The new from the old

Friday, 28 January, 2011

Kairos - previously St Mary's Low Harrogate - was launched when the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, gave his blessing to it being made a Bishop's Mission Order.

This parish was originally established to serve an area of Harrogate from the centre near the Pump Rooms right up to Harlow Hill at the edge of the town. Two worship centres were built, St Mary's as the main parish church and All Saints – a chapel at the top of Harlow Hill for the surrounding area. St Mary's was closed in January 2007 due to severe problems with the building. At almost the same time All Saints had to close its doors, again because of concerns about the building, and it was formally shut down in 2009. The church continued to pray and work towards effective discipleship and mission and St Mary's moved into Harrogate Grammar School for Sunday services until summer 2008.

By then it had started a significant transition from parish church to a fresh expression of church, serving the whole deanery of Harrogate, helping it to develop a mixed economy approach. Pioneer Minister Mark Carey acknowledges that Kairos is 'very much in a transition stage with elements of inherited church in the midst of all the other stuff going on - it’s a classic mixed economy encapsulated into one setting!' Fully part of the Deanery and the Diocese of Ripon and Leeds, St Mary's became Kairos Church because Kairos is a Greek word of great significance for Christians as it speaks of the appointed time in the purpose of God.

Kairos demonstrates the mixed economy in a number of ways: it supplements its deanery’s parochial ministry with a network approach. It draws on both inherited and fresh expression elements in its own ministry, and it is itself diverse, allowing the development of smaller missional communities. It is an example of 'making the mixed economy work', which will be the subject of a Fresh Expressions national day conference with Archbishop Rowan in Oxford on May 6th.

This is a learning point from:

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