Monday, 1 June, 2009

Church of England minister Nick Crawley knew that he wanted his next post to be about mission not maintenance. So he wrote to the Bishop of Bristol to suggest launching a network church. After a series of meetings he began work on his new 'parish' of Bristol-based young adults in 2004.

We have no church building, no parish, no PCC, no inherited congregation,

Nick says.

I had no weddings or funerals to do so I was free to start from scratch.

An original team of three families drawn to the network church idea began meeting in Nick's family home in central Bristol. As the new church grew, it began to rent space in Starbucks. It now meets in a larger coffee house on Tuesday evenings attended by an average of 30 people who eat, worship, discuss and pray together. Roughly half of these were not previously attending or committed to a church.

One-to-ones and training teams continue the work of discipleship.

Nick attributes the growth of this network church, Crossnet, among students and young professionals to 'word of mouth'. The church has seen four conversions and others growing in their faith.

The two emphases are mission and discipleship,

says Nick.

There is no doubt that the commitment people have to loving one another is growing.

Crossnet aims to be self-funding by the end of 2009.

Updates to, and learning points from, this story

Monday, 14 February, 2011

Crossnet, launched as an Anglican network church in 2004, has seen many changes since then. Its leader, Nick Crawley, gives an update.