fresh expressions of church
still there and are not only actual members of the resurrected
church but are vibrant members of the new congregation.
They have been enfolded and incorporated. The other blessing
was that in the first six weeks of the much invigorated worship
and mission 50 people who were local joined the 100 plus
people who came from Holy Trinity Brompton.
There has been an overflowing of commitment in worship,
outreach and teaching. Careful long term planning and
generous partnership liberate from anxiety and distress and
show positive results of new life and new ways of being church
in the community.
Partnership with the bishop is the key. There is no room for empire building,
or sectarian or illegal action. Nor is there room for treating major churches
or networks as somehow `un Anglican'. Each diocese needs to include
partnership with the major resource churches or networks in its area as
part of its proactive mission and planting strategy. The resource churches
and networks need to combine faithfulness to their vision with a servant
role in the mission of the whole Church. Such partnerships also open up
the possibility of well resourced churches offering or enabling ministry in
areas of deprivation.
school based and school linked congregations
The Dearing Report
identified that Church schools are at the centre
of the Church's mission to the nation, and connections between school
and church show signs of growing. Some Church schools have begun
after school groups that become church. These meet late afternoon
midweek, and may or may not be eucharistic.
They draw primary
school children, parents of both sexes and grandparents. The more
accessible style may suit some newer Christians. Partners of believers
can also come, and the comment is often made, `we understand what
you're on about'.
A story: Thatcham, West Berkshire
Thatcham is one of the fastest growing towns in the country.
The Anglican team identified work with schools as vital to their
ministry in the town. It also became clear that there were
significant numbers of Christians in the town whose lifestyles
made attending Sunday worship difficult.