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Why New Congregations?  

The diocesan vision is for ‘a sustainable network of Christ-like, lively and diverse Christian communities in every place’. The diocesan strategy calls for 75, New Congregations, 25 in schools and 25 in each Archdeaconry. One of the priorities of the national strategy of the Church of England is ‘To be a church where mixed ecology is the norm – where every person in England has access to an enriching and compelling community of faith by adding new churches and new forms of Church…’.  

This is not a whim. It is the result of theological reflection and thinking that has been ongoing now for more than two decades.  

Experiences of Mixed Ecology ministry in the Church of England

In fact, the church universal has always started New Congregations; if it hadn’t there would have been one church in Jerusalem.

Even after Christianity became settled and dominant in Europe during the first millennium, new churches and congregations were being established in response to changing patterns of population.

The church where each of us worship was new once. There was a time when it wasn’t there, and someone thought it was needed. Starting New Congregations then, is not a new thing.  

lady in foodbank
Starting New Things – some stories

What is a New Congregation?  

A New Congregation is capitalised because it is carefully defined. This careful definition is to allow clarity and transparency as we count them and to give helpful guidelines as each is established.   

A New Congregation is a lay led (usually) expression of church that normally remains within its mission area under the oversight of the Oversight Minister(s).   

A New Congregation will not normally become self-governing or self-financing. All its policies, procedures and financial governance will be carried out by the PCC of the parish or mission area that establishes it.  

The New Congregation is defined by aiming to meet 6 criteria eventually; UP, IN, OUT, attracting new people, raising new leaders and giving access to the sacraments. This will ensure that whatever is necessary for deepening Christian discipleship is found in the New Congregation. A New Congregation is not a stepping stone to church, it is church.  

New Congregation is used rather than fresh expression of church (fxC) because fxC carries varied meanings to a variety of people and we can define New Congregation for our own purposes.


opportunity for corporate worship   


opportunity for faith development and growing in relationship with other church members e.g. fellowship, home groups etc   


opportunity for mission; social justice and evangelism   


the New Congregation will provide opportunities for Baptism and Eucharist within its own life

New People

the New Congregation will be aimed at new people who don’t already belong  

New Leaders

the New Congregation will grow leaders who belong to it and are committed to it rather than continually importing leaders from elsewhere     

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