Carolyn Kinsman, 25/10/2017
Research Unit > Publications > Encounters on the Edge > Headlines from issues

 Headlines from Encounters on the Edge issues 

1999.1        1        Living Proof

  • 01-smallCoined de-churched and non-churched vocabulary and the need for different approaches
  • Demonstrated the need to start by building community, offering service that others say makes a difference and seeing changes of behaviour
  • Spotting where God has been ahead – giving experiences to people
  • Living Proof discovered it was church, though rightly doesn’t use the word for historical and cultural reasons
  • Evolving indigenous worship, not importing from outside; making sacraments subservient to ministry and both of them to mission
  • Takes risk takers to start it, balanced by having a champion in the diocese – Bishop Rowan Williams
  • Future missional church leaders need training in community development skills

1999.2        2        Unit 8

  • 02-smallIt confirmed the 'Community, mission, worship' pattern observed at Living Proof in issue 1 – trust that shape and quality of community work
  • Adding that ‘come’ works among (open) de-churched, but ‘go’ is needed for non-churched, seeker for de-churched and cell for non-churched – because non-formal learning and greater discontinuity
  • Need to see Unit 8 (and every fresh expression of Church) as its own thing – not a bridge to existing church
  • Early challenge to view that church must be Sunday and congregational
  • Parishes with large congregations can still have gaps - unreached people group culturally, or inadequate penetration of the parish geographically - if leader as risk taker can help them see it
  • After: rotating or bringing in ‘helpers’ who don’t see themselves as members doesn’t work

1999.3        3        Cell Church Planting

  • 03-smallChallenge to Robert Warren view that plants and fresh expressions of Church = only tugs, to move the liner of historic church
  • Church need not be congregation
  • Intergenerational cells are not mainly worship but all four 'w’s (welcome, warm-up, word, works), and children participate throughout
  • Planting can be by cell, though cell need not be method of planting
  • Cell only channels growth, but God through evangelism creates it (Nile and its irrigation ditches)

1999.4        4        Eternity

  • 04-smallYouth church is legitimate and necessary; its members will become their own kind of adults
  • Don’t provide what we think they want, but build church with them
  • Shapes of youth congregation will vary according to whether the 18-year-olds move away
  • Values are key

2000.1        5        Joining the club - or changing the rules?

  • 05-smallChurch is provisional and incomplete – because of fall and kingdom - so assess fresh expressions of Church in that light
  • Don’t patronise them or use the MOT method, i.e. a fail if one aspect is deficient
  • Coined One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic as four directions and seen relationally
  • Mrs Nerg acronym – use biological type tests for life
  • Human paradigm > horticultural
  • Question: Is it Church? does matter – but answers may depend on who is asking

2000.2        6        Across the Pond

  • 06-smallAnother 'unreached people group' and 'inadequate penetration of the parish' story – where ‘come’ didn’t work (see issues 1 and 2)
  • Find the community’s issues, don’t start with our answers
  • Offer partnership not provision
  • Model humanity, vulnerability and our own needs – Conrad keeping the ducks who died
  • Need for indigenous worship – here = music hall style
  • After: leader left too soon after embryonic community began
  • Succeeding leaders did not live on the estate 

2000.3        7        New Canterbury Tales

  • 07-smallNeed to provide more diversity than one lively parish congregation can (cf Radio 2 church)
  • 1st example of a network story and extra-parochial place (EPP) as way to recognise it
  • Network is relational not territorial – how people live, not where they sleep
  • In finding/sending the team, don’t be afraid to give your best people
  • Early example of café church with tables – shape only abandoned to get more people in
  • Importance of diocesan champion
  • After: succession problem / disaster / controlling leader led to sharp decline
  • After: reproduced same DNA but different pattern in The Carpenter's Arms

2000.4        8        Thame or Wild?

