Creating Genuine Partnership for Mission



Pioneer Connexion is a partnership between the Methodist Church and the Pioneer Network of Churches across the UK.

St Andrews, Sholing

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The St Andrews Methodist Church closed in 2009. The building was put on the market and a large cash offer was made to create more housing. The Methodist Circuit agreed to explore a mission partnership with Pioneer and rejected the cash offer.

We sent a small team of people in the autumn of 2010 to develop a weekly Messy Church and a regular youth outreach. There are now 60 people, mainly unchurched, attending Messy Church and an average of 50 young people attending the weekly youth drop-in.

In addition we have negotiated with the local Oasis Academy to run an Alternative Learning Provision for children with challenging behaviour. 12 young people and 3 staff members now use the facility Monday to Friday. All sorts of other community-based activities are now being planned.

286, Swaythling

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Opened in 1931, Swaythling Methodist Church sits at the junction between a large council estate and the campus of Southampton University. The building boasts a large 500 seater auditorium and an additional 28 rooms. The congregation, once thriving, had dwindled to around 20 people and was unable to maintain the building. They had decided to sell the building.

We agreed to move one of our congregations into the building. The 200 strong City Life Church moved into the main auditorium in October 2010.

Today, that congregation has grown to over 300 members, the Methodist congregation continues to meet in a newly refurbished worship space, a new congregation has been established on a Sunday afternoon reaching people from the local estate, a wide range of missional activities are now taking place throughout the week and an architect has been engaged to develop plans for a complete refurbishment of the building to include new worship area, community space and student accommodation.

Netley Methodist

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The Gateway, House of Prayer - A Pioneer Connexion Missional Partnership

Netley is a village of 7,000 on the outskirts of Southampton. Netley Methodist Church is situated right in the centre of the village. The church closed in early 2011. There is only one other church in the village – an Anglican church.

A group of 12 people from Pioneer began to meet to worship and pray in the building in March 2012 and we fomrally re-opened the building for worship on 14th October 2012, which co-incided with it's 100th anniversary of the original opening.

Since that time we have moved our regular worship event to Friday evenings, with morning and evening prayer meetings taking place most days.

Netley has developed quite naturally into a House of Prayer - a place where followers of Christ can gather in fellowship and meet together in the presence of God. The worship is unstructured and unfettered by religious ritual. It is a place to intimately encounter the Holy Spirit in a way which belies the somewhat functional outward appearance of the building.

Simply... SW

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Simply... was launched on January 1st 2012 and is an expression of the new partnership between Pioneer and Methodism, the Pioneer Connexion. 
Simply... is a movement of missional communities across the SW of England. Much like John Wesley did in early Methodism, we focus on the ways of Christ in developing small communities of Christ-followers (or what we call 'HUBS") and leaders (or what we call 'SIMPLY12's'). We also travel regularly from across the region for bigger gatherings.  We're currently developing Hubs and Simply12's in places like Plymouth, Newquay, Barnstaple, Totnes and Exeter.
We love being part of Methodism AND part of Pioneer and by taking the best of both movements and their histories we find synergies, values and practices that really inspire us on our journey. 
We are also part-funded and supported by a national Methodist initiative called VentureFX. You can find out lots more about Simply... and it's emerging story at

Endike, Hull


Mark Button shares his reflections on 80 years of Endike Methodist Church and reminds us of how the past can re-inspire and remind us of God's call upon our lives, and gives us hope for the future - to "Attempt great things for God, and to expect great things FROM God". 

An Exciting, New Missional Leadership Post in Hull.

In 2012 we advertised for the role of someone to become our first Pioneer Minister based in Endike Methodist Church in Hull. We were looking for someone who would be excited by new challenges!  A missionally minded enthusiast! Someone with church leadership experience and a desire to build community!

Now we have found just the right husband and wife partnership to serve this community and Mark and Deana Button began their new life of ministry here on 1st December 2013, "Authorised to Serve" as Methodist ministers.

Mark and Deana now form part of the Hull West Circuit Team with specific responsibility for reaching out to the people of Endike, making disciples and building community with regular support from the Pioneer Network.

Watch this Space!

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There are a number of job opportunities arising around the UK where we are looking for "Pioneer Ministers" to take responsibility for developing Missional Communities as part of a local Methodist Circuit.

December 1st 2013 saw the succesful appointment of our first Pioneer Connexion ministers in Hull, Mark and Deana Button. We anticipate other opportunities coming up in the South West with more in the pipeline.

As we finalise details such as start dates, finances and housing we will be advertising these roles on this site in the next few weeks.

If you are interested in being kept in the loop, please do use the "Get in Contact" form and we will ensure all opportunities are emailed to you.

Our Story


"Over the past four years, the Methodist Church has benefitted from and contributed to an increasingly warm and fruitful relationship with the Pioneer Network. The number of healthy explorations of potent mission and ministry projects in circuits and local churches grows almost weekly at the moment. In some parts of the Connexion substantial healthy and mutually enriching partnerships are now fast emerging. I have reported this exciting development to the Conference who have rightly encouraged that Methodism continue to seek to work for God’s kingdom with a wide variety of partners in a fast changing ecumenical context: and of course Billy Kennedy, the leader of the Pioneer Network was invited to address the presbyteral session of our Conference last year and was warmly received. I warmly encourage and commend further explorations and deepening partnership with the Pioneer Network as they arise.   

Martyn Atkins"

Flavel Church, Dartmouth

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Set right in the heart of Dartmouth on the South Devon coast, Flavel Church is a Methodist URC Local Ecumenical Partnership.  In September 2013 Karl and Deb Stone moved to the area to assist with the leadership of the church after completing the IGNITE leadership course in Southampton.  



In February 2014 Doxa Deo moved to Griffiths Road, Wimbledon, where they now share premises with the Methodist Church. There are plans to further extend the partnership to Raynes Park. Watch the video to find out more about this exciting development - you can hear Revd Margaret Adams (Methodist Minister), Ioannis Dekas (Doxa Deo church leader) and members of both congregations sharing something of their experiences to date in working together.

Get in Contact


Central Hall

St Mary St, Southampton, SO14 1NF

023 8023 7700

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