Midwives, Snakes and Mission

by Michael Ford last modified 30 May, 2019 05:16 PM

What do midwives, snakes and mission to new housing estates have in common?

That was the question recently asked at a Forum discussing Pioneering Mission to new estates both urban and rural in our Diocese.

The answer - quite a lot, as it happens.

Ali Boulton, one of the directors of the National New Housing Hub and Paul Bradbury, a Pioneer Minister of Poole Missional Communities led a group of practitioners through a conversation about the nature of Pioneer Mission to areas of new housing.

Steve Inglis, Ministry for Mission Resource Officer, Diocese of Salisbury who attended the Forum said:

"Ali, a New Housing Pioneer, was asking us to consider if this might be a 'Kairos moment'.

"She talked about the current New Housing 'crises' and the opportunity it presents for disciples of Jesus to respond with welcome and blessing.

"Paul, who is also part of the team at CMS and coordinator of the South Central Regional Training Partnership Pioneer Hub, took the time to open a conversation around the issue of sustainability."

Alos attending was our Rural Field Officer for Sarum, Claire Horton who explained the two surprising images of snake and midwife were a key feature of the morning:

"Perhaps not the first images which spring to mind for pioneering in new housing developments but these were carefully woven into the presentations and discussions led by Paul and Ali.

"They challenged our thinking and encouraged us to let go and do deep listening to the community, being prepared to birth new ideas and shed the skin of the old, adapt and change in order to grow."

Claire went on to say:

"What a great event this was! The New Housing Hub offered a fantastic opportunity to meet with those on the front line engaging in ministry and mission in new housing and to share stories and resources. Thanks to everyone for this energising forum."

The Rural Field Officer for Sherborne, Alice Farnhill, who was also at the event, added:

"Paul and Ali had us all enthralled and energised by their enthusiasm for Christian outreach and mission through new communities that are already, or will be, a reality far and wide, none of which tend to naturally include a faith ‘building’. How should those of us established in Christian communities respond/step up?

"Some great film clips and case studies, and also an opportunity, as ever at these events, to network and mingle with others."

Steve said the event had led to much "food for thought and action."

Plans are underway to hold another Forum soon.

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