fresh expressions is the church of england and methodist initiative to encourage mission and newness in the church. cms are a partner in it - i know and work with the team. in fact two people on our team, bob and mary hopkins, are seconded to work with the fresh expressions team. there was initially a 5 year plan. but it has been agreed that a phase two is worth pursuing for another 5 years. and there are changes. steven croft who has done an amazing job particularly in changing the law of the land, opening up a new pathway for ordination for pioneers, and getting legislation (bishop's mission orders) passed for a genuinely mixed economy church, as well as a ton of other stuff is stepping down and will be bishop of sheffield.
graham cray is to be the new team leader. i have known graham for years - weirdly he was curate at the same time as my dad in st mark's gillingham when i was about 5! he is a great appointment. he has been involved in a number of things over the years - charismatic renewal, mission, soul survivor, alt worship, greenbelt and is wise and has inspired lots of people with his wisdom about faith and popular culture. his record collection is simply enormous! congrats to him and thanks to steven. i don't know the methodist team leader, stephen lindridge, but no doubt our paths will cross. the press release is linked to from the front page of the fresh expressions web site
i sometimes get asked about the relationship between fresh expressions and emerging church. it's all part of the wider change in response to mission in postmodern cultures. fresh expressions is the anglican/methodist initiative. emerging church was the name given to the earlier experiments at the edges that was not denominational that inspired the c of e to write mission shaped church. the edges are blurred and it's not really that important. i know of very few other mainline denominations around the world that have been so prepared to pave the way for newness in response to the changing mission context. it's very enouraging.