The Bishop of Hull, the Rt Revd Alison White, will license a new minister for the Kingswood Estate in Hull – in a pub.
The Revd Ben Norton will be licensed as the estate's new Pioneer Minister at the Oyster Catcher Pub on the Kingswood Retail Park on Tuesday 20th October 2015 at 7.30pm. Ben will be the first minister to be appointed to the Kingswood Estate. He returns to Hull, where he was born, from St Cuthbert's church in Marton in Cleveland.
I am looking forward to this for many different reasons, but especially because I will have the privilege of serving the people in the city of my heritage. I was born in Hull, as were my wife and my children, and I am proud to that I can once again call it home.
The role that the Diocese of York have created in Kingswood is one of great vision and in many ways one of great risk. My hope and dream for this role is that it will allow people living in and around Kingswood to find a safe space to explore their own faith journey and that, as a result of this, fresh expressions of church will begin to develop.
Bishop Alison commented,
We think this might be the first time a minister has ever been licensed in a pub! But it's really appropriate in Ben's case. There's no church building on Kingswood, so the new church will be meeting in pubs or cafés. Ben is the perfect person to be the first minister in Kingswood – he brings not only his knowledge and love of Hull, but gifts of imagination and energy.
Ben was ordained as a Pioneer Minister in 2007, was curate at Emmanuel Church, Bridlington, from 2007 to 2012 when he moved to Marton in Cleveland. During his time in Bridlington, Ben created new expressions of church including XY Church, a lads' church that met in a pub, St Max's church, and a Beach Hut 'Advent Calendar' on the seafront in December. When he moved to Marton in Cleveland, Ben drew on his past career as a hairdresser and worked every Monday at Jargon hairdressers in Coulby Newham as a way to get to know people in the area.
Homes started being built in Kingswood in the 1990s, and the urban village is now growing at a considerable rate. By 2028 there will be over 6,000 homes, as well as the new primary school, the 'village centre' of shops and amenities and an extensive retail park. As Kingswood will soon be one of the biggest estates in Yorkshire, the Diocese of York committed to providing a Pioneer Minster for the community.