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Staying fresh: DVD launched to help Fresh Expressions evolve in unexpected places

A network of cell churches within Merseyside police force, a pair of surfers preparing to set up a church centre on Newquay’s beachfront, and a special monthly service in Cambridge for Goths: they all feature in a DVD released today to mark the continuing expansion of Fresh Expressions, a movement led by the Church of England and the Methodist Church to nurture contemporary forms of church life alongside traditional ones.

Expressions: the DVD 2 – Changing Church in Every Place, has been developed as a tool for continuing the momentum of establishing and sustaining these new forms of church. It draws on the experiences of pioneers in this type of ministry and highlights that Fresh Expressions can be set up anywhere, by churches from any tradition. The DVD shows how Fresh Expressions have already been successfully developed in a range of specific contexts: within work places or leisure networks; in rural communities; by emphasizing sacramental elements; and with groups of young people.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, commends the film, adding: “I'm colossally encouraged by the amount of activity that there seems to be around the church at the moment. This DVD tells part of this new story. I hope you will watch it, give thanks to God and get involved!”

Recent figures show that 39 per cent of Church of England parishes have started a Fresh Expression since 2000. All over the country, Christians are beginning new initiatives to connect with those who are currently outside church, and many are using Fresh Expressions as a key component in this innovative mission work.

The film also indicates a deepening in understanding of how Fresh Expressions can evolve to continue to meet the needs of the community, and reflects the sharing of good practice and creative ideas currently taking place across the Churches.

Four in-depth ‘discussion starter’ films are also included, featuring experienced contributors who hope to guide churches through unpacking their thinking on contemporary mission. These interviews, with key Fresh Expressions pioneers from across the Churches, reveal insights to provoke thought and action across all church traditions and to inspire ministry teams to review their progress and consider how their plans could be evolved in the light of their own and others’ experiences.

Expressions: The DVD 2 (ISBN 978-07151-4128-1) is priced £14.99 and available from Christian bookshops including Church House Bookshop, 31 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BN, tel. 020 7799 4064, email bookshop@c-of-e.org.uk, or on the web.