Over 200 Christians from six denominations met in Bolton on October 15, 2006, to hear about new ways of being church.
This popular Fresh Expression vision day was jointly sponsored by the Chairman of the local Methodist District, Revd David King and the Anglican Bishop of Bolton, Rt Revd David Gillett.
Speaking after an afternoon and evening of presentations, buzz groups and workshops, David King said he wanted to see local Christians beginning to find new ways of reaching out, as they constantly relied on the Holy Spirit. David Gillett said he looked forward to the day when ecumenical teams of Christians were forming fresh expressions throughout the area – and especially in the clubbing centre of Bolton.
Workshops included sharing about fresh expressions for older people, fresh expressions in schools, and how to start a fresh expression if all you had was an old building but lots of faith.
And one curate had a personal vision confirmed. She had been wondering about starting a fresh expression for women working on weight loss, knowing that the issue was closely tied up with a sense of self-worth for many. She sat next to someone who turned out to be a Christian GP in the parish to which she is shortly moving. 'That idea and you are an answer to our prayers,' she was told.
The next major Fresh Expression event in this corner of Greater Manchester will be a five week course on being a mission-shaped church and mission-shaped people, starting in January.