Fresh Expressions are for:

  • those who are interested in following Jesus but who are not coming to a ‘traditional’ church service
  • those who have been part of a ‘traditional church’ but found that they didn’t fit
  • those who don’t even realise yet that Jesus is interested in them, but who want to be involved in some of the things of the kingdom of God.

What is a Fresh Expression of church?

A Fresh Expression of church is a new Christian gathering developed mainly for the benefit of people who are not yet members of any church. For some further background, please see:

Fresh Expressions listen to those outside the Church and enter their culture to help them meet and follow Jesus in an environment that is comfortable and relevant to them.

Fresh Expressions are for people in churches who want to reach new or different parts of their community – might this be you?

Most Anglican Fresh Expressions of church are part of parish ministry and are accountable to local clergy.

Fresh Expressions come in all shapes and sizes. Some are based around a particular group or interest, and some around a specific community or a need in that community, such as Café Church, Cell Church, Messy Church and Forest Church. These may all have the same name but around the country they rarely look the same in practice. The national Fresh Expressions website has lots of examples and approaches that might give you ideas and encouragement.

Examples include:

Saturday Gathering in Halifax - a Fresh Expression of church grown from a foodbank. Read their story here.

Not all Fresh Expressions are in cities or towns - Gateway is based in a small village in the Scottish Borders: 


Fresh Expressions are intended to grow alongside our churches. The Tas Valley Group in Norfolk started a Cell Church alongside the six village churches that they already had: 

We will be adding our own stories of what is happening in the diocese. In the meantime, if you are interested in finding a Fresh Expression that is local to you, or in setting one up, please contact David Bartlett, our Fresh Expressions Adviser, via email or by calling 01526 39 73 63.

The Mission Shaped Ministry course is designed for people who want to explore running different forms of church. It is run in partnership with the other denominations in the diocese. Please click here for more information.

Useful resources

Fresh Expressions 

Some types of Fresh Expressions:

Messy Church

A video from Messy Church, showing ‘The Lord’s Prayer with actions’, is available below.

Who Let The Dads Out

Sweaty Church

Outdoor Church