Encounters on the Edge (issues 41-56)
41. Do network churches work?
by George Lings - download Headlines from issue 41
A decade has now passed since the first network churches began. How have they fared? Why have they not thrived and multiplied as was hoped? What difficulties have they encountered?
42. Across a Threshold - A family of rural church plants
by George Lings - download Headlines from issue 42
We are now confident that fresh expressions of Church can be started, but more subtle questions remain about how they develop over time and are sustained well. We found a rural example living through these transitions and report the evolving story.
43. Seven Sacred Spaces - Expressing community life in Christ
by George Lings - revised full colour edition available here Headlines from issue 43
At its best, monastic life has always been a divine wake-up call to the Church. To sustain that life, monastic communities have evolved the seven characteristic places within their sites.
44. Hidden Treasures - Churches for adults with a learning disability
by Claire Dalpra - download Headlines from issue 44
Stories of church for adults with learning disabilities are an important reminder that fresh expressions of Church continue to grow in surprising places, including vulnerable groups within our society. This issue tells two stories of such churches.
45. The X Factor Within - Rural café church
by George Lings - download Headlines from issue 45
This issue tells the story of a café church in a rural context. It is an intriguing example of a fresh expression working with café, all-age worship and faith exploration concurrently.
46. Messy Church - Ideal for all ages?
by George Lings - download Headlines from issue 46
Messy Church is clearly popular and fun – but are those very qualities praise or problems? There are lots of questions to be asked about this most numerous kind of fresh expression.
47. Christ Church Bridlington - Mission-shaped thinking in a larger church
by George Lings - download Headlines from issue 47
Christ Church serves the northern seaside town of Bridlington which has a significant Urban Priority Area element. It is a signal story of corporate life in the Spirit among poor and working people.
48. That's 'sorted' then - Start, sustain ... and begin again
by George Lings - download Headlines from issue 48
Where are the fresh expressions that really connect with the non-churched and win some for Christ? Where are the cases that take real steps along the path of maturity? Where are those that include the ability to reproduce once more? There is a story in Bradford of Church Army working with teenagers that ticks all these boxes.
49. New Ground - A working students' household
by George Lings - download Headlines from issue 49
How can at least some students grow through active ministries of giving out, gain a positive experience of community, learn to love local church and significantly reduce their student debt at the same time?
50. A Golden Opportunity - Revisiting the story so far
by George Lings - download Headlines from issue 50
As we celebrate our 50th issue, here is an opportunity to look back and see what we can learn across the stories we've reported on so far. What do their longer stories tell us? Are there discernible patterns across them?
51. DNA Networks - Open community centred on Jesus
by George Lings - download Headlines from issue 51
How do you start a new church from scratch, but in such a way that it does not largely attract bored existing Christians? Is it possible to combine being a church community that obviously enjoys life and yet is about discipleship, not attendance?
52. New Town, New Church - Deep excavations
by George Lings - download Headlines from issue 52
This issue tells the story of the birth and growth of a young church in one of our tougher UK mission contexts, the New Towns. Building genuine community from scratch in an artificially created neighbourhood is not easy.
53. Crossnet - Do not despise the day of small things
by George Lings - download Headlines from issue 53
Crossnet in Bristol have discovered remaining small can be a significant gift. Their story offers valuable insight into how apprentice-style models of discipleship done among the few are more effective than traditional methods of discipleship among the many.
54. A Spare Part? - Sustainability and spare-time led fresh expressions of Church
by Claire Dalpra - download Headlines from issue 54
A significant proportion of fresh expressions of Church are led by volunteers in their 'spare time'. This issue tells the stories of two spare-time led churches that have been going for over 15 years.
55. Thirst - Go to a place neither of you have been before
by George Lings - download Headlines from issue 55
Though much good mission work occurs in schools, fully-fledged school-based church is less common than we thought. This issue tells the story of Thirst, a fresh expression of Church that serves the parents and staff of the local Church of England primary.
56. Sweaty Church - Church for kinaesthetic learners
by George Lings - download Headlines from issue 56
Welcome to Sweaty Church in York. Inspired initially by Messy Church, this fresh expression of Church uses participation through activities, games and sport, rather than craft, as the means of families learning together.