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Horsley named as new Methodist Fresh Expressions missioner

Rev Graham Horsley, currently minister at North Camp Methodist Church, Hampshire, has been named as the next Connexional Fresh Expressions Missioner for the Methodist Church ...

Rev Graham Horsley, currently minister at North Camp Methodist Church, Hampshire, has been named as the next Connexional Fresh Expressions Missioner for the Methodist Church.

Graham, who will succeed Stephen Lindridge in the role, will serve for an initial period of five years from 1 September 2015.

The ecumenical fresh expressions movement – which champions and resources new ways of being church by promoting best practice, providing effective support and creating genuine partnership – has seen thousands of new congregations being formed alongside more traditional churches since the initiative started in 2004.

Graham will take up the post at a key time in the life of Fresh Expressions. Alongside the existing work, a series of new projects will now be established, including Pioneer Centres, Strategic Hubs, Regional Champions and a Coaching and Mentoring Network.

Asked about his new role, Graham said, "There has been a huge growth in the number and diversity of new forms of church in recent years, but the fresh expressions' movement is still quite fragile. I hope to play a part in helping the Methodist Church to embed the idea so that fresh expressions are a normal part of the mission of the church in the life of every Methodist Circuit."

Phil Potter, Archbishops' Missioner and team leader of Fresh Expressions, is looking forward to working with Graham:

"This is an inspired appointment, both for the Methodist Church and the fresh expressions movement as a whole. Graham brings a wealth of experience as a practitioner, trainer and strategist. He was influential in helping to start the initiative and will offer wisdom, vision and passion in helping us to look to the future.

Stephen Lindridge has served as Connexional Missioner for Fresh Expressions since 2009. He will become Chair of the Newcastle-upon-Tyne District from 1 September 2015. Stephen comments: "I am thoroughly delighted to hear Graham has been appointed as my successor to the role of Connexional Missioner. It has been a rich and inspirational privilege to serve Christ's Church on this wonderful ecumenical team and I will deeply miss their kind fellowship and ministry."

Graham, from East Yorkshire, read Electronics at Salford University where he was called first to be a Local Preacher, then a minister. It was whilst at Salford that he began working with Rob Frost.

After two years as an electronic test engineer in Warrington, where he met his future wife Ann, he entered college in Bristol to train for the ministry. He served churches in Bradford, where he was also a University chaplain; Hull and Oldham. Involvement with the Seed Team movement, and two church plants in Oldham, began to point to new ways of being and doing church that might complement traditional church. He was also involved in the ecumenical church planting vision, Challenge 2000.

He was appointed Evangelism and Church Planting secretary for the Methodist Church in Britain. He built up a network of District Evangelism Enablers, helped stimulate Methodist involvement in Fresh Expressions and instigated the VentureFX pioneer programme for the Methodist Church.

In 2010 he returned to local church ministry in Hampshire, sharing his time between North Camp Methodist Church, south Farnborough and a fresh expression of church for the 'baby boomer' generation (born between 1945 and 1964) called Living in Three Dimensions. He is a lifelong Leeds United fan and enjoys a number of extreme sports, including fell running and windsurfing

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