  • 08-smallCreate diversity – don’t ask people to mix their drinks
  • Each congregation needs a leader, style, culture
  • Need for episcope across the multi-level church
  • Beginning diversity shows what diversity is still needed – e.g. Generation X gap
  • After: succession problem / disaster / controlling incumbent led to sharp decline

2001.1        9        Leading Lights

  • 09-smallThe availability > ability issue regarding finding leaders
  • Church plant giving/costs not recognised in church accounts, so stay dependent
  • Don’t wear Saul’s armour – be yourself
  • Informal family service was OK in 1970s; now more quality is sought
  • Differences between replication and reproduction (strawberry problem)

2001.2        10        Hard Graft?

  • 10-smallDifference between graft and replant
  • St Leonard's a good example of graft because the leader and team stayed a long time
  • St Leonard's a good example of incomers respecting the culture

2001.3        11        Never on a Sunday

  • 11-small1st example of a fresh expression of Church not on Sunday and why Sunday doesn’t work for all
  • Todmorden – an example of church planting in Catholic tradition
  • Eucharist does its own work – as found in The Carpenters Arm's, Deal
  • St Helier, Morden – very lively, but need for more than entertainment
  • At both – what happens when children reach age 11?

2001.4        12        The Enigma of Alternative Worship

  • 12-smallFishing net or safety net?
  • Significance of the collapse of the Nine O'Clock Service in Sheffield
  • Danger of emphasis on community and worship, but not on mission
  • Web presence far greater than local reality
  • Memorable worship because of being multi-sensory (cf Visions in York)
  • Time taken to prepare alt.worship. means little energy for anything else

2002.1        13        Encountering Exile

  • 13-small1st time the topic is raised in relation to fresh expressions of Church context
  • Need for lament and repentance alongside other worship
  • Revival is not the likely future
  • Living with judgement and hope
  • Despise not the day of small things

2002.2        14        Eden, Manchester

  • 14-smallExample of mission partner acting as transplant, not graft
  • What virtues and what dangers in the model
  • The South Amercan triangle and UK diamond shapes to society – hence Base Ecclesial Communities model difficult in this country
  • Need for long-term mission – not paint the area and leave
  • Importance of school as mission field

2002.3        15        The HTB family of churches

  • 15-smallMore diversity than the stereotype – in terms of size of church, type of people
  • Dangers and limits of large transplants
  • Limits to the transferability of the model – in relation to available redundant churches outside London
  • What are the London factors?

2002.4        16        Mass Planting

  • 16-smallGo where the people are – so ASDA
  • Difference between window box and full church plant
  • 2nd example of an Anglo-Catholic fresh expression of Church
  • Damian Feeney visionary leader has prior cross-cultural experience – during training (repeated later)
  • The pioneer moves on before he kills it

2003.1        17        Addicted to Planting?

  • 17-small1st example of an international story and church among recovering addicts
  • The long haul – 7 years from moving in before regular worship and AA programme
  • Tensions with traditional church – don’t give up; bishop’s role vital
  • Existing Christians can be too judgemental and not understand grace

2003.2        18        Stepping Stones

  • 18-smallNeed to spot 'inadequate penetration of the parish' and 'unreached people group' factors – then release and diversify
  • Analogy of stepping stones means not knowing the next step is OK
  • Making a variety of relational contacts and resultant groups
  • Positive of giving away power to form a District Church Council
  • As with issue 7, dominant lay leadership was not Anglican – led to problems and independency

2003.3        19        Net Gains

  • 19-small2nd generation of network plants – diocesan initiatives and thus acceptance
  • Friend at court – The Net in Huddersfield: Bishop David James and Archdeacon Richard Inwood; B1 in Birmingham: David Lee
  • Fragility if not a base from parish, and occasional offices traffic
  • Contrast to Tommy's in Nottingham that blew up – better balance of 'in' and 'out'
  • Danger of only 1 per diocese allowed – ‘not spread more’ view

2003.4        20        Soft Cell

  • 20-smallPaul Bayes shows can do parallel cell – not try to transition whole church
  • Combined with prototype launch, not big bang, only for those who get it – then infect others
  • Importance of being value led – vicar Paul Bayes very clear on this (cf issue 4)
  • All age cell is included – can be done but is demanding
  • What if the incumbent moves on?

