More than a course – a community where people feel at home

David Harrigan of the St Cedd Centre for Pioneer Mission - pictured here at the launch of the Good Shepherd Boxing Community

The St Cedd Centre for Pioneer Mission in Romford recently held a taster day for the CMS Certificate course. St Cedd’s is based at the Church of the Good Shepherd and was the first pioneer training hub launched by CMS in partnership with the diocese of Chelmsford. The Rev David Harrigan, pioneer curate at the Church of the Good Shepherd, fills us in on what happened and what’s coming up.

We are looking for St Cedd’s to be more than a course but a community where people feel at home. ‘Home’ not in terms of a place but being at home with like-minded people.

The taster day gathered together people who have been a part of the course from intakes one and two as well as new people just coming along for the day but finding ‘home’ for the first time.

We did a form of ‘speed dating’ getting to know each other face to face.

After this we came back together and I discussed the ‘feast bowl’ [huge ritual bowl used in the Pacific islands where feasts symbolised the giving and receiving of blessing] which I saw in an Edinburgh museum. This idea that each of us brings something to share while taking what we wanted from the day’s conversation. Where you can leave what you don’t want and add in what you wish.

The whole day was framed around a question of “what are the differences between pioneer mission and the church being missional?” We let people discuss this freely with each other and drew out insights from each other’s experiences. We tried not to answer questions but helped people to articulate what they felt.

Dan Pierce, a local pioneer in Chelmsford diocese, talked about “what are we curating?” He used a table to represent different forms and styles of church and asked: do we just try to build that same table in our context? Or do we try to build a table but change its shape a little from a square table to a round one, church services that are essentially the same thing but look a little different. Or do we live in context and maybe look around at the things at hand to curate whatever needs to be built? And that might not be a table at all but something much different.

After lunch David Hague, vicar of the Church of the Good Shepherd, spoke about the five-fold ministry in Ephesians 4:11-13 (apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers).

David’s heart is for all pioneering projects to have a healthy balance of the five-fold ministry, so the needs of the team are met as well as those who engage with them.

We later just had a time of Q&A to clarify anything and for people to express their thoughts, added also with a time of prayer and space to share.

We’ve got some more exciting taster events going on in our hubs this month, next month and into the spring. Please see below and also feel free to contact the Hubs direct for more information.

St Cedd Centre for Pioneer Mission

14 March 2020 – taster day 9.30am to 2.30pm
16 May 2020 – visit to The Table in Southall
18 July 2020 – taster day 9.30am to 2.30pm

Places can be booked by emailing Julie Clay

St Albans lay pioneer training

Taster day Saturday 23 May, 10am to 2pm at St. Mary’s Church, Church Street, Luton, LU1 3JF

To book, please contact Sue Hughes

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