Canon Richard White to be commissioned as Director of the Joshua Centre

The Joshua Centre is an exciting new partnership between Liverpool Diocese and Liverpool Cathedral focusing on seeing new congregations, churches and communities started.

Canon Richard White will be commissioned as Director of new ‘Joshua Centre for Pioneer Ministry’ by the Bishop of Liverpool, Rt Revd Paul Bayes during Choral Evensong this Sunday at Liverpool Cathedral.

Bishop Paul said “One of the things that attracted me, like so many others, to the Diocese of Liverpool was the ability to innovate and think creatively about how we can do church differently to make a bigger difference. The establishment of the Joshua Centre is an excellent example. We aim to develop a centre of excellence bringing together pioneers who are growing congregations to support, encourage and develop good practice. And I am delighted to be able to institute Canon Richard White as its first director. With his strong track record of replicating church models such as Dream and Zone2 he brings a wealth of experience and commitment to bear on the future. Please pray for Richard and his colleagues as they pioneer this important development for our diocese and the national church.”

Our diocese has established a strong reputation for a wide range of Pioneer Ministries which have included this emphasis on starting new congregations. At the same time, the cathedral has identified “multiplying congregations” as a core area of cathedral ministry. This has grown out of the experience in recent years of starting Zone2, Sepas (an Iranian Congregation) and a new youth community. They have also increasingly worked in partnership with parishes involved in similar work so it is a natural but exciting development to strengthen that partnership in seeing new churches, congregations and communities started. This will now be expressed through the establishment of the ‘Joshua Centre for Pioneer Ministry’. Canon Richard White will be working closely with Canon Linda Jones who carries the overall diocesan brief for mission.

Richard explains the aim of the project is “specifically focused on multiplying congregations – a congregation could be a new church, it could be a new community, it could be a new congregation within a church - cathedral and diocese coming together in a partnership forming this umbrella, trying to give support to that, called The Joshua Centre.”

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The Joshua Centre

The Joshua Centre will work to develop a culture, process and support network within which pioneering new congregations is normal, achievable and sustainable. ‘Centre’ refers to it being a focus for prayer, learning, vision and support, rather than a building. This will involve reaching new groups of people through new congregations and new communities of worshipping disciples.