Pioneer School, our partnership with London Diocese, is set to welcome a new cohort of learners in September. Here’s one of last year’s participants, Jo Davey, on what it meant to her.
Hi, I’m Jo and I participated in Pioneer School in 2020–21.
I run Cook Together, a community cooking project that aims to address loneliness and food poverty in Islington through making and eating tasty, easy, healthy and budget-friendly meals together.
At the time I applied for Pioneer School, this was funded through a social enterprise venture called Yes We Canape, a vegetarian and vegan micro catering business. During the pandemic, events dried up, so Yes We Canape was put on pause, but now Cook Together is supported by two different churches – one where we cook with foodbank users, and one where we visit a women’s refuge to cook.
Pioneer School gave me a wonderful chance to think through different approaches to mission and made me realise how much I care about the spiritual wellbeing of those I meet through Cook Together. It set me thinking and praying about how a worshipping community might arise through something like community cooking.
I would recommend the course to anyone who leads or is thinking of leading some kind of alternative expression of church, or something that could become a church, or even a social enterprise that has a Christian basis.
Pioneer School will introduce you to a host of like-minded people with energy and ideas; the sessions will be fascinating and you will be resourced with loads of book, video, podcast and event recommendations that you’ll probably never come across otherwise. And your thinking will be challenged and disrupted – in a good way! Go for it!