Love the Street evangelism training in Norwich
On Thursday 27 April the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Revd Graham James licensed Revd Tim Yau into the new role of Mission Enabler and Pioneer Minister for the Diocese.
Tim's new role is to go beyond the existing Christian community in his own neighbourhood and to support others to do so in theirs as well as create new communities.
Tim said: “My aim is not trying to get people to go to church, but trying to get the Church to go to the people.”
It is a return to Norwich for the former nurse and youth worker, who lived and worked in the city from 1997-2002 as a Schools Evangelist for Norwich Youth for Christ.
Since then he has trained to be an Ordained Pioneer Minister at Ridley Hall in Cambridge and served his curacy in churches in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.
For the past five years, Tim has worked for the United Reformed Church as an Emerging Church Pioneer Minister for the Eastern Synod.
Similar to his new role for the Diocese Tim spent 60% of his time in Ipswich establishing missional projects across the town, and the other 40% of his time as the synod Fresh Expressions Advocate working across East Anglia.
This innovative work led Tim to start a prayer stall at a regular car boot sale, run a monthly themed outreach to shoppers and set up a free stall called ‘Soul Space’ at a Mind, Body, and Spirit fair.
Now Tim, with his wife Deborah and two sons will live on the Round House Park development in Cringleford, building on the work of his predecessor, Pioneer Missioner Revd Heather Cracknell.
“My wife and I had been praying about what to do next and we wanted to do something where we worked together. We wanted to do something where we were working in one particular community. And we want to do something where we could really build and grow a church. And we went over to Cringleford and thought this looks like what we’ve been praying about
"It was like Esther saying, ‘for such a time as this’. I just felt like I was the right person at the right time.As a family, we are very excited about being in Round House Park in Cringleford; making new friends, exploring the culture of the place, discovering God’s future for the community and having lots of fun on the way.”
Tim’s role goes beyond Round House Park as 50% of his time will be spent as a Mission Enabler for the Diocese, supporting and stimulating Fresh Expressions of Church.
“The Church of England has been in a settled model for about 400 years: we are here, we are open, we are in every community, come to us! But the whole culture around us has completely changed and now we need to re-engage with that apostolic missionary imperative to go beyond the doors.
“In the past, mission for an Anglican church meant you just opened the doors and said: ‘we are here’, but now we need to go out and go where the people are. The Anglican Church is in a good position to do that because we are everywhere. But we need to have that ongoing outward dynamic.
“We will be finding out who those people are in the church that are ready to go on that journey and we will work with them.”
In his new role, Tim will be working closely with Sally Gaze, the Diocesan Facilitator for Fresh Expressions of Church and Pioneer Missioner Rev Heather Cracknell. He will be part of the Cringleford Benefice.
Article and picture courtesy of Network Norfolk.