Carolyn Kinsman, 11/10/2017
Research Unit > Recently completed research

Recently completed research


God at Work - fresh expressions of Church in the Diocese of Leicester
Playfully Serious (Messy Church)
Diocese of Carlisle - an audit of fresh expressions of Church
A Bigger Difference - a report on social action and church growth in the Diocese of Liverpool
Dioceses of Meath and Kildare - strategic review
"Not as difficult as you think" - mission with young adults

God at Work - fresh expressions of Church in the Diocese of Leicester

God at Work (cover) - smallThese reports represent the culmination of more than eight years of research on fresh expressions of Church undertaken in partnership with the Diocese of Leicester. The results of a 2019 survey of fresh expressions in the diocese are analysed and brought into dialogue with the results of previous research conducted since 2011.

The summary report God at Work, co-written with the diocese  (downloadable here), outlines the key lessons learned.

A longer report, Fresh Expressions of Church in the Diocese of Leicester (downloadable here), explores the findings in more depth. 


Playfully Serious (Messy Church)


Playfully Serious (cover) - sm

Playfully Serious, which was published in February 2019, is the result of a two-year research project by Church Army's Research Unit, commissioned by the Archbishops’ Council. It confirms the serious effectiveness of Messy Church.

It is not ‘just a bit of fun’, as some critics persist in believing. Rather, Messy Church is reaching people who weren’t previously attending church, growing disciples and modelling new patterns of leadership, and it is doing so across a wide range of economic and social contexts.

You can find out more here.


Diocese of Carlisle - an audit of fresh expressions of Church

Diocese of Carlisle fxC reportThis report details an audit of the fresh expressions of Church (fxC) carried out by Church Army’s Research Unit. The diocesan process for monitoring fxC, including Network Youth Churches (NYC), was reviewed and the validity of the figures obtained by the diocese was investigated. The parish locations of diocesan initiatives were also briefly examined. Data collection took place in April 2019.

The Rt Revd Dr Emma Ineson (Bishop of Penrith) to Church Army's Research Unit: "We really appreciated both the professionalism and thoroughness of the report, and also the way in which you made every effort to ‘get the diocese and its work. We’re sure that this report will go a long way towards assisting us as we think through how to take forward the work of God through our various expressions of church in the coming months and years."


A Bigger Difference - a report on social action and church growth in the Diocese of Liverpool


Front cover - small

The Diocese of Liverpool is asking God for a Bigger Church, so it can make a Bigger Difference - more people knowing Jesus, more justice in the world.

Engaging with church leaders and parishioners, this research explores how Bigger Difference social action - Christians undertaking social action, enabling more people to know Jesus and pursuing more justice in the world - is happening within the diocese and considers how this relates to both the numerical and spiritual growth of the Church in the Diocese of Liverpool.

Click here for a PDF copy of the report.

Videos related to A Bigger Difference

Resources for churches to make a Bigger Difference


Dioceses of Meath and Kildare - strategic review

Together in God's Love (cover)

During 2018, we assisted the Church of Ireland Dioceses of Meath and Kildare with a strategic review. The aims of this project were:

  • Creating a conversation within the dioceses that creates hopes and sense of possibility for the future
  • Providing a credible basis for an acceptable action plan moving forward

The methods used included a literature and data review, an online stakeholder survey and on-site consultancy visits. The project was completed in September 2018.

A news item about the review, plus a link to download the Together in God's Love report, can be found on the Meath and Kildare Dioceses website here.

"Not as difficult as you think": Mission with young adults

linking hands - smallIn 2017, the Church of England asked Church Army’s Research Unit to find out about successful, unsuccessful, and unproven mission with young adults (aged 18 to 30) which has taken place within the Church of England, other denominations, or through para-church groups.

In researching this topic, we completed 12 case studies of different approaches to mission and evangelism with non-churched young adults.

The results were both encouraging and challenging. They can be found on their own mini-website here, along with videos, recommendations and a summary report.