2004.1        21      Reading: the signs

  • 21-smallChris Russell: For non-church teens, not exporting Soul Survivor model
  • Through work with excluded at school – value added
  • Gift of the empty St Lawrence building
  • Picking up echoes of old monastic foundation
  • Takes long time (5 years) to establish Christian lfestyle among these converts

2004.2        22      Mission-Shaped Church: The Inside and Outside View

  • 22-smallCross-cultural mission has come home and parish alone won’t do
  • Dying to live noted and reproduction named in ecclesiology
  • Misunderstandings named: only the new, only worship, license to the pushy
  • Comment on chapters 1-4 on today’s context, what learnt since Breaking New Ground, relational church planting and fresh expressions of Church
  • Bop Hopkins regarding chapter 5: We have the insiders already so not all mission = cross-cultural
  • Very little of chapter 6 - double listening, etc; some on chapter 7 – prelude to Bishops' Mission orders
  • List of ‘coincidences: Archbishop of Canterbury / mixed economy / new money – no / Paul Bayes / pioneers

2004.3        23      New Housing, New Partnerships?

  • 23-smallGet into the process early
  • Ecumenical on green field site makes sense – but needs light touch
  • Don’t start with your own building
  • Take time later to explore diversity of styles of worship

2004.4        24      OASIS - Work in Progress

  • 24-smallImportance of person who knows the business culture
  • Importance of offering what adds value to that culture (cf seminars)
  • Flexibility about time, length, size and style of meeting

2005.1        25      Intermission

  • 25-smallRob and Janine Gillion, performing arts backgrounds
  • Artists are like wild birds – don’t build cages but offer sanctuaries
  • The chapel is upstairs - architecture matters
  • Meeting and eating (refectory) is downstairs; hospitality is the way in
  • Parish struggles to connect with a specific cultural group – unless it’s a Book of Common Prayer love-in
  • Need for different rhythms to Sunday weekly

2005.2        26      A Rocha

  • 26-smallWhy Christians should be into ecology – linked to the liberating and humanising issues
  • The work can eclipse the need for community
  2005.3        27      The Village and Fresh Expressions
  • 27-smallThere are many different types of village – distances from urban and economic functions
  • And many different types of villager – incomer, worker, farmer
  • So no one kind of church will connect with all
  • Easier to start a new work than try to change it all
  • Danger of a focus on worship – by the frustrated Christians – draws only the de-churched
  • How did Mandy Wright make it work – safe place out of public eye

2005.4        28      Rural Cell Church

  • 28-smallNetwork exists in the country too
  • Creating a new structure is easier (cf issues 20 and 27)
  • Cell can work in rural context and grows faster than congregation
  • Parish does not suit all rural people
  • Parish is not good at discipleship
  • Vicar becomes leader of the leaders – and mentor
  • Since: how to hand on responsibility to lay leaders of leaders?

2006.1        29      Northumbria Community

  • 29-smallNorthumbria Community did not think they were church, but discovered they are
  • Monasticism is used by God to renew/revive  the church – not reject it
  • It occurs in times of change, conflict and pressure
  • Need to match monastery and mission (cf bishop and abbot, and alone and together)
  • Counter-cultural aspects include: silence, simplicity, purity and community
  • Northumbria Community has found successors, though met difficulties

2006.2        30      Discernment in Mission

  • 30-smallThe order should be: community, mission, worship – stop starting with worship
  • Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, ends of the earth - an elliptical and eccentric progression
  • Need for come and go - the helix 

2006.3        31      Small Beginnings: Church for Under 5s

  • 31-smallWhich are expressions of community, mission and worship?
  • Manna Munchers = fresh expression of worship only?
  • The culture of the child – need mission-shaped thinking for them too
  • Mini Mass = 3rd example of an Anglo-Catholic fresh expression of Church (Todmorden in issue 11 and Longsands in issue 16)

