(Church Times) Fresh Expressions shakes off critics

The Church of England is finally acknowledging the significance of Fresh Expressions, a national conference of 600 participants heard on Saturday.

The event, Catching Sight, hosted by the diocese of Leicester, was designed to take stock of the movement, which dates back to 2004 and has registered 3400 different groups. It has a parallel in pioneer ministry.

Canon George Lings, director of the Church Army Research Unit, took a Screwtape approach to demonstrate the unwillingness of the inherited Church to accept the positive findings of reports such as The Day of Small Things and From Anecdote to Evidence.

This manifested itself, he suggested, in everything from ignoring the reports, to complacency ”” “Cathedrals now sing Graham Kendrick songs so we know we’re up to date” ”” and ridicule: “Five Christians meeting at a bus stop, so it must be a Fresh Expressions church.”

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One comment on “(Church Times) Fresh Expressions shakes off critics

  1. Terry Tee says:

    Sounds like an explosion of creativity, which is impressive. Even more impressive is the clear desire to draw others into the life offered us by Christ. So credit where credit is due. And yet. As I have commented before in connection with Fresh Expressions: where are the figures to show growth in numbers? Does Fresh Expressions draw from the already existing pool of Anglican Christians, or does it draw in the unchurched? The stats continue to show average weekly attendance and usual Sunday attendance as falling. I also have the impression that sometimes already existing activities are born again with the new title of Fresh Expressions tacked on to them.