Pioneering Work

by Michael Ford last modified 05 Mar, 2020 05:11 PM

The Diocese has now welcomed 16 new Commissioned Lay Pioneers.

Pioneering Work

The Warminster Commissioning

Last year, we developed this new Commissioned Ministry for those called by God to respond creatively to the work of the Holy Spirit outside their local church congregation.

And after 2 pilot discernment-and-training courses, 16 people from across the Diocese have now been commissioned to do this work.

9 Lay Pioneers were commissioned in St Peter’s Dorchester by Bishop Karen and 7 in Christ Church, Warminster by Bishop Andrew.

Our CLPs will be working with others to gather people into new expressions of Christian Community: everything from Messy Church, Café Church, or growing Christian community on new housing estate.

Bishop Karen, welcoming the new Pioneers said:

“We are delighted that our new Lay Pioneering Training Course has captured the imagination of so many, who are now taking their own gifts and experience and all that they have learn out into the communities in which they find themselves.

“We are excited to hear what they discover there and who they are making connections and sharing their faith with."

Pioneering Work- Dorchester Commissioning
The Dorchester Commissioning

The idea to pattern a new way of doing ministry came after people said they felt a sense of call to pioneer ministry as a lay person.

Debbie Orriss, our Diocesan Discipleship Co-Ordinator devised a pilot discernment training course course adapting and developing the Fresh Expressions MSI material, and she ran 2 courses in Dorchester and Warminster last autumn alongside Allen Edwards, the Associate Priest at Christ Church Warminster.

Debbie said:

"I was impressed by the energy generated in each session, especially as many of the participants had come after busy days. It was a pleasure to journey alongside them – it was a mutual learning experience."

Participants came from Bradford, Pewsey, Lyme Bay, Milton and Blandford, Weymouth and Portland, and Wimborne Deaneries. The sessions were interactive, using input, videos, discussions and activities.

New CLP Heather Somerville said:

“It was a really great course, brilliant content and well delivered by the Course Leaders.”

And CLP Kevin Wright added:

“I enjoyed all the sessions and found them to be very interesting, challenging and a great help each week we met together. I’m also sure they will be a great resource as I move forward and for future reflection.”

The course is in a similar shape to the LPA and LWL training, with a ‘Taster Session’ where people can come and find out about the training and decide whether they want to continue with the course, and ten sessions followed by a ‘Concluding Session’. This last session is more reflective, thinking back over the journey of the course, and then entering into a period of reflection with their incumbent, to sense whether this ministry is for them.

Following evaluation of feedback from course participants and the leaders’ reflections, the material will be revised for future use – watch this space!

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