13 March 2009

History meets mission in new Church initiative

Jo Hibbard has been appointed Methodist Heritage Officer in a brand new initiative designed to enrich the life of the Church through greater engagement with Methodist heritage sites.

The Church aims to provide greater financial and organisational support for its 106 heritage sites across Great Britain. Jo will work with the newly convened Methodist Heritage Committee to develop the profile of these sites as effective tools for contemporary mission.

'This is a huge opportunity for the Methodist Church, and I'm excited to be a part of it,' said Jo. 'This isn't about preserving the past for its own sake, but interpreting our historic places and collections in light of the life and mission of the church today.'

'Methodism is a relatively new denomination, and we have homes and chapels built, for example, at times of industrial revolution and social deprivation. Their stories resonate with us today, and the church has an important contribution to make to our concerns about money and hope in hard times. My role is to help the sites pull these strands together into a memorable experience that speaks to every visitor.'

As Heritage Officer, Jo will share with the Heritage Committee the overall responsibility for the Church's work relating to heritage and mission. She was previously Development Manager for Coventry Cathedral, leading on tourism, marketing and PR, and events. Jo worships at Woodside Avenue Methodist Church in Coventry, where she is a worship leader.

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