Church Army's Research Unit

- seeing and sharing what God is doing in mission -



Research Unit - smallcroppedIn 1997 Church Army took a lead, as a gift to the wider Church, in starting up a research team. I joined in that year, glad of the brief to examine contemporary Christian mission and the creation of what now is called fresh expressions of Church. Over the years a track record has grown of perceptive enquiry and important comment; we are grateful both have been valued in many developed countries.

On this site you will find a variety of resources, for we exist to pass on what we discover.

As part of the Church of England's Church Growth Research Programme, Church Army's Research Unit has undertaken extensive research into fresh expressions of church and their impact and growth.

The first set of findings were presented at the Faith in Research Conference in London on Thursday 16 January 2014. Click here for more information. The full report can be downloaded as a PDF here, and a PDF summary of the report can be found here.

This was followed up in a 2016 report on a further 10 dioceses. It is accompanied by a survey of fresh expressions of Church attenders, an examination of sustainability in young churches and an evaluation of what the first 11 dioceses had done with the research given to them. Each of these can be downloaded here.

The 50+ Encounters on the Edge stories of local practice stir the imagination of what is possible. Their lessons act as pointers to changes in our understanding and practice. We plan to extend the range of this work but through web-based material.

Many people are doing academic work in these areas and SCOLER gathers their dissertations on mission and fresh expressions of Church. You can download PDF versions to spread the learning.

We hope the site is useful to you. Tell your friends if you like it, and tell us how we can make it work better.

Canon Dr George Lings