Welcome to the Spring 2012 update from the Fresh Expressions team. These occasional mailings have been designed to keep senior denominational leaders in touch with news and developments – and we very much hope you will find them useful. Please do pass on any information or ideas which you think could be helpful to others.
Pray with us
Join us on Monday 28th May 2012 at 12noon (local time) – wherever you are in the world – to pray for those beyond the reach of the church as it often is, for fresh expressions of church and all who champion, lead or attend them.
The dedicated hour of prayer is for all those who want to thank God for what has gone before and pray together for what lies ahead. Pray with others or pray alone, pray on our online prayer wall (on our prayer page, on our Facebook page or on Twitter using #285prayer) or download our resources to give you ideas for specific prayer on the day and in the future.
Visit our hour of prayer page for resources and more.
It is good to now have some reliable statistics about numbers of fresh expressions. According to the latest statistics from the Church of England, there are at least 1,000 fresh expressions of church in operation. There are as many again in the Methodist Church. In total, they are engaging with at least 56,000 people – most of whom would not otherwise be involved in any church. In addition, there are fresh expressions in the United Reformed Church, the Congregational Federation, the Church of Scotland and other traditions. This is proving to be an effective form of mission with great potential and I ask you to encourage more local churches to get involved.
This is an ecumenical movement, different traditions sharing an approach to mission to engage with those untouched by our longer-established ministries. To encourage this ecumenical partnership regionally we are continuing to develop FEASTs (Fresh Expressions Area Strategy Teams) in many parts of the country. They often involve some senior leaders, some advocates (missioners, evangelism enablers) and some experienced practitioners. They pray and plan together, sponsor training, support pioneers and link churches which are just getting off the ground with those of more experience. If you are asked to be involved, we would welcome you playing your part in such a positive task!
Synod, Conference and Assembly
In July, the Methodist Conference and the General Synod will both receive the joint Faith and Order report ‘Fresh Expressions in the Mission of the Church’. We will be holding fringe meetings at both Conference and Synod – as well as a Special Interest Meeting at the United Reformed Church General Assembly – and look forward to seeing some of you there.
Here to help
Are you looking for someone to deliver fresh expressions training or speak about the development of fresh expressions of church in your area? Fresh Expressions has a network of local Associate Missioners available to do just that. Please contact us if you think they can be of service.
The next In Touch will be with you during the summer, but we are available for you at any time – either for a face-to-face chat or via email and phone. To find out more, contact me (email@example.com) or my colleagues Stephen Lindridge (Connexional Missioner for the Methodist Church) at firstname.lastname@example.org and Linda Rayner (URC Coordinator for Fresh Expressions) at email@example.com.
With every good wish,
Bishop Graham Cray
Archbishops’ Missioner and leader of the Fresh Expressions team
This new book offers a strong rationale for fresh expressions and pioneer ministries rooted in scripture and in the breath of the Christian tradition. This is tested against the realities of contemporary British culture and critiques of the notion of fresh expressions.
Written by David Goodhew, Andrew Roberts and Michael Volland, Fresh! offers practical guidance for starting and sustaining such ministries in the long term. It provides a survey of best practice within fresh expressions and pioneer ministry.
Share booklets want to encourage good conversations about starting these new churches, without telling you what to do.
You can order all eight booklets for £24 (£3 per booklet), or £16 for all eight downloadable PDFs. Each booklet is available on the links above for £5 per booklet (£3 per download). Further options are available on our Share booklets page.