Norwich Diocese welcomes new Pioneer Missioner
Rev Tim Yau has been licensed by the Bishop of Norwich to begin an exciting new role as a Pioneer Missioner and Mission Enabler, based in Cringleford, supporting Fresh Expressions of Church in the Diocese of Norwich.
On Thursday, April 27 the Bishop of Norwich licensed Rev Tim Yau into the new role of Mission Enabler and Pioneer Minister for the Diocese of Norwich.
Tim is an Anglican priest with a calling to those outside of the church. His remit in this new role is to go beyond the existing Christian community, both in his own neighbourhood and to support others to do so in theirs, to create new communities: Fresh Expressions of Church.
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 Anglican 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 of Norwich 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 on the outskirts of Norwich in Cringleford, building on the work of his predecessor, Pioneer Missioner Rev Heather Cracknell.
Tim’s skillset and passion obviously fit the new role well. Tim said: “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”.
He continued: “It was like Esther saying, ‘for such a time as this’. I just felt like I was the right person at the right time.”
Being so close to the A11, the Norwich Research Park, and the Norwich and Norfolk University Hospital, Round House Park has attracted a lot of professional people, young families and a diverse ethnic mix.
Tim said: “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 spend as a Mission Enabler for the Diocese, supporting and stimulating Fresh Expressions of Church.
Tim said: “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 reengage 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.
Tim will be welcomed to the role at St Peter's Church, Cringleford on Sunday April 30 at a 9.30am service.
You can hear Tim talk about his new role, on Radio Norfolk, by clicking here, start at 1.43hrs