Archdeacon Nikki has established a group of those leading Fresh Expressions of Church across the Diocese, who meet termly to encourage each other and share good practice.

At each meeting, one person will give a case history of their Fresh Expression, explaining how it started, the challenges they have encountered and overcome and what they are learning. This is followed by an opportunity for the rest of the group to ask questions and engage in discussion. In the second half of the meeting, people bring a growth issue that they’re struggling with and these are discussed in small groups using an ‘action learning’ model to help identify possible solutions.

Archdeacon Nikki says: “It’s great to bring together people from across the Diocese who are exploring different ideas for engaging with those unreached by traditional forms of church. Both lay and ordained leaders are involved and we are all learning from each other to help our Fresh Expressions to thrive and grow.”

Once a year, Nikki is organising a Saturday morning gathering for the whole teams involved in Fresh Expressions. An outside speaker will be invited in to look at the wider issues and to motivate and help us grow. On 18 November there will be a session on discipleship and how to ensure this is kept as the main focus of Fresh Expressions. Lucy Moore, the national leader of Messy Church, will be our speaker.

“Another session is being planned in June focussing particularly on Fresh Expressions in rural contexts and on estates, recognising that the needs and issues are often different here than in city centres,” says Nikki.