St Albans pioneer hub dates announced

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The latest in a network of CMS pioneer training hubs gets underway this month with the team in St Albans diocese announcing taster days and ‘pioneer cafe’ events to find out more.

Dreamers Who Do is the name of the diocese’s new lay pioneer mission training programme, which offers participants the chance to complete the CMS Certificate in pioneer mission and be commissioned as a “Pioneer Enabler” in the diocese.

It is the fifth local or regional partnership to be launched, bringing the unique CMS Pioneer Mission Leadership Training to more people in their locality.

Andrea Campanale, pioneer network developer at Church Mission Society, said: “CMS is delighted to be partnering with the Diocese of St Albans on a new initiative to train lay pioneers. It will add to the growing network of pioneer hubs around the UK, encouraging and releasing lay leaders in the church to imaginatively take the message of Jesus to new audiences and see Fresh Expressions of church birthed out of diverse contexts.”

Similar CMS Pioneer hubs in partnership with the dioceses of Chelmsford, Bath & Wells and London are currently preparing for their second or even third cohorts of students. The new Northern Centre for Pioneer Mission in partnership with the Diocese of Carlisle has its first training sessions this weekend, with students from across the North West, North East and Scotland.

For the new venture in St Albans diocese, the Reaching New People team has set up online Pioneer Café events on 16 September and 7 October for potential students to find out more about the course, which will begin in January 2021.

The Pioneer Café is an opportunity to ask any questions about the training and how it fits within St Albans diocese’s initiative to create more worshipping communities, reach new people and train more lay people to lead.

There is also a Pioneer Café especially for clergy to understand more about what it might mean to have a pioneer as part of their team.

Potential students can then attend a taster event online to get a more detailed picture of the course. They will take part in a number of interactive elements, which will be very similar to the real “classroom” experience.

On successful completion of the CMS Certificate in Mission Ministry and Theology within St Albans diocese, participants will be commissioned by the bishop of St Albans to the role of “pioneer enabler”. This role and the project that they will be starting or developing will be established in mutual collaboration with their vicar or church leader and parish context.

The first course runs from January to July 2021 and covers five modules, each taught over one Saturday and two evenings.

Of course, changes have had to be made as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The team currently plan to deliver the course online but as the situation develops, it may be possible to include some face to face training with all the necessary safety measures in place.

Students need to be recommended by a church leader or clergyperson and the deadline for applications is 5 November.

See all upcoming dates for St Albans taster events

See the Reaching New People website or email pioneer@stalbans.anglican.org for more details.

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