(Church Times) Fresh Expressions multiply — as redefined

Five years after the launch of a £2.1-million project, the diocese of Leicester is reporting that one-quarter (26 per cent) of people attending weekly worship do so at a Fresh Expression — up from one in nine in 2011.

It follows similar figures from the diocese of Carlisle (News, 6 September 2019). The research also highlights evolving definitions, the symbiotic relationship between “traditional” churches and fresh expressions, and the growth of unlicensed lay leadership.

Thousands of “fresh expressions of church” have been planted since the launch of the report Mission-shaped Church in 2004, and are defined by the ecumenical charity Fresh Expressions as a “new gathering or network that engages mainly with people who have never been to church”.

Research conducted by Leicester in partnership with the Church Army’s Research Unit (CARU), published this week in a report, God at Work, suggests that the number of fresh expressions has grown by 60 per cent since 2011, from 47 to 75. In total, 2959 people are attending, up from 1811 in 2011.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), Parish Ministry

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