Solihull Parish has begun to respond to the challenge of becoming more outward looking to serve the communities in our borough. After much discussion and prayer over several years, Solihull PCC decided to recruit a full-time pioneer minister with the brief to focus on those in the community with very little church connection. It is true that the community no longer comes to us out of tradition or duty, so we must seek people where they are. Their need of us to heal the broken-hearted is as great, if not greater than before. Since her arrival in November 2019, Suzette Maguire, a Church Army Pioneer, has embarked on a journey to:
- Understand the importance of listening to God and to the local community, getting to know people and being known by them; meeting them where and how they are.
- Discern points of need within the community and find partners to help respond.
- Explore creative and innovative ways to ensure a “church” presence within the community and at existing community events.
- Establish new forms and expressions of church, forming new Christian communities and enabling people who find it difficult to connect with existing styles of worship to meet with God.
- Work with Christians to deepen their discipleship, encourage a passion for mission, establish teams to work with, grow new pioneer leaders and train a team to take outreach forward
Suzette lives and works in the area around the former St Francis district in the north of the parish, which includes Lode Heath and Elmdon Heath.