Frequently asked questions

Below is a list of common questions about fresh expressions of church. You can also find a wealth of information about fresh expressions of church in the Guide.

If you cannot find the answer you are looking for, please contact us.

Frequently asked questions:

There's a spectrum. Some are trying to engage those who are on the fringe of church life and have some kind of church background. One example would the all-age services springing up at different... read more

Fresh expressions can grow into mature church and some do that more quickly than others. Church can be understood as what happens when people gather round Jesus. Archbishop Rowan Williams has... read more

We know that some individuals' lives have been transformed. Some fresh expressions have a strong commitment to social justice and the environment. JustChurch, for example, focuses its worship on... read more

They clearly are reaching people who have not been part of a church or who left church a long time ago in a number of cases - on housing estates, among young people, in schools and in many other... read more

Jesus asks us all to pray daily for God's kingdom to come and his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. The kingdom of God is the shorthand phrase in the Gospels for the reign of God or... read more

There are always dangers for the life of the church and one of them is doing nothing at all. There have been scandals in cathedrals and traditional churches over the last twenty years as well as in... read more

Some people fear that encouraging forms of church that fit the culture of people who attend is pandering to choice and consumer attitudes. But it is very scriptural. At Pentecost the Holy Spirit did... read more

Many fresh expressions of church are small - but so are many traditional congregations. But we have the capacity to develop many thousands of these fresh expressions and that means reaching out to... read more

Some fresh expressions of church begin as independent churches. However, the majority belong to and are accountable to one denomination (or sometimes to more than one if they are an ecumenical... read more

Yes, they do. To pick just a few examples: In one Lancashire town there is a fresh expression for former prisoners and others living on the edge. In Hampshire there is a fresh expression reaching... read more

Not necessarily. If you look at our website stories or our DVDs you will see a whole range of fresh expressions - some in rural areas and others in the inner city. They meet in village halls, city... read more

They are both. In the past we have had a 'come to us' approach to mission - 'let's set up church the way we like it and then invite others to join us'. We now realize that for the... read more

Some of the things we call fresh expressions have been around somewhere for a long time (such as midweek services for parents and toddlers or an additional all age service). However, they may be... read more

This varies from place to place. Some fresh expressions of church are funded by the diocese, district, benefice, parish or circuit. Often where this is the case a sliding scale of support has been... read more

Resources You can log on to our website, check out our stories for inspiration, sign up for our regular e-newsletter and check out our booklets and DVDs. Fresh Expression publications are... read more

It is really important to start by listening to the community or network you want to reach. You might literally walk the streets and listen to what people have to say, invite a group to a pub for a... read more

By celebrating diversity as a gift not seeing it as a threat. As Britain becomes ever more multi-cultural and multi-ethnic more diversity is needed if we are to be truly effective. Theologically by... read more

The precise definition of a fresh expression of church has evolved over time. The term was coined by the Mission-shaped Church report. It was taken from the promise made by Anglican clergy every time... read more

It's vital to build strong bonds of connection and to work out how a fresh expression will belong. Sometimes that 'belonging' is to a local church. Sometimes it is to a circuit or deanery... read more

Not at all. There are now fresh expressions of church in every tradition. Have a look at our DVD on fresh expressions in the sacramental and contemplative tradition. DVD: Sanctus: fresh... read more

This is a question in many people's mind and is sometimes referred to as the 'Homogenous Unit Principle', that is churches made up of all the same kind of people. Some people have argued... read more

No. At the other end of the spectrum from fresh expressions is 'inherited church'. Inherited churches are what exist already. Fresh expressions are new or different forms of church that... read more

The Mission-shaped Church report coined the term 'fresh expressions of church.' In pages 29 to 33 it explained the relationship between church planting and fresh expressions of church.... read more

Yes - lots, but you can see the pattern most clearly in the Acts of the Apostles. The church takes many different forms as it moves from culture to culture in the ancient world. In Acts 11, one kind... read more

In some places it is, but our research shows that only 40% of the population is willing to engage with the more traditional way of being church. So there is an urgent need to find new ways of... read more

It's important to explore a bit further and find out the reasons. Some ministers are put off by the term or what they see is the latest fad in the church. Has your minister really engaged with... read more

Christians in almost every tradition have given a special place in the life of the church to the two signs of God's grace (or sacraments) of baptism and Holy Communion. Both rest on the clear... read more

A Bishop's Mission Order is a legal device created as one part of the 'Dioceses Pastoral and Mission Measure' in the Church of England. It creates a means for a bishop to legally... read more

A fresh expression of church is a new gathering or network that engages mainly with people who have never been to church. There is no single model, but the emphasis is on starting something which is... read more

A pioneer minister (according to the Church of England) is someone who is recognised to go beyond the existing Christian communities and aims to create new communities: fresh expressions of church.... read more

Mission-shaped Church describes twelve different kinds of emerging churches, and new ones are still developing. They cover everything from new midweek services or a different form of Sunday service... read more

Church of England? The Church of England is a partner in Fresh Expressions and has officially endorsed the move towards a mixed economy church (i.e. fresh expressions alongside more traditional or... read more

Fresh expressions isn't just a UK phenomenon, but a growing international movement, with a growing number of partner organisations in different countries. For details of these, please visit our... read more

In terms of theology or understanding of mission, there is no fundamental difference. Those who prefer the phrase fresh expressions and those who prefer the phrase emerging church are both seeking to... read more

As in most of our inherited models of church, the sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist (or Communion, Lord's Supper, Mass) are seen as central to being part of the universal catholic church.... read more

Our work isn't solely based on statistics but, we hope, rests on the person and teaching of Jesus. However there are several relevant sets of statistics for those developing fresh expressions of... read more

A number of organisations offer training of one kind or another. Fresh Expressions offers: vision days Introductory days for you to discover more about fresh expressions of church. mission shaped... read more

Wherever this kind of change is driven only by decline, it is bound to fail. The church in every generation is called to share in God's mission in loving service and by proclaiming the good news... read more

A fresh expression is more than just an occasional meeting. Fresh expressions are about working with those who don't go to church in a way that has the potential to grow into mature church. Any... read more

As they mature, fresh expressions become proper church. Imagine a group of congregations of which some are traditional, perhaps meeting in a chapel or parish church, and others are fresh expressions... read more

There is not a central database of fresh expressions of church - they are simply too numerous to list. Sometimes they can be fluid and fragile and always they are locally and contextually formed,... read more

Time will tell, but we believe that there are certain things you can do in a fresh expression to encourage sustainability: it is important to keep it fresh by holding on to Scripture and tradition... read more