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Fresh expressions of church and the mixed economy : potential and challenges for church development


Müller, Sabrina (2019). Fresh expressions of church and the mixed economy : potential and challenges for church development. International Review of Missions, 108(2):241-256.

Abstract

The term “fresh expressions of church” has been used since 2004 in the Church of England to refer to small contextual churches that start alongside but aim to be different to parish churches. What is characteristic of a fresh expression of church is not its newness, but its ability to pass on and contextualize inherited theology, ecclesiology, tradition, and spiritual experience. The ecclesiology of fresh expressions of church can be summarized as a dialogical-relational ecclesiology that is focused on a theological centre.

There may be around 2,100 of them in the Church of England, both urban and rural. During the past 15 years, the self-understanding of the Church of England, a traditional state church with its parish structure, has changed. The mother church of the Anglican World Communion claims since 2008 to be a mixed-economy church: one that supports and recognizes innovative ecclesial spaces (fresh expressions of church) as church, as well as parish churches. It is the goal to have an innovative diversity of churches in a pluralistic society. At the same time, these churches should be recognizable and contextual. It is the concept of the mixed economy that manages a fair cooperation between parochial and fresh expressions of church. In the meantime, the concept of mixed economy is received not only in the UK, but in different national and free churches in continental Europe, the US, South Africa, Canada, and Australia. Lately, the concept has been taken up by the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE).

Abstract

The term “fresh expressions of church” has been used since 2004 in the Church of England to refer to small contextual churches that start alongside but aim to be different to parish churches. What is characteristic of a fresh expression of church is not its newness, but its ability to pass on and contextualize inherited theology, ecclesiology, tradition, and spiritual experience. The ecclesiology of fresh expressions of church can be summarized as a dialogical-relational ecclesiology that is focused on a theological centre.

There may be around 2,100 of them in the Church of England, both urban and rural. During the past 15 years, the self-understanding of the Church of England, a traditional state church with its parish structure, has changed. The mother church of the Anglican World Communion claims since 2008 to be a mixed-economy church: one that supports and recognizes innovative ecclesial spaces (fresh expressions of church) as church, as well as parish churches. It is the goal to have an innovative diversity of churches in a pluralistic society. At the same time, these churches should be recognizable and contextual. It is the concept of the mixed economy that manages a fair cooperation between parochial and fresh expressions of church. In the meantime, the concept of mixed economy is received not only in the UK, but in different national and free churches in continental Europe, the US, South Africa, Canada, and Australia. Lately, the concept has been taken up by the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE).

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:01 Faculty of Theology > Institute of Theology
Special Collections > Centers of Competence > Centre for Church Development
Dewey Decimal Classification:230 Christianity & Christian theology
200 Religion
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Religious Studies
Language:English
Date:7 November 2019
Deposited On:25 Nov 2019 13:25
Last Modified:26 Apr 2022 13:51
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0020-8582
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/irom.12282
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