Laurence Bellew has been appointed as a Pioneer Evangelist for the Newry Centre of Mission, a new initiative at the grouped Parishes of St Patrick and St Mary in Newry. Mr Bellew will be working alongside the Lead Evangelist and Rector of St Patrick and St Mary, Revd Capt Scott McDonald.

Laurence BellewPioneer Evangelist, Newry Centre of Mission
Laurence Bellew, Pioneer Evangelist, Newry Centre of Mission.

The Centre was launched in August and is a partnership between the Church of Ireland Diocese of Down and Dromore and Church Army. Scott and Laurence will pioneer a range of community outreach initiatives and culturally relevant expressions of church alongside the traditional forms.

For the last 10 years Laurence has worked as Kids and Youth Coordinator for Willowfield Parish in East Belfast where he also served on the worship team as a singer and musician. 

He says: “I have really loved working with the kids, young people and families of the Willowfield community alongside an amazing group of staff and volunteers and while I’m sad to be leaving, I strongly believe God has called me to take up this new role in Newry.  I’m excited to be moving down to the city to work alongside Scott and about the opportunities that await there.” 

Laurence will be pioneering new work as part of his role, but one project he hopes to bring with him is the ‘Life Guards’ programme. This is a healthy heart programme which he created and launched in 2015. 

“We have delivered the 6 to 8 week physical and mental health programme to over 6500 kids from 44 schools across the province, as well as over 1000 from other church and community groups,” says Laurence. “Locally we also set up a Kids Gym and Youth Gym which became very popular as well. I hope to be able to launch a Healthy Heart HUB in Newry as part of my work, because I am passionate about serving the physical and mental health of the community as well as the spiritual health. 

“I can’t wait to meet and get to know the people of St. Patrick’s and St. Mary’s and I trust that together we will see God do incredible things in the next season.”

Revd Scott McDonald says he is “thrilled” that Laurence will be joining the team in Newry. “Over the last few years, I have observed first-hand how Laurence’s approach to living out his faith in Christ is dynamic, creative, passionate, and compelling. Through the admirable mixture of being genuinely personable and very professional, he has demonstrated the ability to build strong and durable relationships with schools, youth groups and other community organisations. As he heads to Newry, he will leave behind a proven track record of helping young families and young people discover the life changing message that the love of God for them is real, always available, and unconditional. Watch this space!” explained Rev McDonald.

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