2006.4        32      Simpler Church

  • 32-smallLet the mission context determine style of church, leadership resource
  • Example of the Blue Mountains – weren’t mountains; crossed by discovery of walking the ridges
  • Make Sunday the whole thing to free the week up
  • Yet providing pastoral care is the great challenge
  • So recruited a pastoral specialist for a time, who does not become the leader

2007.1        33      Café Church 1

  • 33-smallSoul Café was a stage or arch – not a whole bridge
  • We need more than one event because one event cannot do all the stages
  • Café and alt.worship fit well– because both are about choice and self-chosen pace
  • 2nd example: The Well in Sheffield was imposed, and so did not work

2007.2        34      Café Church 2

  • 34-smallIncarnational café church cannot be done attractionally in church
  • The importance of food and that it is given free
  • Serving others brings more unity to Christians than a worship service
  • Importance of oblique approaches
  • A matrix to understand varieties of so-called café, by choice of venue, frequency, costs (pages 23 onwards)
  • What makes Church: all desirable features, or calling and presence of risen Christ? (page 15)
  • Parallels between birds and churches – habit and habitat (pages 21-22)

2007.3        35      'Come and Go': beyond attractional church

  • 35-smallTwo meanings of fresh expressions – and fresh is different to novel (page 3)
  • Café mentality of come and go meets search for discipleship – come to me and go for me (cf page 25)
  • Why go beyond existing multiple congregations - too inflexible (cf 24-hour opening)
  • Mix of elements: food, praise, talk and discussion – a pattern beyond clerical control (page 19)
  • Beyond relevance to inculturation – followed by counter-cultural (pages 18-19)
  • Discipleship is about liberating ministry, not providing consumption through attendance (page 22)

2007.4        36      Leading Fresh Expressions

  • 36-smallDon’t invest in the big event at the expense of the small and relational – it creates burnout
  • Networks need a way to cohere and become a society – a school does this
  • Does perpetually seeking funding become a heavy burden?
  • Why is there planter burnout?
  • Are some planters doing it again? Or reverting to leading inherited church congregations?

2008.1        37      Chasing the Dream - Starting community

  • 37-smallHave realistic expectations – or expect disappointment
  • The need for values and how to find them
  • The so-called homogeneous has diversity and leads to it increasing
  • Handling conflict

2008.2        38      The Cost of Community - Issues of maturity

  • 38-smallWrestling with our monsters
  • Scott Peck and emptiness, Jean Vanier and serving not saving, Laura Winner and inviting people into our life > house
  • Need spiritual nourishment, liturgy for charism, find routines, rest and relaxation
  • A different shared model to hierarchical leadership; bishop watches whole community, abbot focuses on individuals, for community does not exist just for itself - consult, communicate, check understanding
  • Build a community of trust, appropriate vulnerability, saying sorry, balancing fun and seriousness, friendships > professional relationships
  • Calls to littleness: ordinary things with extraordinary love, exuberance; celebrate events and the call to mourn – or say goodbye.
  • Humility to keep learning, avoiding utopian ideas but offering community to those without it – without forcing that road on any; learn from those who have been doing it for a long time

2008.3        39     Hope among the hopeless

  • 39-smallChurch Army story in deprived Port Kembla estate area south of Sydney, Australia
  • They deliberately followed the pattern: create community, do mission and evolve worship. It works – people start being spiritually interested. Wisely they kept the stages apart.
  • They learnt too from Tim Scheuer (issue 17) and Christian version of Alcoholics Anonymous – same sex small groups of 3
  • The UK-Aussie-USA spectrum of attitudes regarding emphasis on 'why' versus 'how'
  • Adopt a Block strategy - street pastors
  • The worship was a blurred service, café and community event

2008.4        40      Fresh expressions with older people

  • 40-small1/3 of population over 50 - by 1940 only 1/3 were in Sunday school
  • Older people's club: is this a fresh expression of Church – depends (cf pages 17ff) and what’s the fruit?
  • Church for the Saga generation – don’t assume it must be provision of 1662 (Book of Common Prayer)
  • St Giles, Northampton and full-time worker with older people
  • The issue of do volunteers really belong – danger of the rota mentality (pages 19-20)
  • What does fresh mean? (Pages 20-22.) Are those who come members or guests?

