an enabling framework for a missionary church
Decisions also need to be made in the light of conversations with other
denominations, so that what is proposed connects well with and respects
the mission initiatives and intentions of those other denominations.
proposed fresh expressions of church need to work in ways that are
complementary to inherited ways
Proposals for further church communities will include a variety of new
forms or expressions of church. Anglicanism has long prided itself on its
diversity and tolerance. Such diversity can affirm different strengths and
weaknesses. An established church may have the strength of a known
history, a fine building and established contacts in the community. But
it might be weak in numerical attendance. A new church might have the
vigour of a highly motivated and skilled team, but is likely to have an
uncertain future, no settled patterns and an emerging identity.
It is expected that proposals will be developed for new forms of church that
are clearly different from the parish in which they may be technically
located. They would be unlike, both in terms of the types of people for
whom they are designed, as well as the forms of church that are expressed.
The different forms could include approaches in evangelism and wider
mission, ways of being Christian community as well as styles of worship.
It is also expected that the mutual affirmation of diversity would be the
attitude towards which both emerging and inherited churches should strive.
existing ecclesiastical legal boundaries should be seen as permeable
The language of permeability reflects two realities. Parish boundaries
exist and are a deep part of our history, the foundation of our pastoral
organization and still contribute to local identity. They will not disappear
and are still helpful. Equally, ever since the granting of Electoral Roll rights
in the 1920s to habitual attenders coming from beyond the parish, the
significance of `parish' has shifted.
The notion of `permeability' offers a framework for both respecting and
crossing parish boundaries. The argument for permeability is the need for
the Church's mission to engage with people in the way they live their lives
in a mixture of networks and localities. The safeguards are the stress on
diocesan identity, episcopal brokerage, complementary mission aims and
the mutual affirmation of diversity.
an agreed process is needed to make these values credible
Before an expression of church across a boundary is begun, the process
needs to be agreed with all involved the leadership of the new work, the
sending church leadership and the parish in which the fresh expression is