Associate Minister's February 2013 Letter

Fresh Expressions

I was amazed to read that more than 20,000 worshippers attended Christmas services and concerts at Exeter Cathedral last month. The traditional Christmas Eve service at 6pm, the Grandisson, attracted 1800 people into the Cathedral to hear the choir and join worship, and on Christmas Day, nearly 1500 attended services. Other Christmas services, including the carols for shoppers and workers at lunchtimes, were packed out.

In a year when numbers going shopping has probably fallen it is reassuring that people coming into Exeter make a point of going to the cathedral and experiencing something of the wonder of the Christmas story. Where do they go to find deeper meaning now that a new year has started?

There has been a lot of talk in recent years about Fresh Expressions of Church – church for our changing culture, established primarily for the benefit of people who are not yet members of any church. All over the country people are trying out different ways of being church and clearly God is at work inspiring and changing individuals and communities.

I meet many who are disillusioned former believers, nostalgic atheists and anybody searching for a sense of community, to meet.

There must be so many people reading this who fall into that group. How wonderful it would be if there was a place to meet and see what happens next and "turn good intentions into action". The strange thing is I expect God would turn up too and start to make it real!

In April the diocese is starting a course called: ‘Mission Shaped Ministry’. A chance to think about what church for those turned off by organised religion might look like and how we can be involved. If you want to find out more look on the Diocese of Exeter website and do a search for Mission Shaped Ministry Course.

Reverend Christopher Cant


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