2009.1        41      Do network churches work?

  • 41-smallSeveral examples of fragile network churches
  • Kerry Thorpe half-time = good; members less dependent on leader and he models community involvement
  • Network church could become dependent on contacts of founder evangelist – e.g. Dave Male
  • Be specific which network you are contacting – working with many doesn’t work
  • Starting denominational identity and succeeding leaders matters; The Carpenter's Arms, Deal, left the Church of England eventually

2009.2        42      Across a Threshold - A family of rural church plants

  • 42-smallThis family of churches models non-identical reproduction with common DNA
  • First name and surname/family name is a useful analogy here
  • Intergenerational analogy includes one congregation as empty nesters

2009.3        43      Seven sacred spaces

  • 43-smallCommunities need all seven spaces and good ones intuitively find them
  • Church is more than chapel; often parishes unhelpfully reduce local church to this
  • The seven are found in rule and literature of Benedictine, Celtic, Franciscan, desert fathers
  • Found today in older universities, cathedrals, big houses
  • Ecclesial function and architecture need to be related

2009.4        44      Hidden Treasures - Churches for adults with a learning disability

  • 44-smallThere is a diversity of learning disabilities
  • Are these cases outreach projects or fresh expressions of Church? The motives tell:
  • Inculturation of Christians  or assimilation of newcomers
  • Bridge back to church or Onwards to own church
  • Intention for one, holy, catholic, apostolic / three-self / discipling / name
  • How to sustain if only lay unpaid leadership?
  • Critique of guest/host language

2010.1        45      The X factor within - Rural café church

  • 45-smallPositives of three stages in starting a fresh expression of Church - in one overall building complex
  • Respect the three separate spaces/stages in creating a fresh expression of Church; café/upstairs/chapel – do they fully connect?
  • Rural and small can do café
  • Arches is too neat – it is more like stepping stones
  • Taking responsibility at a fresh expression of Church really empowers leaders
  • Difficult to transplant elsewhere – takes particular people / venue shape / local history

2010.2        46      Messy Church - Ideal for all ages?

  • 46-smallLearn Messy Church values (Christ-centred, all age, creativity, hospitality, celebration), don’t copy its shapes
  • 'Don’t copy' links to non-identical reproduction
  • Stats: there are varied days / frequencies / denominations – more on Sundays than expected
  • Messy Church uses some of the seven sacred spaces
  • Team grow by doing – are there enough to build relationships with the crowd?
  • Messy Church = a major non-churched route
  • Discipleship may require some further step/event

2010.3        47      Christ Church Bridlington - Mission-shaped thinking in a larger church

  • 47-smallThe large church can both diversify and multiply
  • Picking up echoes/legacy from the monastic town past – re-inheriting the land
  • A 30-year story puts down roots
  • From charismatic attraction, to going outside the church to community
  • Sunday not the shop window - network of weekday services, community action and relationships
  • Takes lots of shallow steps – not a few big ones
  • Salt is dispersed and light attracts

2010.4        48      Sorted

  • 48-smallThree spaces / places again (cf Jeff Kirby) – very clear to keep them separate
  • Work by, not for youth
  • Need of diocesan and Church Army champions – local clergy not very helpful
  • Reproduction is sadly rare; here it is two-sourced and done well with indigenous leaders
  • Done at right unit size and leaving well
  • Not just for youth – what of young adult?

