Leominster Priory

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News from our Lay Pioneers

Pioneering Update – November 2023

Our Pioneering working in Leominster over the last year has focussed on Messy Church, Barons Cross outreach, schools work and serving our local community. Some of the people we engage with across multiple ministries, with crossover between Messy Church and Food Bank, schools and Barons Cross as examples. Messy Church is a fruitful introduction to other ministries such as the Priory Choir and Little Lambs.

Messy Church – Messy Church has continued to grow and develop over the last year. We enjoyed holding a Messy Church baptism for one of the older children in March and inviting asylum seeking families to Messy Church over the Autumn which has been an opportunity for our Messy Church families to show love in action as we have offered welcome and hospitality. We celebrated Leominster Messy Church reaching its teenage years in May at our Pentecost Celebration. Notably we have several families who have been worshipping with us for the duration of those 13 years and others who have returned after a break. Pastoral support to this congregation is a significant part of our work. Average attendance is 60, worshipping community is 80.

Barons Cross Outreach – we have offered regular intergenerational activity sessions at the Barons Cross Community Room including once a week over the summer holidays and half term holiday. Some of the teenagers who attend these sessions have been coming since they were since they were toddlers. Average attendance 15, connected with 25.

We are present at the Barons Cross support surgeries which happen once a month and have continued to be part of Team Leominster (the multi-agency group which meets monthly and includes a special focus on the Barons Cross community).

We were successful in applying for £900 funding from Herefordshire Council to offer six activity sessions with meals over the winter as part of their Winter of Wellbeing (WoW) program. The hoped for development of a Worshipping Community at Barons Cross has been stalled by management issues at Stonewater who currently own and operate the community building. We are hopeful that these will be resolved; however, the Sunday WoW session will be the next step in developing relationships here.

Schools Work – we continue to be part of the Open the Book team at Ivington School once a week and also support the ‘vicars assembly’ on Tuesdays. Additionally we welcomed EMC to Leominster Priory for the Year 7 Welcome service and will also lead a Christmas service for EMC years 7,8,9 and 10 in December. These are a missional opportunity to engage with students and their families. At Easter we hosted a week of Experience Easter – enabling our local primary schools to participate in and learn about the story of Easter at The Priory and will hold a ‘signs of Advent’ day for Leominster Primary school at the beginning of December. We also held a school visit for Lucton school in the summer term. We have developed a good working relationship with Bargates Nursery which Father Jonathan now leads on.


Local community

Additional to our paid hours we have co-led the support group for asylum seekers in Leominster which has facilitated collecting clothes toys and money, organised school uniforms and school shoes, offered links to volunteering opportunities, campaigned for the return of families  (due to the hotel closure and re-opening) and most importantly offered opportunities for friendship. Since the re-opening of the Talbot we have organised two family sessions and a bonfire evening for Talbot residents, organised prayer mats for the Muslim residents, signposted families to activities and volunteering opportunities in the community and enabled them to find worshipping communities.

Kathy continues to manage Leominster Food Bank and Money Advice Centre and we continue to coordinate the delivery of food share food each evening to vulnerable people in Leominster – offering both practical and pastoral care for those in need.

David & Kathy lead the team providing nightly food deliveries of surplus food to families across Leominster. These doorstep encounters are valuable times of pastoral support for many families in our community.



The very DNA of pioneering means that things change; often at short notice as we join in where we notice God is at work. We have both been working with Lizzie Hackney to take our experience of the Intergeneration Mission project and the Barons Cross work to help shape the Diocese-wide Youth Hub project.


David & Kathy Bland 5/11/2023

Page last updated: Monday 5th February 2024 7:03 PM
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