Update from Rev Dave Pilkington
Last year during the summer as my curacy was entering its final year, I was advised to start looking for jobs. At this point the church wardens and Rev April spoke to the Dean of Mission for Stepney who advised me that an extension to my role at St Columba was unlikely so I should start looking.
I have always felt my calling has been to missional roles and reaching out beyond the walls of the church to reimagine who we can be in the world, which is why developing St Columba has been such a blessing. But at the time I was searching for jobs I couldn’t find any roles in this area.
Eventually the diocese agreed to extend my curacy for a year but made it clear that there was no funding beyond that time frame. So, while this was positive, it did leave me having to consider my future and that of my family.
So, I have kept an eye on roles that have come available, and recently I saw a role to be a vicar as part of a missional community. The role was one where they wanted the person to be out in the community and reimagining what church could be. The description of the role inspired me and connected to my sense of purpose and calling and I felt that I should apply as for over 8 months I had not seen any jobs that inspired me.
During the interview process it became even clearer that the support is in place to ensure this role was missional. They wanted the person to be out in the community, having conversations, seeking where God is already at work and asking with others where God might be leading the community. In the interview process they had included, local doctors, teachers, Catholics, Methodists, local community leaders, showing how they come together as a community.
They also have a local youth project that all the churches come together to support and help run. It was clear that together they have a heart to see people find freedom and build Gods Kingdom. They also have a vision to develop pilgrimage and retreats in the area, something that Chrissy and I have both been passionate about developing.
So, it is with some excitement but also with a heavy heart that we will say goodbye to our home in East London, where my wife has lived her whole life and I have lived for nearly 30 years. I have been so grateful for the welcome I have received at St Pauls. The church has nurtured me on my journey through ordination and I have grown with the support of the congregation and the wisdom of the team I have served with. But we are trusting that this is where God is leading us for this next chapter of our life and ministry together.