25 May 2001

Success story of church 'plants'

New churches 'planted' in new housing estates, or becoming the worshipping community for ethnic or student groups, are one of the best success stories for Methodism currently.

It is normal for new churches being planted across the country "to double in size in its first two to three years" according to a new Methodist Church booklet, 'Planting New Churches'. It follows the 1999 Methodist Conference report 'Planting New Congregations' in highlighting these success stories.

"The number of new members being added is enough to offer hope to every church," says the booklet, written by the Church¹s Evangelism and Church Planting Officer, Graham Horsley. It features a study guide on the issues around founding a new congregation, as well as featuring encouraging case studies "of what it means to be church in the 21st century".

Among new churches whose stories are told is the Cafe Church in London's Raynes Park, the Upper Room in Liverpool that holds its services in a pub, and Cepen Park, based in a house in a new housing estate in Wiltshire.

Planting New Churches by Graham Horsley (MPH, £3.75) Order on 01733 332202.

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