Newbigin Pioneering Hub, Birmingham

Do you see…

  • New possibilities?
  • A way where there is no way?
  • Ideas for mission in your community that just might work?
  • A new community of disciples where there is none?
  • How your local community can flourish in God’s love and shalom, but know this can’t happen alone?

If you can see even a glimpse of any of these, then come and be part of the Newbigin Pioneering Hub and see if your hopes can be realised together with us.

Introducing the Newbigin Pioneering Hub

We are a collaboration between United Reformed Church, Congregational Federation, Church Mission Society and Seedbeds and named in honour of the inspirational URC Minister and mission theologian, Lesslie Newbigin. This new venture is open to all and part of celebrating the past 50 years of the United Reformed Church by investing our future in local communities.

Our mission is:

‘To discover, nurture, empower and release a new Community of Pioneers, able to see God’s love and shalom flourish in their local communities.’

Rev Dr Ash Barker, who leads the Newbigin Pioneering Hub from Winson Green, inner city Birmingham, says,

“We long for every local community to flourish in God’s love and shalom, but know so many neighbourhoods are missing out right now. I believe this new venture can unearth a new generation of Pioneers, ready to be planted personally in local places and able to grow people into new communities of hope, faith and compassion wherever Jesus has called them to serve. We have hard-won insights from experienced Pioneers that can help form, guide and inspire a new generation of Pioneers from here.”

Could God be calling you to step out in faith with us to see your God-given dreams in your local community flourish in faith, hope and love?

Join us for:

The CMS Certificate in Pioneering Mission

This is our foundational course designed and led by experienced pioneering practitioners, for practitioners. Church Mission Society has offered this course around the UK and will now make it be available to all, rooted in the United Reformed Church and planted in a live pioneering context in inner city Birmingham. The course will start September 2022 and will include six units run over three weekend residential (The Greenhouse at Barnes Close), hybrid seminars (online and in Lodge Road Community Church, Birmingham) on three full Saturdays and three Wednesday evenings as well as personal coaching. There is also a final pitch of your pioneering project to a resource panel and graduation.

These are our six units:

  • Pioneering Mission
  • Missional Spirituality
  • Church and Mission
  • Mission and the Bible
  • Community Development
  • Missional Entrepreneurship

Community of Pioneering

We aim to discover, nurture, empower and release a new generation of Pioneers. This will include helping Pioneers connect with new mission contexts, pathways, retreats and coaching. We believe we can go further and deeper in our calling as Pioneers if we connect together well. We will form this ‘Community of Pioneers’ out of those who currently identify as Pioneers as well as those coming through the ‘Certificate in Pioneer Mission.’

Newbigin Annual Public Lecture

To stimulate Christians into more thoughtful and deeper engagement in the places they live and serve, we offer a public lecture with a high profile Christian leader who embodies a contemporary spirit of Lesslie Newbigin. In previous years this has included: Dr Steve Bevans (2018), Dr Krish Kandiah (2019), John Newbigin and Dr Ash Barker (2021).

‘The Church in each place is to be the sign, instrument and foretaste of the reign of God present in Christ for that place; a sign, planted in the midst of the present realities of the place but pointing beyond them to the future which God has promised; an instrument available for God’s use in the doing of his will for that place; a foretaste – manifesting and enjoying already in the midst of the messianic tribulations a genuine foretaste of the peace and joy of God’s reign.’ – Lesslie Newbigin

Would you join us in this new venture?


CMS Certificate of Pioneering programme: £600 for six modules or £300 for an approved URC Participant.

Community of Pioneers community membership: £24 annually (free for programme contributors).

Please contact ash.barker@seedbeds.org for more information and/or to apply.

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