Properly northern, properly pioneering
Northern Mission Centre
An introduction by Richard Passmore Northern Mission Centre Director
The Northern Mission Centre is a collaboration between God for All and Church Mission Society to support creative and innovative mission. We are pioneering at heart, supporting both Time Honoured and Fresh Expressions (FX) of church across all denominations to reach deeper into the communities they serve.
One of the joys of working in Cumbria over recent years has been seeing great relationships between Time Honoured churches, Fresh Expressions and pioneering. Whether that is a Time Honoured church hosting a Messy Church, a pioneer helping an established church connect with new people, or a party that embraces everyone, we have come together to serve people in numerous creative ways and honour the connections we already have.
The lessons we have learnt along the way are many. We know that Time Honoured and Fresh Expressions need each other, often more than they realise. We know that telling stories about others working in their communities can inspire people to adapt something for their own context. We know that the more we network and nourish people involved in pioneer mission, the more happens. We know people are generous with their time, gifts and talents, but are stretched. We know that the more creative we are in how we do training and support, the more creative people are in their local situation, and we know that all of this has helped to foster a kind of missional ecosystem that is supportive, relational, giving and creative. This is now increasingly reflected in the God for All vision and the imagery used of a garden, a mixed ecology of church, community and chaplaincy.
We hope through this booklet you will see how we at the Northern Mission Centre can be a toolshed of ideas, practices, and dare I say it, fertiliser(!) as you seek to nurture the garden in your own patch. Through our collaboration with Church Mission Society we are seen as “an exemplar” of missional training at different levels, from our Conversations Day, focusing on theology of mission, or the Certificate in Pioneer Mission helping you innovate in your local situation, to the IME2 support for new ministers and curates, or new for 2023 our Creative Mission Thinking and Practice modules which are part of The Discipleship Project. Likewise we have been able to establish strong local countywide and regional networks of support for mission and innovation such as local pioneer hubs in key areas across Cumbria, and Cmpfire our gathering for all those involved in mission and innovation.