More than 50,000 people are attending non-traditional church gatherings thanks to the success of a drive to attract worshippers with no previous contact with the Christian faith, the General Synod heard today.
Members of the Church’s national assembly gave their backing to an expansion of ‘Fresh Expressions’ churches – new forms of church gatherings meeting often in venues such as cafes, community centres and pubs.
Fresh expressions churches now account for 15% of congregations in the Church of England and are estimated to attract more than 50,000 worshippers, the equivalent to the size of two new dioceses, the General Synod was told.
Mark Sheard, Chair of the Ministry and Public Affairs Council of the Church of England, leading a debate at the General Synod said: “I am firmly of the belief that Fresh Expressions of church is one of the most significant ways in which we are seeing the Kingdom Come – which after all is what we pray for so fervently day by day.
“What we are witnessing here is a real and exceptional movement of the Spirit.”