We welcome a new pioneer

14th April 2021

We’re delighted to welcome Revd Gill Sakakini, who joins Bath and Wells as pioneer priest in the arts in the benefice of St Peter and St Paul’s Shepton Mallet with Doulting and Cranmore. Gill’s appointment is the last of the pioneers to be appointed with the Pioneer Project funding.

Pioneer Evangelism and Pioneer Team Leader, Tina Hodgett said, "Gill’s love for God, her wisdom, and her desire to grow community around arts and crafts stood out during the interview process.  The work the parish team did to listen to God and imagine this post has led to this really exciting situation.  Our God is truly able to do more than we can possibly ask or think."

Gill who was previously curate St Mary’s Tadley North in the United Benefice of Tadley and Pamber Heath with Silchester, and artist in residence at Winchester Cathedral. Gill has also established her own art practice as a fine artist and enjoys creating art related reflections and explorations in faith contexts, “thinking about what more can we know about God through making and making largely in communities.” A lot of Gill’s community work has been in America where she spent time as part of the faculty of a retreat centre in Washington state.

“I feel really called to ministry with the arts and through the arts. Looking in a really broad way at our creative selves and how God has given us an invitation to create with him, so we fulfil our creative calling when we make and when we create.”

“I’m really looking forward to working with schools and all the different heritages that are in Shepton Mallet. People come to the town for all kinds of reasons, from different places and it would be wonderful to explore some of that heritage and the common aspects that we have together around food, hospitality and the arts; thinking about who God has brought to Shepton Mallet and how we can engage more deeply with them. “