2011.1        49      New Ground - A working students' household

  • 49-smallA students' house as a mission resource to local churches
  • attendant discipling process for young people
  • Idea for many university towns

2011.2        50      Lessons so far

  • 50-smallAn ecology of fresh expressions of Church will links diversity to habits and habitat
  • Do fresh expressions of Church need full-time leaders? – evidence of 44% death of non full-time examples
  • Avoiding leader burnout
  • Tests: is it a fresh expression of Church - the 9 indicators
  • Half-time thinking – Wilberforce’s anti-slavery work as example

2011.3        51      DNA Networks - Open community centred on Jesus

  • 51-smallA church like a wildflower bank – a sodality?
  • Don’t plant in transient networks
  • When to multiply – for different levels of local church
  • This one is repelling consumer Christians

2011.4        52      New Town, New Church

  • 52-smallNew towns are tough
  • More small stepping stones are needed – because the community is still emerging
  • The end of traditional small groups?
  • Agrarian images remind us that growth takes time and needs reliance on God
  • Disciple or apprentice language – the latter goes beyond the didactic

2012.1        53      Crossnet

  • 53-smallIf a clear call, expect something tough – so death of the original vision
  • Phase 1 (2004-2007): café with young adult students – but these moved on
  • Phase 2  (2007-2010): participative café style only 24, but not financially sustainable, and high turnover
  • The Tintern Cisterican call to smallness; 1-12 – seminar or tutorial church?
  • Nick Crawley, and Dallas Willard’s Divine Conspiracy – apprentice language again
  • Non-formal learning diagrams and New Testament parallels. Cf theosis – an urban friary.
  • The Spirit and suffering, parenting and discipleship list; a sodality – and list of features

2012.2        54      A Spare Part? Sustainability and spare-time led fresh expressions of Church

  • 54-smallAre sustainability expectations too high on spare-time leaders? What language? Bi-vocational better? 
  • St Peter, Warfield and Chris Hill – make friends, make disciples, give responsibility with authority; as it reached 100, needed full-time leader
  • Grace, Ealing – alt.worship and no stipendiary leader – build on what motivates members. Keep costs low like buildings, rent. All members are professionals – work elsewhere?
  • Spare-time leaders more common in fortnightly and monthly fresh expressions of Church. Music – use of backing tracks rather than one poor kazoo. Hospitality of the heart.
  • Close interdependent connection with sending church helps, as does leadership as teamwork
  • Staying simpler makes it harder for some to see them as church – use of interpersonal paradigm

2012.3        55      Thirst – School-based church

  • 55-smallIn poor Romsey town, Cambridge, and St Philip’s Church of England Aided Primary School
  • Sue Butler: pioneering stock and widely travelled story – responding to God’s call
  • Hospitality the key – starting at the gang of three mums core: Sue, Rachel and Ruth
  • Slow and steady path, 10 years' prayer, teaching at school, anti attractional church arrogance
  • Its DNA: pray, love, relate, create; the youngest Christians there easily see it as church
  • Lucy and the balloon debate – practices or values; spirituality or religion?
  • Seven sacred spaces at work in Thirst; also working through suffering – family problems
  • Use of Nooma; café style that listens to the members (cf Roland Allen) and models vulnerability
  • Is church, not chaplaincy, so Church of England not to abandon it and move Sue Butler on after three years' curacy

2012.4        56      Sweaty Church

  • 56-smallSt Paul's Holgate, York – Sweaty Church and parish church having an effect on each other
  • The genesis in the games of annual family camp, and something for active energetic young males
  • Sweaty as an offspring of Messy Church and beyond the full family service – carrot and stick?
  • Key leaders: Jonny (son of previous vicar) and Ian (Salvation Army and church planting background), and permission-giving vicar – who believes in innovation, diversity and experimentation
  • Pillars of learning as family and by physical activity – value not activity led
  • What happens? Set up / team talk / warm up / hook – the theme / carousel team game / half-time drinks / wrap up
  • Cat, dog, garden and farm church – need for a family of churches of different sizes