What is Greenhouse?

Greenhouse tree.

Design, grow and cultivate fresh expressions of church

All about Greenhouse

The Church of England’s approach to establishing and growing new Christian communities, (sometimes called ‘fresh expressions’), is a process that anyone can join in with to help them make their mission plans a reality.

Who is Greenhouse for?
Greenhouse will suit anyone who feels called to establish and grow new, robust Christian communities among people who don’t yet know Jesus where they live, work and have friends. You don’t have to be ordained (but you can be) and you don’t even have to be attending church on a regular basis to be a part of this movement. If God is calling you to join in, you can.

How do I know if I am called to this?

There’s more about your calling just here – if reading that page makes you feel excited inside, chances are you’re being called.

If I joined a Greenhouse, what would I be doing?
You will begin by getting together with other people, maybe just two or three of you, who have similar ideas and goals to you, to form a team in your parish, (or in your particular context). They would be people like you who really want to share the life-changing impact of knowing Jesus and who have a desire for others to know him too. Teamwork is absolutely central to the Greenhouse approach because this kind of mission can be hard work. Head of Fresh Expressions Development Heather Cracknell explains:


What will the Teams do?
You will be following a particular path of learning and practical action together to help you establish a new Christian community where there isn’t one already. This path is rooted in loving and serving people who we usually interact with day to day or week to week. That may be through groups of friends, neighbours, through community projects, social action projects, or through special interest/hobby groups. Fresh expressions guru Mike Moynagh from the national Greenhouse team explains it simply in this clip:

Actually, it’s not so much a straight path, but a cyclical process. It has a particular set of stages that eventually lead to a new Christian community emerging.

This cyclical path is called the Listening First Missional Journey and it keeps Greenhouse Teams focused and intentional as they work towards their mission goals.

What support will we get?
There will be the support you foster within your small team, but you will also have the support of other teams who are in the same process as you. They may be at different stages to you, but they will all have the same goal of establishing new Christian communities that keep going and keep growing. We call this a Learning Community.

You will have someone locally who will be in touch with all the teams across a wider area (often across the diocese you are in). These Facilitators will bring all the teams in that region together twice a year. In those Learning Community gatherings, you will support and learn from each other and help each other to move your mission idea or project intentionally around the cyclical process. No one needs to be an expert, because you will be embedded into this Learning Community and can feed off the wisdom of others any time you want, as well as offering your own unique contribution. In between gatherings, you will have access to supportive Facebook groups, nationally-supplied free resources and the guidance of your Facilitator.

How long could I be doing this?
You can stay in the process for as long as you want and for as long as you feel called to it, but two years is probably long enough for most projects to bear fruit. Some take longer because of the context. But the fact that you are working in a team means that the work is shared, and if any one of you chooses to leave the process, it can still continue until a replacement is found.

Will it cost anything to join a Greenhouse?
No. There is no fee for being part of a Greenhouse, or for any of the resources supplied via the national Greenhouse team. The ‘cost’ of this kind of ministry tends to be in terms of your own time commitment and the funds you need to get your project off the ground, or onto the next stage. How that happens will be down to you and your team.

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