The Fresh Expressions initiative commenced September 2004 and, is now growing ecumenically and internationally, consequently, Phase 2 of the fresh expressions initiative was launched on June 10, 2009 …
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, last night commissioned the team which will oversee Phase 2 of the Fresh Expressions initiative.
Dr Williams was joined by ecumenical guests at Lambeth Palace for a service celebrating all that has been achieved so far and offering prayers for the next important phase.
Bishop Graham Cray was commissioned by both Dr Williams and the President of the Methodist Conference, Revd Stephen Poxon as Archbishops’ Missioner and Leader of the Fresh Expressions team along with Revd Stephen Lindridge who is the new Connexional Missioner for the Methodist Church.
Other members of the core team were also prayed for.
Fresh Expressions, initiated by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and the Methodist Council in the wake of the Mission-shaped Church report, is gaining increasing recognition both at home and abroad.
Dr Williams said: “God has blessed our church through the work of Fresh Expressions”. The General Secretary of the Methodist Church, Dr Martyn Atkins, said he was delighted with the work of Fresh Expressions so far and that “the best still lies ahead.”
Earlier this month, the United Reformed Church with its 1600 congregations, 100,000 members and attendees and 700 ministers, joined the initiative.
The Moderator of the General Assembly of the URC, Revd John Marsh and the URC General Secretary, Revd Roberta Rominger were also at last night’s event.
The Fresh Expressions initiative is spreading internationally too. Fresh Expressions Canada was launched earlier this year and Bishop Graham Cray has recently returned from a visit there.
The Protestant Church in the Netherlands and the Church of Scotland have recently adopted the language of fresh expressions and pioneer ministry and there is an increasing stream of visits, enquiries and requests to speak overseas.
The following partners are taking part in the next phase of Fresh Expressions:
- The Church of England;
- The Methodist Church;
- The United Reformed Church;
- The Congregational Federation;
- Anglican Church Planting Initiatives;
- Church Army;
- The Lambeth Partners and the Lambeth Fund.