Christians are increasingly seeking new ways of living out and communicating the Gospel, but this has given rise to a number of challenges and questions, not least about what it means to be the Church – and how 'fresh expressions' relate to 'inherited' forms of the Church.
This report - warmly welcomed in July 2012 by both the Methodisct Conference and the General Synod - seeks to crystallize some of the major questions about the ecclesiology of the mission-shaped Church and to provide pointers as to how we may grapple creatively with them. It considers:
How do fresh expressions relate to parish and local churches, and to the overall ministry and mission of the Church?
How and when does a fresh expression become a church in its own right?
How might fresh expressions develop a spiritual and sacramental life that respects the past, yet affirms their pioneering context?
What are the implications for the deployment of scarce resources of authorised ministers and finance?
These and other vital questions are explored in this comprehensive and important study. It is essential reading for all engaged in mission, church leadership, theological and ministerial formation and those with responsibility for allocation of resources.
Read a sample chapter
Watch Dr Rachel Jordan (one of the Church of England contributors) talking about Fresh Expressions at the 2012 July Synod
Read more about the enthusiastic support for the report from Methodist Conference and General Synod on the Fresh Expressions site
Listen to the July 2012 General Synod discussion of Fresh Expressions in the Mission of the Church