A friend asked earlier today where my blog page was …. I was rather embarrassed to admit I could no longer find it myself, and that in part that was because it was so long since I’d updated it. I’m so glad that we trust in a theology of second chances, if only because I know that I for one have always, and still continue to need them – and so it is with this blog.
Some background; I’ve been working in North Sheffield (in Parson Cross, Southey to be accurate) for the Methodist Church since 2010. Originally employed as “Fresh Expressions Community worker” my job (and job title) has evolved into “Pioneer Community Worker”, combining both a community development role within the church and the neighbourhood communities I serve and a Pioneer Ministry role as I seek to develop and understand new ways of being church together with the people I meet.
The work I undertake has narrowed down over those five years to focus on two main strands:
- Social Activism & Social Justice issues. This includes work at a local level such as; emergency food support (food bank), campaign work both through our local organisations and as chair of Sheffield Church Action on Poverty, Acts 435 advocacy (providing access to emergency charitable aid) as well as community gardening and such like projects.
- Schools Chaplaincy Plus. Working in and alongside local primary and secondary schools to explore and develop Chaplaincy support as well as input into curriculum areas such as RE in addition to extra curriculum activities in schools (Prayer Days, after school clubs etc)
As well as the “day job” I am a Methodist Local Preacher, and am exploring the Pioneer Pathway from this perspective too. Just what does it mean to be one of “Mr Wesleys Preachers” in the 21st Century in such a way as to be pioneering? If the world is still my (and the Methodist church’s) parish, how does the local preacher role impact to this wider ministry when much of the role seems bound to the “Quarterly Plan”?
So here it is …. a fresh start, a new page written, this time I will attempt to keep these reflections up to date, and share with those who are interested.