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A Fresh Expression of church is a new gathering or network that engages mainly with people who have never been to church. There is no single model, but the emphasis is on starting something which is appropriate to its context, rather than cloning something that has worked elsewhere.
Fresh Expressions in Cumbria come in all shapes and sizes, from cafe style churches to church in the fells, all faithfully connecting people together to explore faith. We run several third space Fresh Expressions that are more playful. Often they are countywide, or resource local initiatives to spring up e.g. Mountain Pilgrims. Many local Mission Communities also run Fresh Expressions of church in their local context.
Every year we monitor how Fresh Expressions are developing in the county and these statistics were recently reviewed by the Church Army who described our data collection process as exemplary. You can read the full report here.
Broadly speaking Fresh Expressions are either geographically based i.e. working in a local village or area, or interest orientated, working across an area with people who share a common identity. Often they can be a bit of both!
Find out more about Fresh Expressions by downloading the Fresh Expressions booklet.
If you are thinking about starting something in your area get in touch with Richard. If you want to connect with others who may be doing something similar, visit the Fresh Expressions themes page and we can connect you to someone co-ordinating those groups.
If you are looking for training, visit the Northern Mission Centre Page.
As part of our Reaching Deeper initiative we have also appointed two new Enablers. Paul, working around Education and Outdoors and Chris, working around Social Enterprise and New Monasticism.
Director of Mission, Innovation and Fresh Expressions
Youth, Children and Families