Fresh expressions in the Church of England

Welcome to the home of fresh expressions in the Church of England.

Within this micro-site you'll find information about why fresh expressions are important – and learn about how we’re working to support them through our new Greenhouse approach.

There's also a helpful resources section, which reflects the ecumenical nature of the fresh expressions movement, as well as webinar recordings and our blog.

But first, here's a message from Heather Cracknell, Head of Development for Fresh Expressions...

Fresh expressions are varied and will frequently look different from one another. This is because they are contextual forms of church – which means they are specific to the life and people of a particular place.

Because they are often in partnership with a parish church or co-exist in deaneries, people talk about fresh expressions as being part of a ‘mixed economy’ - or, more recently, a 'mixed ecology' - where different types of church revitalisation activity is happening together.

"I believe that God is calling us to be a church of glorious and profligate diversity"

Archbishop Stephen Cottrell, Presidential Address: General Synod July 2020

The term ‘mixed economy’ was first introduced within the Mission-Shaped Church Report. In the years since there have been attempts to consider what we have been learning about fresh expressions. One such attempt was The Day of Small Things, a report compiled by the Church Army’s Research Unit, after they had surveyed over 1100 fresh expressions across 21 dioceses of the Church of England.

You can read a summary of the Church Army’s The Day of Small Things report by clicking here.

Based on this learning we have created our new Greenhouse approach, which aims to support and equip fresh expressions so that they become more sustainable and multiply.

Did you know?

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Fresh expressions account for 15% of Church of England congregations

That’s more than 50,000 people!

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There’s a lot of variety

Fresh expressions don’t always look the same

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Some fresh expressions originate from a parish church

Others grow out of pioneering work happening away from the church

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Fresh expressions are often led by lay people

This means they don't always have a member of clergy leading them

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Fresh expressions complement other forms of church planting and revitalisation

They all work together with parish churches in a ‘mixed ecology’

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Our new Greenhouse approach builds on the learning gathered about fresh expressions

Over the last 16 years since the Mission-Shaped Church report

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Greenhouse equips teams of people to design, grow and cultivate fresh expressions

Helping them to become more sustainable and multiply

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What is Greenhouse?

Find out more about the Greenhouse approach