Rev Fran Carabott, pioneer minister, at St Margaret’s Community Church

Pioneer ministry

We have been recruiting clergy and lay people who can find new, pioneering ways to reach non-churchgoers with the gospel message, alongside traditional forms of church. That may involve creating new worshipping communities or ways of developing Christian discipleship that are different to the standard, geographical parish model.

We've also been helping to train clergy and lay people working in traditional parishes to develop the more pioneering aspects of their role.

Among those areas where we have seen pioneering ministry work are Gosport, Havant, Southsea, Leigh Park and Whiteley. Our Diocesan Plan envisages that we enhance our pioneer ministry across other areas too, especially in new housing developments. We also offer training for our existing clergy to work in more pioneering ways through our Pioneering Parishes workshops and community of practice. We are supporting clergy and lay teams developing and strengthening new Christian communities through the Greenhouse project.

It’s all part of our diocesan vision and strategy. Read more about that strategy and how it is shaping our mission and ministry here.

The latest news about our pioneer ministers is at the bottom of this page or watch our video below showing the story of how one pioneer minister was called to plant a new congregation in Southsea:

The Rev Fran Carabott: My Faith

Pioneer ministry

Another way in which pioneer ministry can work is by helping churches to create spaces where people can engage with a church community in less traditional ways. At St Luke’s Church in Southsea, pioneer minister Abi Lane helped to create the Host Space, where freelancers and those who needed office space could go and work in a quiet, supportive environment. Coffee is always to hand, other workers can chat to you, and you can even join in daily prayers if you like. Watch the video below for more details, or see

You can also read more about the Church of England’s overall vision for pioneer ministry on their website.