• Next, a little further removed, you’d have an adapter who takes an existing model of church but adapts it to a new context. An example of this is Messy Church. • Further along, you have innovators who explore and form relationships with people in specific contexts, or on the fringes, and seek to set up new Christian communities from the ground up – called Fresh Expressions • And finally, those with the largest ‘cultural distance’ from church, are the activists, who inhabit and speak into secular space in the name of God. Ordained Pioneers are fully-fledged Church of England priests and have the same training requirements as any other ‘vicar’, but they are designated as a pioneer to enable their vocation and calling to those beyond the church as well as to those within in it. For me, being designated a Pioneer is both a challenge and a privilege! It’s something that is always taking different expressions and moving along the pioneer spectrum as I go on in my ministry and as I listen and learn from the contexts I find myself in. As an innovator I’ve been involved for many years with people from alternative music subcultures – heavy metal, rock, goth – as well as those who would consider themselves ‘spiritual but not religious’, particularly those with neo-pagan, wiccan and nature-based spiritualities. I host a faith exploration website called The River, which is aimed at ‘the rejected, the rebels, and the raw’, and has (in the past) been a way of supporting people to gather for prayer and reflection in small groups. Before I began my ordination training, I also set up a church group called ‘On this Rock’ for people in the metal and rock community, which has now evolved into Metal Church under new leadership and is growing really well. Alongside this – as an activist I’ve had the privilege of working alongside people of all faiths and none in the area of animal welfare and creation care. I write regularly for an animal welfare 9

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