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Church Army commissioned for further fresh expressions of church research

Fresh expressions of church continue to be high on the agenda for Church Army’s Research Unit thanks to a new commission from the Church of England ...

Fresh expressions of church continue to be high on the agenda for Church Army’s Research Unit, thanks to it being commissioned by the Church of England to carry out the next stage of work following on from the Church Growth Research Programme.

Following the release of Church Army’s Research Unit’s statistical findings into fresh expressions of church in January at the Faith in Research Conference, their report has sparked discussion throughout the church nationally and internationally.

The report showed that for every one person sent out from an existing church to start a fresh expression of church, there are now two and half more people.

The next stage of the research will see Church Army’s Research Unit survey an additional 10 dioceses about their fresh expressions of church. The team will conduct telephone interviews with all the fresh expressions of church leaders in each diocese, taking them through a questionnaire which focuses on how they are fulfilling their mission and maturing as a young church.

This will allow Church Army’s Research Unit to compare their findings with the initial 10 dioceses surveyed and discover how typical they were. The first 10, in the order surveyed included: Liverpool, Canterbury, Leicester, Derby, Chelmsford, Norwich, Ripon and Leeds, Blackburn, Bristol and Portsmouth.

George Lings, Church Army’s Research Unit Director, said: “It is very important to get as full a picture as possible about the strategic contribution that the fresh expressions of church are making to the identity and mission of the Church of England. It looks like a good news story that deserves a deep and wide understanding. We are glad to serve the wider Church in this way.”

It is hoped their findings from this next stage of research will be published in the spring of 2016.

To read the Church Growth Research Programme’s initial report on fresh expressions of church and to watch a film about the report’s findings, please click here.

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