair of the Greenbelt board who happens to be one of the leaders of our Make Good course!) . I have used the phrase ‘true north’ for a few years to convey the idea of pioneers orienting what they do towards the pull of joining in with God’s mission. Of course the guys in the North love this idea as you would expect so it was totally brilliant to come across Northern Monk beer and find out that on the top of their cans they have ‘true north’ printed. So we had to toast the North by having cans of Northern Monk beer as you can see in the photos.
It also felt really good for the first time to have as the pop up banner image a map of what we are doing across the country with centres and hubs on it rather than promoting training in Oxford. Initially we started in Oxford and that is still by far the largest centre (we will have a total of 76 students this year across all courses there at the last count) but it’s great to be at this change point where CMS pioneering is becoming a more spread out network of centres and hubs and pioneers. We actually also have a hub in S Korea but that’s another story for another map!
Here’s to pioneers, the gift they bring and to the year ahead! And here’s to True North!
[Big thanks to Mark Kensett for the photos and to Lori Passmore for the two of the panel]