This summer St Albans Diocese was awarded a £1.75 million grant, as part of the Archbishops’ Council Strategic Development Funding stream.
The funding is a core element of Renewal and Reform – the Church’s initiative to promote growth in every community.
St Albans will use their grant, which will be received over the next five years, to support their plans to create 8000 disciples of Christ, primarily through new fresh expressions groups.
BBC Three Counties Radio travelled to different fresh expressions churches in the St Albans Diocese highlighting the work already going on. Fresh expressions groups intend to serve those outside the Church, or those new to the Christian faith.
The Hub Church
In this first programme, Stephen Fletcher visits the Hub Church in Hitchin and meets with the team, including founder, Dan Drew, who although ordained, believes in lay-led services, and views them as “the future for the church”.
Listen to Stephen speak to members of the ‘Being Educated' group – a fresh expressions group in Watford for the over 65.
Among those Stephen talks to, is the group leader, Wendy Dodson, who talks of the time set apart for prayer during the group’s get-togethers at St Luke’s Church – “we bring together very personal issues and ask for God’s help, and we’ve seen lots of answers to prayer. We’ve seen people who have not been reconciled in their families, become reconciled to them”.
Rev Canon Tim Lomax
Hear the BBC’s Stephen Fletcher interview Rev Canon Tim Lomax, Diocesan Director of Mission on fresh expression churches. Tim discusses the range of fresh expressions groups active in St Albans, and also talks of his hope that those who attend, “become followers of Jesus Christ”. He also explains that fresh expressions are not rivals to traditional forms of worship.