Archbishop's focus on fresh expressions

Thursday, 9 April, 2015

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu - speaking at a recent fresh expressions learning day for parishes in the North of England – said,

Fresh expressions of church ministry put Jesus Christ at the centre of our planning and it's all about new life. The good news is God's grace and generosity is infectious. We must be open to the Holy Spirit who allows transformations to happen!

The event took place at Bishopthorpe Palace and you can watch a video summary of the day.

Malcolm Macnaughton, chief of staff at Bishopthorpe, commented,

It was wonderful to hear from church leaders who brought with them such a variety of experiences of fresh expressions in church and how this is building up followers of Jesus Christ.

Phil Potter, Archbishops' Missioner and the leader of the national Fresh Expressions team, said,

Evangelism has become a much more natural and organic process, as people are grafted in these areas. We talked about different ways of serving and showing love in communities and also about setting responsible boundaries; the testimonies and transformations shared were amazing!

These included:

  • Gareth Robinson from Glo Church, Stockport spoke about how they began by providing play equipment and baby clothes as part of a 'recycling' initiative in his garage. This, in turn, led to growing a community in Christian faith;
  • Diane Kershaw and Toby Bassford - both Mission Priests in Sheffield – outlined the need to be intentional about the allocation of resources and time;
  • Andy Milne from Sorted in Bradford talked about the long, patient journey of growing young people's faith, and mentoring and developing youth workers;
  • Tim Sanderson from Holy Trinity Jesmond revealed just how messy Messy Church can be - but also, using the 'Gray Scale' to plot spiritual growth, how it helps to encourage a spirit of openness and faith development;
  • Sam Foster, from the Scarborough Deanery, shared her heart and soul for the community of Eastfield and spoke about the process of setting up the Westway Open Arms drop-ins.
  • The University of Cumbria's Chaplaincy team, including Matthew Firth, shared insights of growing faith in higher education and the importance of a one-to-one encounter to encourage individuals to find faith.

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