Rural Ministries: Growing through Mission

Society has seen countless changes over recent years and a gap has appeared between it and many churches which needs to be bridged.

The Rural Ministries conference will help us to re-understand our role as missionaries today in our changing society. We will examine some of the emerging forms of mission and encourage one another in what it is to be an evangelical witness today in our rural communities.

Speakers include Pete and Kath Atkins (Fresh Expressions and Ground Level Network), Lisa Holland (Prayer Spaces in Schools), Hilary Taylor (London Baptist Association) and Sam and Sara Hargraves (Engage Worship).

The conference is a safe space to reflect, question and learn together and features keynote addresses, a seminar stream on creative ways of engaging in rural mission, networking opportunities with other mission-minded rural churches, children's and youth programme, a book stall and other key resources.


Tickets start at £150 for adults, £50 for children aged 13-16 and free for under 13s.

Further details

For more information or to book, please visit the Rural Ministries website.

Cumbria Pioneer Network

The first gathering of the Cumbria Pioneer Network.

The fairly flexible running order will be:

10.00 Welcome and refreshments

10.15 Worship

10.30 Guest speaker: Joel Peabody, Missional Director, Awaken

11.15 Short break

11.25 Sharing our pioneer stores so far and prayer for each other

12.30 Sandwich lunch (provided)

13.15 Discussion about future shape and meetings of the pioneer network and chat about what we might want to communicate

13.45 Closing worship

14.00 Finish

Please let Matthew Firth ( know if you're coming (with any dietary requirements), as well as whether you are bringing children along (number, ages) as children's activities can be arranged during the talk, sharing time and discussion.

New Parish Conference

ForMission Events are very excited to be hosting the 'New Parish Conference UK' which will be held from 2nd to 3rd October 2015 at St Martin's Church in the Bullring, Birmingham. With missional speakers from around the world all gathered together to champion, inspire, encourage and equip those in need of ideas and support to develop their local communities.

Two days of talks, workshops, conversations, interactions, networking, enlightening story-telling to inspire, equip and encourage those involved in and passionate about local mission.

Hear missional practitioners share on topics from marginalised groups, to politics, to the environment to urban mission, and so much more.

Get involved with conversations, workshops and stories as together we explore why we are placed in our neighbourhoods, how we can serve our communities and the ways in which we can link to one another.

Come away with project ideas, inspiration and motivation, connections, support, methods and a deeper understanding of how effective you are and can be, in your neighbourhood.

Featuring a host of speakers including Ash Barker, Jill Rowe, Andy Flannagan, Anji Baker, Heather Cracknell, Jenny Flannagan, Jonny Baker, Mike Roayl, Paul Sparks, Imandeep Kaur, Tim Watson, Al Barrett, Lou Davis, Simon Heathfield, Tim Soerens, Gemma Dunning, Sam Ewell, Jean Vanier, Paul and Megain Tucker, Erika Briscoe, Ali Middleton, Sean Stillman, Angie Allgood and Sally Mann.

The event is opened with a 'call to action' evening from 7.30pm to 9.30pm on Friday 2nd October, an evening of inspirational worship from Andy Flannagan and DJ Jamo, with creative and though-provoking stories and presentations from Anji Barker and Sam Ward.


Tickets are £95 for both days. Day tickets and group discounts are available.

Further details

For more information or to book, please visit the ForMission website.

Always new, and nothing new (Ian Adams)

Ian Adams reflects on the need for humility and boldness in 21st Century mission.

The word 'mission' has in many ways become tainted by cultural imperialism and domination. It's a tough act to reclaim any word from its baggage, and some suggest that the word itself needs to be replaced. Reclaimed or replaced, either way it's my sense that whatever word we use, the possibility of the Jesus tradition as a way of life bringing the healing of all things is waiting to be explored, experienced and offered humbly as gift to the world.

And this mission will need to be more humble than it has been for many centuries. As a faith community we have too often not lived in the spirit of Jesus. Mission in his name in the 21st century will need to rediscover humility.

But this humility may release a new boldness! From a starting place of humility emerges a new and quiet freedom to live the Jesus-path with grace and imagination, to encounter him around us and within us, and to offer ourselves in the Christ's name as small gifts towards the world's healing.

It requires a pioneering spirit to see new possibilities and nurture them into being. And there's a powerful sense of newness present whenever we engage in the Spirit's dreamings. With the Psalm-writers of the Jewish scriptures a new song is always being sung.

But there is also a vital need to sense connection to what has gone before. If mission is always new it will always be at the same time, in the very best sense, nothing new. There will be newness because the Holy Spirit seems always to be ahead of us, imagining new life in an ever-changing context. There will be connection with what has gone before because it is the same Holy Spirit who is inspiring the mission. Interestingly for many people it is the ancient roots of the Jesus tradition that are particularly attractive, a deep well from which we may draw 'a spring of water gushing up' for life.

This mix of old and new is vital. In the faith tradition we are one people, one Church. This keeps us connected to our brothers and sisters who may express their sense of mission in a very different way to us. Traditional or experimental, both count, both matter. Whatever it looks like, what is important is the spirit in which your mission is lived and expressed, with St Paul's 'abiding faith, hope and love' as a possible guide.

The connection between always new and nothing new keeps us both humble and bold. Your fresh expression of church is just one more in a long line of such adventures, and you are just amongst the latest to be trying to respond to what God is calling into being. That revelation calls for humility. But your expression of mission is yet one more in a whole line of such callings. You are being entrusted with something precious and, its own small way, important. That revelation calls for boldness!

May your fresh expression of church thrive on the mix of humility and boldness that comes from being always new, and nothing new:

  • what do you sense are the close points of connection in your mission as a fresh expression with what has gone before?
  • what is the newness of the thing you are shaping, the new song you are singing?