New Christian Communities
When we talk about ‘new’ we want to emphasise that we treasure the existing and honour our heritage but we need to acknowledge there are huge parts of the population (perhaps 92%) in our Diocese who have little or no regular connection with a Christian community.
Archbishop Rowan Williams coined the phrase ‘mixed economy of church’ and helped us to see that we need churches of all shapes and sizes in order to serve our nation and the same is true of our Diocese.
There’s no one-size-fits-all. The Anglican Church is a broad family, we have things that make us distinctive but we can express those things in different ways. In ways that will reach different ethnicities, ages and cultures through new and innovative approaches.
Our bishops are giving people permission to try new things and want to see new Christian communities of all sorts, developing across our Diocese, from Tanworth-in-Arden to Polesworth, from Rowley Regis to Coleshill, from Hamstead to Balsall Common.
Doing things in a ‘new way’ will mean different things in different places, depending on what is appropriate in each context.
Starting a new church in a new area. Sometimes this is appropriate when e.g. new housing developments are built, or there are population changes in an area.
New Christian communities grown among those with whom the Church finds it hardest to connect. These may grow within distinct cultural groups or within networks of people e.g. ‘church’ in a gym, a pub or at a local park.
Breathing new life into an existing church. This might include a new ministry structure, a new sense of direction for an existing congregation, or perhaps being joined by a new group of Christians moving from another church.