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Imagination, Mission and Trying New Ideas

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This week, we really enjoyed reading an English Cathedrals article about their new “Pilgrim Passport.”

2020 is a year of focus for English Cathedrals and a “Year of Pilgrimage.”  This innovative idea of a passport enables people to engage in reflections as they pilgrimage, document their own adventures and discoveries and get stamps in each cathedral just like a normal passport.

Dee Dyas from York University shared:

“Cathedrals are increasingly becoming such special places because they offer peace, beauty, and a chance to pause and reflect along the way.

The new Pilgrim Passport encourages everyone to find their own meaning though visiting these amazing buildings.”

We were really struck by this simple and creative idea.  It speaks of long established buildings and communities seeking to connect and re-imagine practice.  It taps into growing interest in pilgrimage and the wave of new monastic practices and movements that we’ve seen over the past two decades.  Thirdly, it shows faith to the tradition and practice of pilgrimage to a Cathedral and encourages people to explore this, whether seasoned pilgrims or complete newbies.

Writer Steve Johnson’s book “Where Good Ideas Come From” shares the concept of the “adjacent possible.” Johnson suggests that new ideas and innovation come from taking simple steps to next-door ideas and seeing new practice come from small journeys rather than giant leaps.

When we consider re-imagining church it can be feel like a mountain to climb and the temptation is to rip everything up and start again, but often the adjacent is more appropriate.  The Pilgrim Passport builds on the legacy of Cathedrals, the activity of visiting them and the growing interest in pilgrimage.  It’s an ‘adjacent possible’ idea that looks fresh and creates energy.

What new ideas or imagination are you bringing into your Fresh Expressions of Church?

Does the concept of ‘Adjacent Possible’ make sense to you?  Why not share a comment about what you’re doing.

The Pilgrim Passport is available to buy from every Church of England Cathedral.  We are grateful to the English Cathedrals Website for the photo and their article.

You can also buy it online for £4.99 here.

Steve Johnson’s book is called “Where Good Ideas Come From” (Allen Lane, 2010.)