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Bishops' Mission Orders go live
Bishops' Mission Orders provide a new framework for giving legal recognition to fresh expressions of church alongside the parish system. They are now officially on the statute book and we helped to lead three national training days in May for senior clergy, missioners and others. Potentially BMO's will affect every parish and deanery in England over the next decade. There is a new section on Share which gives you a basic introduction to BMO's and has links to the key documents and resources.
Time to shop
We have also produced with Paul Bayes a very short booklet as a beginners guide to Bishops' Mission Orders. It's published by CHP and sold in packs of 5 so you can buy them for your PCC or planning group.
You may not have noticed but in the last month, our online shop has got up and running. So you can now buy the Bishops' Mission Orders booklet and all our resources direct from the website.
Re:generation in Romford
Re:generation is a youth church in Romford which is part of the Methodist circuit there. The church provides a spiritual home to around 50 young people aged 13-21 and is led by Ruth and Jamie Poch, two Methodist deacons. Read all about it here.
A Tour of Dioceses and District Synods
Fresh Expressions has written to every Synod in the Church of England and the Methodist Church asking if we can have time on the agenda at some point over the next eighteen months. We want to listen to what is happening in your area, update every Synod on the good things that are happening across the churches and highlight the need for strategic thinking to encourage fresh expressions everywhere. There has been a very good initial response.
Exploring Pioneer Ministry
We are asked lots of questions by clergy about beginning fresh expressions in their own work or moving to a post which gives more scope for this. Surveys indicate that around a third of Methodist ministers are looking for this kind of opportunity as part of their next move. We've put together a short leaflet which summarised the advice we are currently giving.
More posts are being created to work in this kind of area particularly by Anglican deaneries. Read more about this here.
As a team we are revisiting the idea of 'the fresh expressions journey' and trying to find ways to describe how new communities begin, develop and grow. We'd value your feedback and insight into this. The latest version is on Share here. You can add comments at the bottom of the page to tell us how you would improve it.
We've done a lot of work at Festivals over the Easter period and have presented seminars at Spring Harvest, ECG and Alive 08. Watch out for us at Momentum, the student conference linked to Soul Survivor over the summer where we hope to launch our new resource on Ordained Pioneer Ministry. More news on that next month.
Fresh expressions of church continue to grow in all kinds of places. I spent three days in Ireland this month with clergy and lay people in Cork diocese and at a big gathering of pioneers in Belfast. There were lots of stories of new beginnings and of lives and communities being changed as the gospel of Christ is taken beyond the churches to people who are hungry and thirsty for truth and good news. Keep going and every blessing.