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Last updated 19th June 2017

Fresh expressions (FxC)

A fresh expression of church (FxC) is a new gathering or network that engages mainly with people who have never been to church. There is no single model, but the emphasis is on starting something which is appropriate to its context, rather than cloning something that works elsewhere.

Over 3,000 of these new forms of church now exist in almost every denomination and tradition in the UK.

Fresh expressions of church:

  • serve those outside church;
  • listen to people and enter their context;
  • make discipleship a priority: journeying with people to Jesus;
  • form church.

Some examples of Fresh Expressions of Church are outlined below. For advice on which Fresh Expression might work in your parish context contact:  David.Banbury@Blackburn.Anglican.Org

Cafe Church

cafechurch is coffee with a conscience. It’s the fresh expression of community in high street coffee stores (primarily Costa Coffee stores) dealing with issues from a faith perspective.

At cafechurch you’ll tackle issues such as fair trade, the environment, stress, adoption, parenting, debt and divorce, together with quizzes, interviews, round table discussions, live music with great coffee and great chat!

Messy Church

Messy Church is a form of church for children and adults that involves creativity, celebration and hospitality.

  • It's primarily for people who don't already belong to another form of church.
  • It meets at a time (and sometimes in a place) that suits people who don't already belong to church.
  • It typically includes a welcome, a long creative time to explore the biblical theme through getting messy; a short celebration time involving story, prayer, song, games and similar; and a sit-down meal together at tables. All elements are for, and should include, people of all ages, adults and children.
  • It's all-age.
  • It's fun.
  • It's a church for people at all stages of their faith journey and of any age - a congregation that is as valuable and worthy of investment as any of your other congregations.
  • It models and promotes good ways of growing as a family: a nuclear family, an extended family, and a global and local church family.
  • Its aim is to introduce Jesus, to give an opportunity to encounter him and to grow closer to him.
  • Messy Church is resourced, supported and enabled by BRF, The Bible Reading Fellowship.
  • Most Messy Churches meet once a month, although a few meet more frequently or more occasionally.

Messy Church is not a way of getting people to come to church on Sunday - There are examples of people starting in Messy Church and deciding to join Sunday church as well but these are the exception rather than the rule. If people wanted to go to established church, they would be going by now. Messy Church is interdependent with established church, but will usually operate as a separate congregation or church.

Who Let The Dads Out?

Who Let The Dads Out? is a growing movement that resources churches to reach out to dads, father figures and their children. They believe that to 'turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers' (Malachi 4:6, NIV 1984) is a powerful way 'to make ready a people prepared for the Lord' (Luke 1:17). 

They want to see churches creating spaces where dads, father figures and their children can have fun together, and is founded on the Christian principle of wanting to demonstrate God's love to communities. 

Who Let The Dads Out? provides a number of ideas and resources to 'journey' with dads and their children in the context of family support, ministry and mission: