Sourced from Emerging Church “Fresh Expressions” UK website (bold emphasis added):
More than 80 people from all over the south west peninsula gathered in Launceston to explore the implications of the fresh expressions movement for Devon and Cornwall. Representatives came from churches as far apart as St Just in Penwith (near Land’s End), Paignton and east of Honiton. Pete Pillinger from the Fresh Expressions core team joined with Evangelism Enablers and Missioners from the counties of Devon and Cornwall and parts of Somerset and with Revd John Carne, Methodist Chair of District for Plymouth and Exeter.
“I was amazed how far people had travelled.” Pete said, “It shows the enthusiasm and commitment people have, thier desire to be part of this move of God’s Spirit.”
Having met together for the first time there is a momentum for further developments in the South west with leaders from the Exeter diocese spearheading moves to introduce the Fresh Expressions one year course ‘Mission-shaped Ministry’ to the peninsula.
Pete had addressed the Cornwall synod of the Methodist Church the previous Saturday and there is strong backing from Revd Chris Blake, Chair of the Cornwall District for the development of fresh expressions of church in every circuit in the Dutchy.
Terry Anning, who organised the event, reports what happened:
‘We heard about National developments, including a Lay Pioneer Ministry Course which will be available in the South West at various locations next year; also about the number and variety of Fresh Expressions of Church that are springing up all over the country.
During the interval at the “Market Place” we were able to share some of the details behind 15 local Fresh Expressions of Church. Some common thoughts were highlighted:
1. They all start small and are fragile in growth.
2. They involve non churchgoers.
3. They meet people where they are in their own culture.
4. They vary in type and style.
5. They are not a clone of main church.
6. They are not a stepping stone to the main church as they are established in their own right.
7. They are supported from the main church in prayer and finance.
8. They are a caring, sharing community, which starts with loving service and community before moving on to evangelism, discipleship and worship.
9. It is not a case of either/or but rather both/and types of church.
10. Like a tree, growth tends to be round the edge rather than in the middle.
A Fresh Expression of Church was defined as a form of church for our changing culture established primarily for the benefit of people who are not members of a church. The starting point was listening, watching, waiting, praying then identifying the culture and the need and seeing where God is working in order to join in.