So one of the great things about having a close colleague is that they just from time to time prompt you, in the nicest possible way to get on with it. Alex and I were having an extended meeting the other day where we were going to talk about where the pioneer stuff was headed. Preparing for that meeting just made me get my head around what I am going to do.
So here’s the plan.
Over the next six months I’ll spend the best part of two or three weeks in each month immersing myself in one of the potential mission contexts I have begun to identify. None of the arrangements are fixed yet, but I reckon these will be
- one of the pubs in the Guildhall Square area
- the Guildhall Square itself
- one of the substantial tower blocks in the Northern half of Somerstown
- A Somerstown primary School
- A Somerstown secondary School
- an area that includes a Surestart centre,
a community café and a community arts centre.
There are other areas, such as the train station, the law courts and the police station that might also be interesting to explore, but I have had to make some choices. So I’ve gone for the places where it looks like there’s scope to grow a community.
After my time in each place I’ll take a quiet day retreat and then have a long chat with Alex about what I’ve found. I’ll record some of my thoughts on here too (as much as confidentiality will allow) so that perhaps this blog too can be part of discerning the vocation.
I’ll be speaking with others too – cluster and deanery colleagues, leaders of other churches, those working in secular organisations – later in the Spring and early Summer. This will all form the basis of my MA dissertation, so I hope I can keep some academic depth and rigour in the discernment process.
I will then look for a more sustained immersion in the Autumn in whichever of the potential mission contexts emerges from the early discernment period as the most likely to correspond to God’s calling for me and others with me in the next few years.
Sound okay to you? Well I’m going to go for it! I’ll keep you posted on what happens.