New Methodist Connexional Missioner for Fresh Expressions

Friday, 20 March, 2015

Rev Graham Horsley, currently minister at North Camp Methodist Church, Hampshire, has been named as the next Connexional Fresh Expressions Missioner for the Methodist Church.

Graham, who will succeed Stephen Lindridge in the role, will serve for an initial period of five years from 1st September 2015.

The ecumenical fresh expressions movement  - which champions and resources new ways of being church by promoting best practice, providing effective support and creating genuine partnership  - has seen thousands of new congregations being formed alongside more traditional churches since the initiative started in 2004.

Graham will take up the post at a key time in the life of Fresh Expressions. Alongside the existing work, a series of new projects will now be established, including Pioneer Centres, Strategic Hubs, Regional Champions and a Coaching and Mentoring Network.

Asked about his new role, Graham said,

There has been a huge growth in the number and diversity of new forms of church in recent years, but the fresh expressions' movement is still quite fragile. I hope to play a part in helping the Methodist Church to embed the idea so that fresh expressions are a normal part of the mission of the church in the life of every Methodist Circuit.

Phil Potter, Archbishops' Missioner and team leader of Fresh Expressions, is looking forward to working with Graham:

This is an inspired appointment, both for the Methodist Church and the fresh expressions movement as a whole. Graham brings a wealth of experience as a practitioner, trainer and strategist. He was influential in helping to start the initiative and will offer wisdom, vision and passion in helping us to look to the future.

Stephen Lindridge has served as Connexional Missioner for Fresh Expressions since 2009. He will become Chair of the Newcastle-upon-Tyne District from 1st September 2015. Stephen comments,

I am thoroughly delighted to hear Graham has been appointed as my successor to the role of Connexional Missioner. It has been a rich and inspirational privilege to serve Christ's Church on this wonderful ecumenical team and I will deeply miss their kind fellowship and ministry.

Graham, from East Yorkshire, read Electronics at Salford University where he was called first to be a Local Preacher, then a minister. It was whilst at Salford that he began working with Rob Frost.

After two years as an electronic test engineer in Warrington, where he met his future wife Ann, he entered college in Bristol to train for the ministry. He served churches in Bradford, where he was also a University chaplain; Hull and Oldham. Involvement with the Seed Team movement, and two church plants in Oldham, began to point to new ways of being and doing church that might complement traditional church. He was also involved in the ecumenical church planting vision, Challenge 2000.

He was appointed Evangelism and Church Planting secretary for the Methodist Church in Britain. He built up a network of District Evangelism Enablers, helped stimulate Methodist involvement in Fresh Expressions and instigated the VentureFX pioneer programme for the Methodist Church.

In 2010 he returned to local church ministry in Hampshire, sharing his time between North Camp Methodist Church, south Farnborough and a fresh expression of church for the 'baby boomer' generation (born between 1945 and 1964) called Living in Three Dimensions. He is a lifelong Leeds United fan and enjoys a number of extreme sports, including fell running and windsurfing.

  • Interviews are available with Graham. Please contact Karen Carter, Media Officer, Fresh Expressions (07545 928 724) to arrange.

Comments

Hi Graham

Hopefully this will find you ?

I read with interest your fab article headed 'Its not enough to try harder' and noted some quotes identical to the ones given in correspondence between Martyn Atkins and Christopher Mabb (our previous minister) and also Mark Wakelin and Christopher.

Christopher quotes n Einstein as having said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.

If Methodism does not see this soon we really are doomed !!

Christopher has been before SAC several times in the last year and I am sad to say has given up and resigned from the Methodist church. In Hull at AP he wanted to stay a further two years to see the vision given to us by God come to fruition BUT the re-invitation process did not produce the result that 80% of the congregation at AP wanted.

A lot of my friends in Methodism - in fact most of them, have left over the past 20 years and gone to the house churches or to New Life or Vineyard and indeed Phil and I considered it too in the light of what happened to Christopher - 20 people from AP left after the re-invitation process was unsuccessful.

All I am saying is that we really do need someone strong enough to reverse the trend OR as you say so clearly we will either emerge as something else in Gods eyes or disappear altogether. BUT turning the big ship of Methodism round altogether is not something that wait any longer - trouble is it seems impossible.

God can however immeasurably more than we can ever ask or imagine and Im hanging on to that as you clearly are.

Ten of us are going to the Navigating Change conference this week in Stoke armed with listening ears to hear of any HOPE ?? Love and best wishes Sue x

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