Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Gareth Hill - Methodist Preacher and Blogger to Become Cluster Head

Rev Gareth Hill
(Picture taken from Fresh Expressions Website)
Interesting news was posted on the Internet on Sunday. The new head of Mission and Advocacy will be Revd Gareth Hill. His move from Cornwall to London will be an interesting one. In recent years he has been part of key areas of Methodist Power (Strategy and Resources Committee) and Conferring (Methodist Conference). This means there is great potential for the experience gathered on these committees to be transferred into creative, engaging and empowering dialogue between the church membership and the staff that seek to serve it.

Revd Dr Martyn Atkins Opens Tubestation
(image take from Methodist Presidential Blog)
Gareth's been a familiure face to many of us online for a few years. As a Pioneer Minsiter he has enriched his own locality (Cornwall) through creating and nuturing the (nationally famous) Tubestation Project, and enriched the wider church through his prolific and award winning hymn writing.  In short, his minstry has been spent engaging with people who don't do traditional church and finding new words for us all to express our faith through.

Prior to offering himself for ministry, Gareth was a proffessional journalist, working for multiple regional newspapers. This passion for effective communication was where I first came accross him as he made good use of radio, blogs, twitter and more to get out the Methodist message for the day.

This appointment means the Connexional Team will be served by someone who has seen it from all sides and could both serve a
nd lead in ways that will draw upon experience in and out the church.

This appointment is particularly interesting because it is the first time for a while that the lead person for this area of work is a) a minister and b) has (on the surface) more experience of mission/communication then of advocacy/public issues. Therefore this is a challenging appointment in times when the churches voice in the 'market square' needs to be both communicated well and be politically influential.

It's rare that a new appointee to the Connexional Team blogs about their appointment and I'd like to think that this openess will continue, and that Methodism core message - spreading God's love for all through social/scriptual holiness - will be reshaped, by the proffessional journalist and now self defined 'post denominational' Gareth, into a well crafted, politically influential, message that is needed now, more than ever.

Good Luck Gareth, the Connexional Team are lucky to recruit you, lets hope there is space to offer your skills.
P.S - He's a very proud welshman so looks like Synod Cymru could find someone speaking their language....(well he can at least say Happy Birthday in Welsh according to Facebook!)

P.P.S - For the full story of the opening of Tubestation see the Methodist Presidential Blog (future Presidents also visited the project)