Pioneer Connexion is a partnership between the Methodist Church and the Pioneer Network of Churches across the UK.
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.
As at October 2014, St Andrews is entering a whole new season. The Oasis Academy are relocating the Alternative Learning Provision that has been running at St Andrews since it re-opened. We are grateful for their partnership in the building during that time.
Easter 2014 did, however, seen another new beginning with the West End congregation of New Community Church joining us there to make it their spiritual home.
New co-operation and partnership opportunities are being explored and St Andrews promises to be a place where New Community, City Life and the Methodist Churches make practical partnership in worship and community life a reality.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A great way to get to know Pioneer better is to come along to the Annual Leaders Conference in Southampton. This next takes place on the 6th and 7th March at Central Hall. This is one of those events to just put in your diary and drop everything else!
There will be a strong Methodist presence at the conference this year with a Pioneer Connexion seminar stream for those interested in the partnership and how it works. Many have already booked their place - you can book yours by visiting the Eventbrite web site - Just click the picture above to be taken to the booking page.
We are developing a program of Regional Leaders Gatherings in various locations around the UK so that you can feel a part of the growing community of both Methodist and Pioneer Church members who are working together for revival in our towns and cities. Contact us using the "Get in Contact" page if you'd like to find out when and where your nearest gathering is. If there isn't yet one in striking distance it may be all the encouragement we need to get it sorted!
Regional Gatherings presently take place in Southampton, the South West, Chichester and Loughborough. We anticipate that Maindenhead and Manchester will also come on stream soon.
Each summer you can be part of the Pioneer School of Theology - this three day residential event at High Leigh in Hoddesdon, Herts, is a great opportunity to get to know people and get deeply into the chosen theme. Watch this space for details of the next date and booking information.
'The Pioneer School of Theology' has become a central reference point for our key and emerging leaders since 2010. Both those with a theological background and people new to in-depth theology have loved the times. Worship leaders and artists have also been inspired in their work by our times together.
Over the years we have explored Hermeneutics, The Trinity, The Kingdom of God, Salvation and, most recently, in 2014, we looked at 'Reconciling All Things'
The relationship between The Methodist Church and the Pioneer Network began in earnest in 2010 and has been steadily growing ever since. Our video stories will help you to gain something of a picture of how it began and is developing.
Whilst there is no formal "covenant" between our churches, recognition from the Methodist Church and Pioneer has come in a number ways:
St Mary St, Southampton, SO14 1NF
023 8023 7700