Pioneer School Graduation – Congratulations Rachel Michael

Rachel (front row, second from right) with some of the other Pioneers on Thursday

Over the last 18 months Rachel Michael has taken and completed a course in Pioneer Ministry run by CMS (Church Ministry Society) in conjunction with the Church of England and Diocese of London. On Thursday she and others from the cohort of Pioneers graduated, receiving their certificates from Bishop Ric Thorpe at St Mary’s church, Woolnoth. Due to Covid restrictions, this was really the first time the group had been able to meet together. Several of those who completed the Pioneer School explained about how they share the love of God with people in creative and innovate ways across the city of London. Rachel Michael explained about her own pioneering work:
The main focus of my pioneering work is on embodied prayer – helping people to connect with body and movement as an expression of prayer. And it broadens sometimes to areas of reflection and healing, when people bring these different aspects of themselves together then wholeness is what happens. My project was called “Embodied perspective: Learning to listen to the body in prayer, reflection and healing.” I’ve been doing this for many years, but it hasn’t been clarified before, and now I am often running courses and groups for people in churches and the community.
I think for me one of the things I found most helpful from the Pioneer School was learning about APEST. This is a way of remembering the 5 ministries described by St Paul in his letter to the Ephesians – APEST stands for Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Shepherds and Teachers. It was really interesting for me to learn about these different skills and strengths that people have in supporting the church – sometimes these combine quite well, other times there’s a conflict or clash. I found that really interesting to learn about, and have tried to respond to that in my work with embodied prayer.
You can find out more about Rachel’s work at her website: