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Who's there? Fresh Expressions of Church report

The Church Army Research Unit’s major research into fresh expressions of Church The Day of Small Things has a sister report Who’s there?, which describes the findings from surveys of attenders of fresh expressions and ‘inherited Sunday congregations’.

Definitions such as ‘de-churched’ are too simplistic: the researchers introduced new categories to better take account of people’s personal journeys.

Fresh Expressions of Churches are making progress in connecting with people who have never been part of a church previously or who used to go but have had a break of two or more years from church before returning.

This figure is lower than previously cited in relation to the impact of fresh expressions, but this is the first robust survey of attenders and it more explicitly takes into account the size of the team which initiated the new worshipping congregation.

When findings were analysed by the type of fresh expression of Church, the above figure of 38% rose to 51% for those which were focused on ministry among children and youth.

By way of comparison, 17% of attenders were part of the team which set up the fresh expression, 14% had transferred from another church and 23% were ‘blending’, i.e. attending more than one church at the same time.

The similar survey in inherited Sunday congregations gave different results. The proportion of attenders surveyed who were not existing churchgoers when they began attending the congregation was 32%, but this reduced to 18% if you exclude those who began attending the congregation more than 10 years previously.

Read Church Army Fresh Expressions of Church reports

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