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North of England

Cumbria’s pioneering BigReach Innovator appointed

todayNovember 29, 2016 12

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Eleanor Ledesma – who is originally from the South Lakes – will take up the post of BigReach Innovator from early January.

She will draw on a proven marketing background as she prepares to introduce new and exciting ways in which those people who don’t attend church or know God, can make a connection.

The post, which has been jointly funded by the Methodist Church and the Diocese of Carlisle, further strengthens the ecumenical God for All vision: By 2020 every person in Cumbria of all ages and backgrounds will have had an opportunity to discover more of God and God’s purpose for their lives, so that they will discover more of Jesus and the Good News and become followers of Jesus within a Christian community.

Eleanor said: “I’m delighted to be offered this new role of BigReach Innovator, which is an answer to prayer. It is so exciting to be part of the God for All strategy. Together churches in Cumbria are actively resourcing work to reach people in new and relational ways. There’s a real desire amongst churches to connect with people who not only live here but all the millions who visit each year.

As part of the new role Eleanor plans to develop new social and digital media strands to connect new audiences with the reality of God.

She added: “Cumbria is a large county and so it can be challenging to get from place to place. That means that holding a big event somewhere won’t always necessarily work.

“But most people in Cumbria are digitally engaged and we will be looking to meet them through the online space and social media.”

The Rt Rev’d Robert Freeman, the Bishop of Penrith, who chairs the God for All Strategy Steering Group and who also heads up the REACH team, said: “We are thrilled that Eleanor has been appointed. In her we have someone with a fantastic track record in outreach and marketing within a faith-based context.

“The scope of the BigReach Innovator’s role is massively challenging; intriguing those tens of thousands of people with the reality of God will not be easy. But it is through pioneering posts such as this that we will bring God to new people in new ways.

“As Eleanor prepares to start in the role, our prayer is that her work will further enhance the God for All strategy and encourage communities across our county to explore more about God.”

Eleanor is originally from Cumbria, having grown up in Beetham, near Milnthorpe, and is relocating back to the south of the county with her husband Mario – who works in the NHS – and young daughter, Hettie.

Written by: Miriam Emenike

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