God for All Fresh Expressions Enabler appointed
A man who has led one of the UK’s largest emerging church projects for young people is to become the Diocese of Carlisle’s new God for All Fresh Expressions Enabler.
Richard Passmore, has spent the last nine years as the National Community Team Leader for the StreetSpace project, an initiative of Frontier Youth Trust which now has 58 projects across the UK.
The qualified Youth and Community worker has been appointed the Diocese’s first ever God for All Fresh Expressions Enabler.
The newly created role is a key appointment within the ecumenical God for All vision which looks to offer everyone in Cumbria the opportunity to explore more of God and God’s purpose for their lives.
Richard, aged 45 and who currently lives with his family in the South West of England, said: “I’m really keen to get out and about around Cumbria and to meet as many people as possible.
“Often there are a lot of people who are already doing pioneering and creative work but who don’t necessarily use that term. I’m really looking forward to engaging with as many people as possible.”
Richard comes to the post with a Post Grad in Practical Theology from Exeter University and with more than 20 years’ experience of helping to grow new churches.
He has previously worked for the national charity Youth for Christ, and Worth Unlimited which specializes in working with young people around alternative education and community development from a Christian perspective.
For the last nine years he has worked for StreetSpace – a partnership between the Church Missionary Society and Frontier Youth Trust – which explores what growing a church from scratch looks like.
During that time he has spearheaded three pilot projects and latterly oversaw the roll-out of the project across the whole of the UK.
He now brings that experience to the new Fresh Expressions Enabler role, providing strategic discernment for the evangelizing intention of God for All.
Richard said: “The geography and distance between communities in Cumbria will always be a challenge but I believe that we can introduce some really innovative projects which will enable people to reimagine what church could be in the future.
“Having lived in the South West for so long I understand what it feels like to live on the edge and how hard it can be to reimagine church if you have not seen the examples around you. So I’m really keen to start pilot projects which demonstrate what God can do in the community.”
His passion and determination for church growth even saw him living for a year in his sister’s shed in Devon, after completing his degree and as he looked to start a new youth project.
He explained: “At the time I had nowhere to live but felt called to set up the youth project. That was eventually taken over by the county council and a youth centre was created.”
The Bishop of Penrith, the Right Reverend Robert Freeman, said: “Richard demonstrates a tremendous depth of experience in developing and supporting emerging churches.
“We need someone who brings the necessary mix of skills, as together we look to make the evangelising intention of God for All a reality. We need someone who can challenge us all as well as support and offer new ideas and ways of working.
“From the experience that Richard brings to this role, we’re confident he is the right person to do that.”
Richard is married to Lorimer and they have three children; Josiah, 20, Bethany, 17 and Indianna, aged eight. They currently live in the market town of Chard in Somerset. Richard, Lori and Indi are looking to move up to the Kendal area in the autumn.
The God for All vision:
By 2020 every person in Cumbria of all ages and backgrounds will have had an opportunity to discover more of God and God’s purpose for their lives, so that they will discover more of Jesus and the Good News and become followers of Jesus within a Christian community.
For more on the God for All initiative visit www.godforall.org.uk.
For further information please contact Dave Roberts, Diocesan Communications Manager, on 07469 153658, 01228 815401 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.