Pioneer Ministry and Fresh Expressions

Pioneer Ministry and Fresh Expressions

The Church of England describes pioneering as:-

  • ‘Being the first to lead ministry into new places for and with others. Pioneers must be able to see a new future, and have the skills and gifts needed to make it a reality now. 
  • Pioneers connect with people outside of Church, creating new ways of doing Church together in their community.
  • Pioneers are leaders of innovation, with a gift for seeing what God is doing and responding creatively to it.’

Check out this link for further information.

Those with a gift for pioneering are inspired to develop fresh expressions of church through a variety of creative approaches. Some might set up a new worshipping community outside a church building, for example in a café on a housing estate or in a pub. Others will gather people who would never think of going to church but share a common interest, for example walking or classic cars, sharing the love of Christ in innovative, context specific ways. Whilst some pioneers are more content outside Christian contexts, seeing what God is doing and joining in, helping to reveal the Kingdom of God in people’s everyday lives. 

Find out more information about different types of pioneering through the Church Mission Society (CMS).

Pioneer Vocations 

If you want to explore a vocation in ordained or lay pioneer ministry, please check out this page

Pioneering Parishes Project 

Lichfield Diocese is excited to be partnering with the Pioneering Parishes project, run through CMS A range of training options enables teams and individuals from parish churches to find innovative ways of connecting with their local communities to develop a mixed ecology of church. Parishes with a mixed ecology enable traditional church activities, fresh expressions and pioneer ministries to thrive alongside each other. 

Follow this link to sign up to Pioneering Parishes 'First Steps' Webinars


Lichfield Diocese enables and encourages those working in pioneering and fresh expressions through local networks and learning communities called Greenhouses. Greenhouse facilitators and coaches support participants at all stages of the missional journey. Check out this webpage to find contact details for your local Greenhouse.

In addition to Greenhouse, we have a Diocesan pioneer network that gathers annually. Email Richard Barrett if you'd like to join it. 

Fresh Expressions in Lichfield Diocese

A fresh expression is a gathering or network that engages mainly with people who have never been to church. There is no single model, but the emphasis is on starting something which is appropriate to its context, rather than cloning something that works elsewhere.

Across the Diocese there is a movement of fresh expressions of church: rural and urban, expressions for retired people, teenagers, children, special interest groups and more. We’ve a large network of Messy Churches too. Many of our fresh expressions are initiated by the local parish church with both clergy and lay leadership.

Other fresh expressions are led by specialist pioneer ministers who have discovered and nurtured what God is already doing in local communities.

To find out more visit the fresh expressions website where you can read a wide range of stories of fresh expressions across the country to inspire you.

To find out more about Fresh Expressions in Lichfield Diocese, email Richard Barrett 

Pioneering Parishes Article

An article on Pioneering Parishes and how to get involved

Pioneering Parishes Summary

A summary of how Pioneering Parishes and Lichfield Diocese are working together from 2024

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