The energy and enthusiasm of a new group of mission pioneers filled the Church Mission Society centre in Oxford this week as students arrived for induction at the start of the new academic year.
Dr Cathy Ross, the new head of Pioneer Mission Leadership Training in Oxford, led the welcomes for what may be year group with the broadest age range yet:
“We welcomed a great cohort of around 30 new students at CMS this week,” says Cathy. “Our age range spans early 20s to early 70s proving that no one is too young or too old to be a pioneer!
“There are some fascinating contexts represented – sports ministries, involvement with bikers, working with vulnerable women, people living on housing estates, working with YMCA, setting up missional communities, an interest in photography and spirituality. There was already so much imagination and wisdom present in the room, so we are excited to be learning with this new group of pioneer students.”
There is also a wide geographical reach, with students coming from as far afield as Cornwall and Dublin.
The gender balance was a little more one-sided, though, as Cathy explains with a smile: “We were interested to note that most of our students are women, so are wondering what that says about pioneer ministry?!”