What is a Fresh Expression?

A Fresh Expression of church is a new Christian gathering developed mainly for the benefit of people who are not yet members of any church.

Fresh expressions listen to those outside the church and enter their culture to help them meet and follow Jesus in an environment that is comfortable and relevant to them.

Most Anglican fresh expressions of church are part of parish ministry and accountable to local clergy.


Who are Fresh Expressions for?

Fresh expressions are for people who are interested in following Jesus but who are not able to come to a traditional service for a variety of reasons. 

How do we set one up?

  1. Prayer: Listening to God and the people you want to serve to better understand the context in which the new church is to grow.

  2. Loving Service: Get to know people in your community better by serving them.

  3. Forming Community: Ensure people from the community can join in with serving and belong.

  4. Evangelism and Discipleship: Be clear that you are forming a community of people who want to follow Christ and build in suitable opportunities for this.

  5. Evolving Worship: Worship patterns are created (and experimented on) which reflect the needs of the new emerging fresh expression of church.

  6. Get support:

    • Contact the Fresh Expressions enabler.

    • Contact the Messy Church co-ordinator from our Children, Young People & Families Team. 

Starting a fresh expression


There are many Fresh Expressions of Church in our diocese and more evolving. Examples include:

Saturday Gathering HalifaxSaturday Gathering in Halifax.
A Fresh Expression of Church grown from a foodbank.
Read their story here.


Fun-Key Church RichmondFun-Key Church in Richmond.
A congregation established with the needs of young families in mind.
Visit their website here.



Llighthouse St George's LeedsLighthouse West Yorkshire at St George's Crypt in Leeds.
A congregation emerging for homeless and vulnerable people. Lighthouse West Yorkshire Website.
Email: hello@lighthousewestyorkshire.org.uk


Across in the Wood, GrintonAcross in the Wood in Grinton, Swaledale.
The church discovered that locals connected well with looking after the environment around the church building.
Read more here.


Sorted Skattboarders

Sorted in North Bradford.
A church which started with skateboarding and just kept going.
Read more herehere and here
Listen to a short video telling the story of Sorted 1, 2 and 3.


Fresh Expressions meet in cafes, pubs, forests, community centres, schools or church halls. Some, like Messy Church or Sweaty Church use “off the peg” resources. Find out more on the Fresh Expressions website including The Guide, how-to-do-it advice on starting, developing and sustaining a fresh expressions of church.
In th Diocese of Leeds, Fresh Expressions, Messy Church and parish churches are working together for growth. 

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Events, Courses & Learning Communities...

Mission Shaped earning Community image

The mission shaped ministry learning community is for anyone interested in starting or developing a fresh expression of church, church plant or in making their current church more “mission shaped”. It is for individuals and teams to think outside – in rather than inside out about church and mission.

The 2018 Mission Shaped Ministry learning community is now open for bookings. 9 dates in the diary over one year. Learning hubs at St Mary’s Garforth and Boston Spa Methodist (just off the A1). Anglicans booking with their church leaders blessing are eligible for £200 grants. For more information and a booking form click here and contact Karin Shaw - 07807 128 399. 


Mission Shaped Intro logoMission Shaped Intro is a six week starter course to help churches to think and act missionally. It helps people to reconnect with the communities they are called to serve and to re-imagine the forms of church that are needed for the 21st century. It is free to download here. Contact Karin Shaw below for support or if you are interested in our own MSi-in-a-Day.



Essential Fresh Expressions logoEssential Fresh Expressions - Seven ‘3 minute guides’ to fresh expressions. What they are, why they’re important , how to start, how to make and mature disciples and how to reproduce and evaluate. Read them here.



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Karin Shaw Karin Shaw
Fresh Expressions of Church Enabler
Diocese of Leeds
01423 500087
Robin Gamble Revd Canon Robin Gamble
Bishop's Adviser for Church Growth
Diocese of Leeds
01274 419754

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Useful Links

National Fresh Expressions website with conversations, blogs and resources.
Growing your Church Microsite   
CafeChurch Network

Cinnamon Network   

Rural Action Yorkshire

Christians Against Poverty


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