Transforming the communities of Essex & East London through Christ’s presence

To achieve this a means of equipping and authorising “lay” pioneers has been identified as a way forward with great potential. This inspiration has found a natural coming together of existing experimentation in local mission at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Collier Row, together with the wider contextual mission and pioneer gifting represented by the Church Mission Society (CMS).

St Cedd Centre

Become a Pioneer Minister 

The full St Cedd Centre for Pioneer Mission course is spread over an 18 month period and divided into 6 Modules, each of which runs for three months. In parallel students work on a pioneer mission initiative of their choice.

Each module involves two teaching sessions, which are on Saturdays between 9.00am and 2.00pm at The Church of the Good Shepherd, Collier Row, and also two learning sets held locally at a date to be arranged that suits the group. On completion of Phase 2 students will be authorised by the Bishop of Chelmsford and receive a certificate endorsed by the CMS, and they will then be locally commissioned in a parish or a Mission and Ministry Unit.

All the teaching is given by CMS and local pioneers. Students are given access to material to aid their development on the CMS online portal.

The course is run on an apprenticeship style model with some requirement for written and creative assessment. Students will be required to have a proposal for a pioneering initiative and to keep a journal during the course. At the end of the course they will be required to give a presentation to their learning set to the local incumbent or a representative of their church.

View the course brochure 

If you are interested in becoming a Pioneer Minister contact Samantha Field to request an application form. 

Contact details 

If you would like to receive regular information with regards to the St Cedd Centre for Pioneer Mission or have any questions please contact Samantha Field by email or telephone 01708 745626. 


Watch video: A Pioneer's View.

St Cedd

Lay pioneers learn as “apprentices” through reflective practice on actual pioneering initiatives based on their passions. CMS teaches mission spirituality, church in mission and context and entrepreneurship. This is applied to the various initiatives through learning sets with a pioneer mentor. 

The provision of training will be shared between the CMS and Chelmsford Diocese’s resources, on an approximately 60/40 basis. CMS brings to the St Cedd Centre enormous experience in cross cultural and contextual mission. Chelmsford's existing pioneers, incumbents and advisors bring a rootedness to the local cultures and contexts, and apply this expertise to the formation of lay pioneers. 

The Centre is based at The Church of the Good Shepherd as an overflow of the local mission taking place there. The inspiration is taken from Jesus, “the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:2). In turn the Centre looks to St Cedd who, in the 7th Century, was a missionary to the East Saxon people. 

Image: Saint Cedd - c. 620—26th October 664 


The vision of the St Cedd Centre is to provide an environment to identify, equip and support Christians across the Chelmsford Diocese to serve as pioneer missionaries. They will be authorised and sent out to minister beyond Sunday services and church buildings, in order to bring transformation in their communities and call others to follow Jesus. 


The St Cedd Centre will further the four priorities of the Chelmsford Diocesan vision: 

Inhabiting the World Distinctively – Living a distinctive Christian life. 

Evangelising Effectively – Being the best we can be about sharing the good news of Christ. 

Serving with Accountability – Holding each other to account in faith and practice. 

Re-imaging Ministry – Sustainable ministry of all kinds for a growing church.


CMS is an acknowledged Religious Community within the CofE and is a key provider of lay and ordained Pioneer training for the CofE nationally. The St Cedd Centre identifies with the core values of CMS, expressed through four key words: 

Pioneering – trying new things in new places; looking at mission from new angles. 

Evangelistic – encapsulated in the CMS motto “Sharing Jesus, Changing Lives”. 

Relational – CMS is all about people, so quality of relationships is a priority. 

Faithful – CMS over two centuries has been faithful in God’s mission, learning through times of failure and determined not to give up. 

Group of pioneers

Quotes from the Implementation Group 

Revd Vernon Ross, Mission and Ministry Adviser for the Barking Area, and chair of the Implementation Group: 

"I want to see the church better equipped to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Part of this has to be the release of gifts and ministries of the whole people of God both lay and ordained. The training of Lay Pioneers fits into this as it does to the Diocesan Strategy of “Transforming Presence”. The St Cedd Centre will be a place where “ministry is reimagined” and the people of God learn both how to inhabit the world distinctively and evangelise effectively."

Revd Canon Martin Wood, Mission and Ministry Adviser for the Bradwell Area: 

"God is inspiring many different ministries, in Chelmsford Diocese, to enable His Mission in the world. Among these are our Authorised Lay Preachers, who share His Word in our traditional church worship. I believe that others are called to share that Word with people who never encounter our traditional worship. How can we equip them to exercise this ministry? The St Cedd Centre is designed to do just that, and I am delighted to be part of its implementation group." 

Debbie James, Director of Church and Community Mission, CMS: 

"With a long history in pioneering mission, CMS is delighted to partner with Chelmsford diocese to equip and release people for pioneering mission beyond the edges of church." 

Revd Johnny Sertin, ordained pioneer minister and the CMS pioneering mission adviser: 

"I was really excited to join the team in September, having been at the Good Shepherd for three years. I am passionate about worship and mission alongside good administration and organisation and want to be a support to the team and all our new pioneers." 

Revd Canon David Hague, Area Dean of Havering and Vicar of the Church of the Good Shepherd: 

"I was drawn to The Good Shepherd over six years ago because of the pioneering heart among the people. Being passionate about holistic mission, I hope our current experimentation in local mission can be a gift to the wider Body of Christ, from which we can all learn how to be increasingly effective missionary disciples in our local contexts." 

David Harrigan, St Cedd Centre Resident Pioneer (Ordinand):  

"I really want where I live to be a great place. Jesus has transformed my life and I would love to see other people experience the same so we can make a difference together. 

"Think differently!" 

For more information please contact Samantha Field
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