Growing pioneer ministry

Pioneering is about doing things new and doing things differently.
Lady in hard hat being given ash cross on forehead Jim Holden

What do pioneers do?

Pioneering is about firsts. 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.


Fresh Start Pioneers

Classic pioneering types who start new things, love firsts, and enjoy the blank canvas.

Released from the expectations of classic parish roles, they are able to minister in places where the Church is not present.


Parish Based Pioneers

Pioneers who work from a parish base but from there develop new ways of doing things, expanding the growth and reach of the local Church.

Pioneering is the main focus of their ministry and most of their time is spent with people outside the Church.

Two ladies in a busy coffee shop talking over a drink.

Regional networks

Our regional networks help provide the most effective and co-ordinated pioneer training in your region.

Regional networks work by partnering dioceses, theological education institutions, and other local organisations to bring together lay and ordained pioneers for training, support, and best practice.

Use the details below to connect with your network. We currently have three up and running, and we are growing our regional networks to cover all of England. If you’re involved in pioneering and would like to be a part of this please do get in touch.

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Selection paperwork

All candidates for pioneer ministry will attend a pioneer panel, with candidates for ordained pioneer ministry also attending a Bishops' Advisory Panel

The next pioneer panel dates are the 5th of March (Woking), 7th of May (Hoddesdon) and 18th of June (Woking).

Ladies praying for each other


For more on pioneering, get in touch with our pioneer development adviser, Rev'd Ed Olsworth-Peter on 02078981398 or 07469855260.




How to pioneer (even if you haven’t a clue)

“This is a ‘can do’ book, best put into the hands of people who sense a desire to respond to the call of God to reimagine things, but don’t quite know the steps to realise it. It is deeply practical, deeply hopeful, and deeply involving.” Archbishop Justin Welby

Authored by David Male, our national pioneer development adviser, this award winning practical handbook covers everything from how to listen to the physical, social and spiritual environment of a local context, to how to build a creative team, how to build relationships and create communities through acts of authentic love, how to become and stay Jesus-centred, how to live and tell the gospel in meaningful ways, how to grow disciples, and how to stay fresh.

How to pioneer is available to buy from Church House Publishing.


Fresh Expressions

Brimming with stories, ideas and resources, this is a good place to start to find more resources and information. For starters check out The Guide, a handy resource containing how-to advice on starting, developing and sustaining fresh expressions of church based on shared experiences. All the material is based on listening to hundreds of different stories on how fresh expressions begin and are sustained.



Godsend, which is available to download for free, has been designed as a toolkit to help you grow new Christian communities with those exploring faith. It uses animations, questions and real life examples to explore topics such as listening to the community, what emerging church looks like, how do you gather team and so much more.

More resources