"true north for the believers" - yes that is what it says on the top of this northern monk beer can. they make great beer by the way! at greenbelt this weekend i was there both having fun in sweltering heat with family and friends but also working with cms around pioneering. this time round we had a table in the exchange venue to hold conversations about business for good. i hosted three panels with three stories in each. i also helped proost put at an event and the bit i did was playing with the idea of true north and false norths inspired by the labyrinth from 2000. we also celebrated the northern centre and i just felt we had to get some northern monk beers to do so! it felt like it was meant to be.
true north is a metaphor i have played with around pioneering - i wrote a reflection on it about 5 years ago. true north is like a pull or an orientation towards joining in with god's mission - that is the healing of all things. and i reflected on various characteristics of it for pioneers - i guess what the charism or gift is of pioneering as we see it at cms. so now we have a partnership in the north it seems even more apt!
i love this photo of richard passmore who has been the catalyst for the northern centre - he is looking very happy (maybe that's the northern monk!). we have been friends a long time now. he was appointed to develop fresh expressions and mission for carlisle diocese in late 2015 and in less than 4 years there are over 100 fresh expressions and their research shows that 1 in 4 people in the diocese of carlisle who go to church are in one of these new expressions - that is mind blowing. you can get details on that from the diocese i am sure. and it's why we are partnering together so we can support with some of our training and experience. well done to you richard - you should feel good.
it was also amazing again to see harry and chris pack the big top with thousands of people off the back of edinburgh festival. i also really loved harry's solo show - he is so brilliant! he and chris must be soooo tired - have a well deserved rest guys! they are on tour in the autumn so do go and see them.
apparently according to my older brother i first went to greenbelt in 1981 so it turns out i have been quite a lot of times now. i have missed a couple of years when kids were young.
we're gearing up for a new term in oxford. we will have about 76 students across everything including 6 on the new doctoral programme. because the pioneering work is growing and expanding in other hubs and centres round the country, i have rejigged my role to free me up to give time to that developmental work. and cathy ross is now the lead for the oxford centre. she is amazing and already leads our masters programme so i am very happy about that. a few people have assumed i will be disappearing - i won't! i am still a cms director and i will still be around teaching modules, tutoring and so on but doing less there overall and handing on the lead of oxford centre. it feels like a good change. and i am sure there are plenty of adventures ahead.
[thanks to mark kensett for the top two photos - there are some more and a bit more info here. the last is at a strange angle but i was sat at the front at harry's feet for his poetry show]