Heather Black, currently Development Officer for Together Middlesbrough and Cleveland, has been appointed Programme Leader for the new Mustard Seed initiative in the Diocese of York.
Heather will oversee implementing the ambition of the Diocese of York to invest prayer, time and resources in supporting churches and individuals in making disciples and growing worshipping communities in places facing multiple deprivations.
Her work will focus on two key areas of work: ‘Stepping Up’ (equipping and nurturing courageous local disciples to be witnesses, leaders, pastors and planters in their local communities) and ‘Ambassadors’ (catalysing a flow of partnership and generosity between parishes in prayer, energy and financial giving, helping to change the culture of the whole diocese).
The Mustard Seed vision is to enable the growth of ‘Community Hubs’ – places of Christian hospitality and welcome in local communities, where people can experience the love of God, receive support and prayer and encounter Jesus. We pray that in each hub there will be new disciples following Jesus, who will grow in faith within these local worshipping communities.
Mustard Seed will work alongside Multiply, a programme working to make disciples amongst people in their 20s, 30s and 40s; the two programmes addressing the ‘Reach’ goal of the Diocese of York’s goals of ‘Reach, Grow, Sustain’, adopted as part of an over-arching strategy following diocese-wide consultations in 2016.
Heather Black is well-known in the Diocese as one of its elected lay Members of the Church of England’s General Synod, in which capacity she is also a Member of the Crown Nominations Commission working to appoint the next Archbishop of York.