Many people ask the question: What is a Fresh Expression of church? It is an important question, as without definition the Fresh Expressions movement will lack clarity and focus. In response to this question the following definition has been produced:
‘A fresh expression is a form of church for our changing culture established primarily for the benefit of people who are not yet members of any church.
It will come into being through principles of listening, service, incarnational mission and making disciples.
It will have the potential to become a mature expression of church shaped by the gospel and the enduring marks of the church and for its cultural context.’
In Manchester we recognise that there is a broad spectrum of Fresh Expressions of church, and therefore we categorize our Fresh Expressions in the three following types:
Type 1: Re-conceiving an existing mission project or service as no longer a stepping-stone to church.
Type 2: A new mission initiative to create a new community within a single parish or circuit, largely they will be lay led and have a small budget.
Type 3: A major mission initiative to create a new community across several parishes or circuits. This can involve a full-time post and may also include a new building.
The different types help us to plan strategically and give further clarify to the good work that is already happening.