Fresh expressions are attended by twice as many young people than parish churches nationwide according to latest statistics.
Over 50,000 people attend fresh expressions of church nationwide. The figures also highlight that the movement of fresh expressions is growing rapidly, with four times as many starting now as compared to 10 years ago. Furthermore 6 dioceses have already articulated an intention to start many more fresh expressions or church plants, including the diocese of Guildford.
The fresh expressions are also able to reach an audience which parish churches may not reach with nearly 40% of attendees under 16, twice the average in parish churches. Attendees at fresh expressions of Church also show more evenness of age and gender than attendees at inherited Sunday congregations with men and women both equally likely to lead a fresh expression.
The Diocese of Guildford’s 77 fresh expressions equate to 35% of the number of parish churches, significantly higher than the national average of 15%. These expressions are attended by 4,215 people, equating to 16% of diocesan church attendance, higher than the national average of 10%.
Jens Mankel, church planting and fresh expressions adviser, said: “These statistics provide encouragement to all who are involved in fresh expressions of Church and those who are thinking of starting one. They highlight the effectiveness of fresh expressions in reaching those who have nothing to do with church. Many of the leaders of fresh expressions are volunteer leaders who do just as well as lay-ministers or clergy.
“The report makes it clear that fresh expressions are not a fringe phenomenon but they have a firm place within the landscape of the Church of England and play an important role in defining the Church of the future.”