The East of Eden Mission Community is a group of worshipping communities working together and supporting each other to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to our local communities. This is done in a variety of ways representing the spiritual gifts among the local congregations trying to discern where God is already working. We offer the opportunity for all in the Lower Eden Valley and Alston Moor area to get to know what the Christian faith has to offer through varied forms of worship along with accessible activities and events for all ages. The Mission Community invites everyone to share in getting to know God’s love and purpose for their lives in a context of warm welcome and supportive relationships.
“Cumbria is at the cutting-edge and forefront of ecumenical partnerships and is looked to by other parts of the country as a pioneer and example to follow in such cross-denominational co-operation. And, we in this particular Mission Community are leading the way for the rest of the county!”
As a mission community we have adopted Cumbria’s ecumenical God for All strategy’s four themes which are; to Follow Daily, Care Deeply, Speak Boldly and Tread Gently. They are the forefront of our mission and our action plan is based around them. Some of the themes appeal to one worshipping community more than another which is helpful to the development of a broad church with different gifts as it gives balance to the collective body.
We are working together to consolidate and embed the principle of mission community which is building stronger and united congregations. Rural ministry flourishes when clergy and laity work together as a team as one or even two ministers cannot effectively serve a large multi-parish community. We as a mission community are identifying, nurturing, supporting, equipping and commissioning local leadership in each community, to serve their local congregations.
The East of Eden Mission Community has a Steering Group of the Mission Community Leaders and lay representatives (who are elected at the Annual Meeting for a term of three years). A Council, consisting of representatives of the eighteen congregations, meets twice a year to discuss and agree the budget and mission plan. The minutes of these meetings are avaiable for you to read and download.
Members of the Steering Group are Bryan Gray (Chair), Revd Katharine Butterfield and Revd Dave Milner (Joint Leaders of the EEMC), Helen Armstrong, Phil Catt, John De La Mare, Judith James, Peter Pickthall, John Slee, Neil Barrett and Helen Bedford.
We introduce you to some of our key members below, and if you have any questions, do not hesitate to get in touch.
Joint Leader of the EEMC
I was brought up in Keswick, and originally trained and practiced as an Opthalmic Optician. I was ordained in 2015.
My passion is encouraging people in their faith, wherever they may be, and giving them opportunities to use and develop their God given gifts.
We have three grown up children who live away and at present one grandchild but are looking forward to the safe arrival of another. My interests are fell walking, reading and spending time with my family.
To contact Revd Katherine, call 01768 898176 or email her.
Joint Leader of the EEMC
Part-time Superintendent Methodist Minister
I grew up in a Christian family, and as a teenager I dreamed of the day when there would only need to be one church or chapel in each town, as Christians worked and worshipped together in unity. Perhaps I was naively optimistic, and yet here I am beginning to think we might actually be in reach of that dream.
I live in Penrith with my wife Christine. I love Jesus and I love the Bible, and enjoy exploring it with others. If I have spare time, I also enjoy art galleries, or reading a good book.
To contact Revd Dave, call 01768 863209 or email him.
I have been involved in Christian Leadership since 1976, and I feel a strong leading towards restoring the prophetic edge in the Ministry life of the Church, and to see and experience our God at work amongst the community in which we live.
I am married to Elizabeth and we have 4 children and 5 grandchildren; living in Cumbria, the USA, and another in Australia. I enjoy travel, history, ornithology, horticulture and until recently, motorcycles. Oh and grandchildren are brilliant by the way!
To contact Revd Keith, call 01768 898257 or email him.
Assistant Curate (in training)
Having trained at Cranmer Hall, I was ordained at Carlisle Cathedral on 24th June 2022.
I am a keen parkrunner, wild swimmer and mountain ‘bagger’. I also enjoy solving cryptic crossword puzzles, wandering round National Trust gardens, and chatting to friends over tea and cake.
It is both a big responsibility and a huge privilege to be called to serve the people of this area and I’m really looking forward to seeing what God will do!
To contact Lindsay, you can call 01768 881769 or email her.
To ensure that we keep everyone safe, we have a Safeguarding Coordinator, who does what is needed to keep children and vulnerable people safe. Find contact details and more on our Safeguarding page.
Find out what services are on this week and where and when we’re open.
From study groups, to social groups, kids clubs to Anna Chaplaincy.
Read our seasonal messages, latest newsletter and more.
Explore Anglican and Methodist places of worship in the Eden Valley.
Download the latest resources from East of Eden Community