Fresh Expressions

A new initiative for changing times

Our world is changing. At least 60% of the UK population is now beyond the reach of the churches. This proportion grows each year.

The Church of England and the Methodist Church want to establish many different fresh expressions of church life in the next decade to carry the gospel to every part of our society.

Fresh Expressions is a national initiative of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York supported by the Methodist Council. Our aim is to resource and encourage this major movement of mission and change across the churches.

Visions of Fresh Expressions in Methodism (Pdf)

A guide to Fresh Expressions (external web link)

Methodism's Hidden Harvest - the story of the first fifteen years of Methodist involvement in fresh expressions: a research report (Pdf)

What are fresh expressions?

The 2004 report 'Mission-Shaped Church' described a growing movement of 12 kinds of fresh expression

  • Alternative worship communities
  • Base Ecumenical Communities
  • Café church
  • Cell church
  • Churches arising out of community initiatives
  • Multiple and midweek congregations
  • Network focussed churches
  • School-based and school linked congregations and churches
  • Seeker church
  • Traditional church plants
  • Traditional forms of church inspiring new interest
  • Youth congregations

When Jesus saw the crowds he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd....
...Then he said to his disciples: "The harvest is plentiful but the labourers are few...   
...therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into his harvest field"
Matthew: 9.36-38

To these we can add:

  • Fresh expressions focused on children
  • Fresh expressions focused on under 5's and their families
  • Other new developments

There is already a significant movement of mission alongside and supported by parishes and circuits.

 How will Fresh Expressions help?

  Renewing Vision
Helping the whole church to catch and live this fresh vision for mission through stories, publications and advocacy. 
  Gathering News 
...on what is happening where, what is working and what is not, where to find help and support through research and through the website 
  Supporting Growth developing a national network of skilled coaches or accompaniers for fresh expressions of church life. 
  Developing Training
...for pioneering lay and ordained ministries and made available in every region through the new Regional Training Partnerships


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