Superintendents are key leaders in the NPNP movement, especially through:

  • Creating space to discern a vision for NPNPs in the circuit.
  • Praying for NPNPs
  • Supporting lay and ordained pioneers.
  • Exploring the place of NPNPs in the circuit Mission planning.

What are NPNPs?

New Places for New People (NPNP) are focused on forming new Christian communities for those not yet part of an existing church. NPNPs are the most effective means of connecting new people, new people groups, and new residents to Christian exploration and community. In addition, NPNPs bring learning from experimental ‘research and development’, identify and strengthen emerging leaders, and help the whole Church reflect on and examine its calling. Read more here.

And what is Church at the Margins?

The vision for Church at the Margins is to build new Christian communities amongst economically marginalised people in new places. Read more here.

How do I start, or support, one?

The Superintendent’s role is both to support the contexts where new communities are beginning and to enable local churches to imagine what is possible in their communities. Discerning where to locate a community is key. Keep returning to important questions like:

  • Why do you feel God is leading you to choose this community/context?
  • Who are you orienting toward?
  • What is God saying to you through your relationships with local people?
  • In one sentence, can you describe your vision for what you are doing?
  • What will it look like in a few years’ time?
  • How does the vision relate to the NPNP/CaM values?

It is important to consider the community’s wider infuence and potential shared learning. All NPNPs begin with listening – to the community, God and to each other – to discern the call of God.

You can access the Circuit-based NPNP Guide here.

More on supporting and managing pioneers

Good management and oversight of a pioneer (lay or ordained) is essential for the success of the pioneer and the project. Whatever form of management/accountability process is decided upon, feedback from Methodist and ecumenical practitioners in pioneering supports the sustained and consistent presence of a good, single line manager for the pioneer in order for the NPNP to succeed.

Read NPNP Guide Chapter 8: How to Manage a Pioneer

Experience shows that an important factor in the flourishing of pioneers and pioneering projects is good working relationships with the wider church community and its key leadership. A significant moment in shaping this early on is the induction of the pioneer. A positive induction period will establish healthy working practices from the start. This is important in every setting, but especially in pioneer appointments which, by their nature, can sit uneasily with existing church structures.

Read NPNP Guide Chapter 9: How to Induct a New Pioneer

The growing number of pioneers in the Church is supported by the Methodist Pioneering Pathways (MPP). We encourage every pioneer involved in a Methodist New Place for New People (NPNP) to become a member of the MPP, with support or a reference from their superintendent, in order to access its resources and join the network of support. Pioneers in funded district NPNP projects will be expected to join.

Read NPNP Guide Chapter 10: Methodist Pioneering Pathways

What resources are available?

Connexional resources, including Guides and submission forms, can be found here. Your district may also have further information about district and circuit NPNPs on its website.

Examples of circuit-based NPNPs

Darlington - West Durham Circuit - Pioneer Deacon

Sheffield - Doncaster Circuit (Rossington)

Peckwood NPNP video