Sustaining pioneer ministry in Poole (Paul Bradbury)

Monday, 4 April, 2011

Paul BradburyPaul Bradbury discusses sustaining pioneer ministry in Poole.

Why have we decided to create something called Poole Missional Communities? I guess there are a number of reasons.

Since I started as Pioneer Minister in Poole in September 2008, three projects have emerged that increasingly have lives of their own - even though they share common values. We began Reconnect to draw together a community of people who wanted to live radically and missionally, as well as be intentional about community.

They were challenged to think and pray about how they could be missionaries in different contexts and use their gifts to connect with others. In the process of our listening in the first few months, I talked to people who didn't go to church – but many of them spoke of having an experience of God, of praying and meditating.

I felt it right to get into workplaces in Poole because if we were going to make new connections outside church then the workplace had to be part of it. About six months later, work:space began in the Barclays HQ building. It offers a space for quiet and silence and contemplation in the workplace and it now runs in the RNLI training college as well.

Wild Spirit developed from a kind of one-off pilgrimage with my mates into a weekend camp. This in turn became a series of events over the year aimed at giving men some space and adventure in the wilderness.

Underlying values - in particular, incarnational mission and forming community – are held by all these projects, so we began to wonder how to look after what seemed to be emerging.

Why have we decided to create something called Poole Missional Communities? There are a number of reasons...

Practically speaking, there was also the issue of sustaining the pioneer ministry that had been started. Funding from the diocese was to finish in August 2012 and we set up a working group to look at how to ensure it didn't all end there. It was then decided that we should set up a charity which could raise funds to support the development of the work. This was named to reflect the values that underpinned the work - hence Poole Missional Communities.

However, we very much wanted to remain integrated with Poole Deanery and be part of the life and mission there. Trustees for the charity are drawn from local churches, so there is integration at that level, and many people involved in work:space and Wild Spirit also worship in fellowships and congregations across the area.

We organised an official launch event for Poole Missional Communities (PMC) because we wanted to give the wider church the opportunity to both hear about the work and get involved, either practically or in a more supportive role through prayer or giving.

The charity is being launched today (4th April) at St Mary's, Longfleet, by the leader of the Fresh Expressions team, Bishop Graham Cray, and the event is hosted by the Bishop of Sherborne, Dr Graham Kings. I think this a really good example of the mixed economy at work, with new structures being created to foster new life through the hard work and continued support of the more traditional structures.

I believe that partnership isn't just for the start-up phase but that PMC and the wider church will continue to be a synergy in mission for Poole.

About the author: 

Rev Paul Bradbury is Pioneer Minister for central Poole.


Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
We use spam protection. View privacy policy.