Rev’d Katie Kelly, Pioneer curate at St Edward the Confessor Mottingham, shares her unique journey.

When I was first asked to consider being a Pioneer curate I jumped at the chance and I have never regretted that enthusiasm. I have always enjoyed pioneering whether in work or ministry. The process of spotting a gap or a problem then imagining a way forward, communicating that vision and building a team to experiment with, is life giving to me, whether it be setting up a community alternative to custody for women on probation or simply offering tea, coffee and a chat on the church pavement.

My curacy placement, on a large pre and post war outer London estate, offered many opportunities for reaching the parish in new ways. After some time praying and walking around the area, two particular ideas came to mind. We had a large wood on the edge of the estate which seemed perfect for some form of ‘forest church’.

There was also a huge problem with litter and some local interest in tackling it. Thus, ‘Together Outside’ which consisted of monthly gatherings in the woods and also community litter picks, was born. One of the biggest challenges was finding a team in an already busy church where everyone who had any time to give was already fully committed.

It has been such an encouragement to my faith and for my future, to see how God brought water out of the rock and a team emerged who are now equipped and enthused to carry on the outreach. we have had fun making an outside ‘natural nativity’ scene, foraging, learning trail making and making Mottingham beautiful with the reward of bacon butties afterwards. I have learnt a huge amount and had a great time.