Bishop James, The Bishop of Liverpool, licensed Rev Canon Phil Potter as Director of Pioneer Ministry for the diocese of Liverpool on April 9th.
The ceremony. at St. Mark’s Haydock, marked an important step for the church as they are commissioned as a pioneer resource church to the diocese.
Phil, who has been vicar at St. Mark’s Haydock for the last 20 years, will now be using his experience to develop new ways for churches to reach out into their local community in his new role. He has been a leading figure developing Cell Church nationally, and St. Mark’s itself has developed several exciting pioneer projects, including the very successful Kings Table café.
As Director of Pioneer Ministry Phil will be looking to develop a number of initiatives across the region. These will take some of the successful models that he has introduced in Haydock and applying them to other areas. He will also be encouraging others to find ways that the church can really help support their local communities. These include churches in schools and cafes and within the Merseyside police force. It includes churches for young people and churches that reach to other sections of society.
Phil will also be looking to build networks between those running all these different initiatives so that they can offer something that is lasting. He is also linking to churches across the world so that locally we can draw in the best the world has to offer.
Phil is author of ‘The Challenge of Cell Church’, and has just written his second book entitled ‘The Challenge of Change - shaping change and changing the shape of Church’, to be published early next year by B.R.F.
Phil will also be retaining his close ties to St. Mark’s Haydock as he stays as associate vicar, a role designed to ensure that his wisdom and experience is passed onto others.
Bishop James said “Having a director for Pioneer ministry is a tremendously exciting step for the diocese. I believe that if the church is to have a real impact in society it is important that ministers like Phil are given the freedom and encouragement to develop new ideas. I wish him every blessing and success”.
Phil Potter said “I am really excited about the challenge of developing new forms of mission and ministry. The vision of the diocese is to harness the best of all that we have inherited traditionally, and to introduce fresh emerging models of church alongside. Our culture is ever changing and it is exciting to see how fresh expressions of church are connecting with those who have never engaged with the local church before”.