As it looks to the future, Fresh Expressions will focus increasingly on building a strong coalition of partners who will 'connect, equip and release' the work in their own settings and beyond. This is an evolution from a centralised core staff promoting fresh expressions of church, and reflects the huge progress made in this respect in recent years.
The vision is for a partnership of denominations, streams and agencies to continue to embed the values of Fresh Expressions in their own organisations and collaborate together in developing the work of supporting, encouraging and developing new forms of church.
Since Fresh Expressions began, in 2005, it has been served by a national core staff team. Through the work of Fresh Expressions, many denominations and mission agencies have increasingly adopted the principles and practices of fresh expressions of church and shared in the overall task. Consequently, the size of the core-funded team is now being scaled down while seconded posts will continue to increase. Following a consultation process, the following posts have been made redundant: Director of Communication and Resources (with effect from 30th November 2015), Senior Writer and Media Officer (with effect from 31st December 2015) and Resources Manager (with effect from 31st December 2015).
A new post of Director of Communications will be created providing a strategic lead to connect, equip and release the communication of Fresh Expressions.
Another new post of IT Services Officer will also be created to maintain the Fresh Expressions web presence and provide administrative computer systems services.
Archbishops' Missioner and team leader of Fresh Expressions, Phil Potter, said,
The Fresh Expressions story is transitioning from initiative to movement and we continue to explore how we can best serve the Church in that. I am very grateful to those who have been part of the core team, past and present, for the invaluable contribution they have made, enabling us to reach this point of transition. God has multiplied the available resources beyond a single team, and our 'associate' and partner friends are increasingly taking up the baton in every sense as the movement continues to grow.
The work goes on. We increasingly look to catalyse, encourage and network the many, many people – both ordained and lay – who are working to champion fresh expressions of church in wide-ranging contexts across the UK and around the world. God has been generous and faithful and we continue to rely on God's guidance as we take on this new shape for Fresh Expressions in 2016.
Fresh Expressions will continue – with and through its many partners - to champion and resource new forms of church for those who are not already members of any church. It also seeks to consolidate all that has been achieved in terms of major projects and policy changes at national level, through:
- promoting best practice;
- providing effective support;
- creating genuine partnership.
The work now revolves around five areas of focus:
- inspiring vision;
- networking strategically;
- connecting geographically;
- supporting practitioners;
- resourcing learning.