More fresh expressions of church life in Norfolk
Participants on a year-long mission course in Norwich have learned about re-imagining 'church' and celebrated a commissioning evening on July 3.
The Fresh Expressions course seeks to transform communities and individuals through championing new ways of being church. Christians from a wide range of denominations attend the year-long part-time course which has resulted in thousands of new congregations being formed alongside more traditional churches.
Bishop Jonathan Meyrick, Bishop of Lynn was at the Commissioning Service at St Alban’s Church, Norwich to congratulate each person who completed the most recent course. The 45 participants, who came from a wide range of churches in the region, were also congratulated by Rev Canon Sally Gaze, Team Rector in the Tas Valley, who is the facilitator in Norwich diocese for the course which has been running in area since 2006.
Dozens of fresh expressions of church life have sprung up across the Norwich diocese in recent years. Across the UK, many Fresh Expressions range from a youth congregation in a skate park to a surfer church, as well as church fellowships in cafes, pubs, schools and community centres.
More vibrant expressions of church life were shared in Norwich this week by a number of participants on the course. Lois Wiltshire has launched The Oaks community group as a fresh expression of life at the ecumenical Bowthorpe Church. The group, open to all, supports visitors in a wide range of crafts and practical interests, with a special welcome for those with dementia and their carers.
The many topics of the Fresh Expressions course range from the mission of God, vision and calling, discipleship and evangelistic strategies. There are also workshops on men’s ministry, youth and sports, rural outreach, special needs groups and church life on new housing estates.
Three more courses are planned in the region for 2018. For course details, please email Rev Canon Sally Gaze at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pictured: Lois Wiltshire with Bishop Jonathan Meyrick, Bishop of Lynn and Mike Gibbs, representing the leadership of Bowthorpe Church. The Oaks has an open day this Friday, July 7, from 10am to 3pm.