Living God's Love Values - Generosity, Joy, Imagination and Courage
Living God's Love Values - Generosity, Joy, Imagination and Courage

Reaching New People

Reaching New People in New Ways

Making new disciples of Christ by developing fresh expressions of church and equipping leaders


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Welcome to the Reaching New People Guide. It is intended to answer your initial questions, stimulate your interest and help secure your participation.

▾ Reaching New People in New Ways – Introduction

Introduction from Bishop Michael

Welcome to the Reaching New People Guide. This Guide is intended to answer your initial questions, stimulate your interest and help secure your participation.

‘Reaching New People’ spans the years 2018 to 2028 of our vision to grow flourishing Christ-centred communities, through Living God’s Love: ‘Going Deeper into God,’ ‘Transforming our Communities’ and ‘Making New Disciples.’

This exciting initiative is focused on building on our Living God’s Love success. It has a particular emphasis on the strand of Making New Disciples, which has arguably presented the most challenges to parishes and diocesan officers alike and also on our need to grow discipleship amongst children, families, teens and young adults.

The RNP project’s vision for ALL our churches, parishes and worshipping communities is for us to Reach New People by Making New Disciples through Developing fresh expressions of church and developing new leaders.

No one need be put off by the term ‘fresh expressions’, or think, ‘It’s not for me or my church’. Reaching New People is for ALL our churches, parishes and benefices, of ALL contexts and traditions as they reach out to those never known to the church and those with whom the church has lost contact.

Fresh expressions of church can take many forms from Café Church to Messy Mass; from those incorporating Taizé worship to those adopting a more sacramental approach. We are using ‘fresh expressions’ to describe existing as well as new mission-focused congregations and innovative forms of church, whether they sit alongside or develop from our established patterns of worship, which have the potential to reach new people and enable them to grow in faith. The language and some aspects of our approaches may be different, but the ultimate goal is the same: to grow God’s Kingdom.

Getting Involved
My hope is that everyone, in every church, parish and benefice finds something in this project for them and whatever has led you to be reading this Guide, please share it as widely as possible with your contacts in your own church community to help you understand more about the project and to enable you to explore new ideas and opportunities. Some ideas will not be feasible, some will not work, others may surprise you, but ‘if we don’t try we won’t know’. The Guide contains links to some short videos which I hope you will find informative and useful in your exploring.

As part of the diocese’s commitment to the project, there will be dedicated support through our FX Development Officers, training, resources such as ‘how to’ guides, stories (of successful and not so successful) ideas, vision days to help you to get started, coaching and learning networks.

If you have unanswered questions or comments, please do email the RNP team at

Bishop of Hertford


▾ Reaching New People in New Ways – Research

The role of fresh expressions in growing new disciples

Recent research across the Church of England by the Church Army reveals how fresh expressions of church are enabling parishes, benefices and leaders, across all traditions and in all contexts, to reach new people, help them grow in faith and embrace them in the life of God’s Church. Below is a summary of the findings of The Day of Small Things report by George Lings.

An analysis of fresh expressions of Church in 21 other dioceses of the Church of England

  • Across the 21 dioceses we counted 1109 fresh expressions of Church
  • They make up around 15% of a diocese’s church communities
  • Mostly they are small – 67% have 10-55 attenders
  • Mostly they are young – about three-fifths are under five years old
  • Four times as many are starting now, compared with ten years ago
  • They are varied – with some 14 types that are common and with their own characteristics
  • For every one person sent out to begin one, there are now more than two-and-a-half extra people
  • Over 50,000 people attend these fresh expressions of Church – about 6% of diocesan average weekly attendance
  • 38% of those who come are under 16 – twice the average proportion in parish churches
  • The leaders think the majority of those joining are not existing church attenders
  • Men and women are equally likely to lead a fresh expression of Church
  • 36% of the leaders are unrecognised lay people – the so called ‘lay-lay’
  • At present nothing else, as a whole, in the Church of England has this level of missional impact and contributes to the re-imagining of Church

▾ Reaching New People in New Ways – FAQs

What is the Reaching New People project all about?

How does the project fit within Living God’s Love (LGL)?

Reaching New People (RNP) is firmly embedded in the Diocese’s vision: ‘Living God’s Love so that God’s kingdom might grow in our world’.

This vision is achieved through creating flourishing Christ-centred communities which inspire people of all ages and backgrounds to discover God, to grow in their relationship with him and to respond to his transforming love, through serving others.

RNP is focused on building on our LGL success but with a particular emphasis on helping us to address the most challenging of the three core strands of LGL: Making New Disciples.

What is the project all about?

The project nonetheless seeks to develop all three strands of our LGL Vision, while recognising the need to develop discipleship amongst children, families, teens and young adults and to grow both spiritually and numerically.

In summary, the RNP’s project’s vision is to make new disciples of Christ by reaching out to those who do not engage with existing forms of church through fresh expressions of church and/or mission-focused worship and congregations.

Over ten years RNP aims to make 8,000 new disciples through:

  • developing 300 maturing and sustainable fresh expressions of Church and
  • equipping 1,200 Lay Leaders
How are we going to achieve the RNP Vision?

Spiritual and numerical growth will be achieved through:

  • enabling our established forms of church to flourish and grow by being more actively and intentionally engaged in mission
  • developing new forms of church and/or fresh expressions

This will be achieved by providing focused resources, support and expertise. We are:

  • appointing a dedicated team of experienced fresh expressions practitioners from different worshipping traditions to take the project forward
  • developing a range of resources, training and support – go to Working with you for more information

Dispelling some misconceptions

✘ The focus is on developing new churches, not existing churches

✔︎ RNP is centred on growing both our established or traditional and our new forms of church in a blended economy, through intentional mission. The objective is to make new disciples of Christ. It is NOT about stopping our support for existing churches or congregations – it is about growing all our parishes.

✘ It is yet another Diocesan initiative being ‘done to’ parishes

✔︎ RNP is about a partnership that enables all our churches, parishes and benefices to be actively engaged in growth, helping us all to share our knowledge, experience, concerns and challenges so that we can all benefit from the significant investment in RNP.

The RNP team and ‘Wave One’ churches’ role will be to provide resources and support, for example virtual training and best practice and learning centres, enabling parishes to find appropriate support, wherever they find themselves on the development journey.

✘ It has to be completely new to count as a fresh expression

✔︎ Some of our fresh expressions or new forms of church have been in existence for a number of years. They will be offered support to help them on the journey to becoming or remaining sustainable, to finding new ways of growing and to ‘doing it all again’.

✘ We are not a fresh expression as we are only just at the early stages of our activity developing

✔︎ If you are intentional about developing as a new form of church or mission-focused congregation which reaches new people and enables them to grow as disciples of Christ, then you are a fresh expression or have the potential to develop as one.

✘ We will have failed if our own new or existing activity isn’t sustainable

✔︎ Not at all. Although sustainability is an important goal, if we don’t try we won’t know. We have to take the first steps, being brave enough to try. Some activities will become established parts of a church’s worshipping community – others may have a definite beginning and end as they are or were appropriate to a particular context or set of circumstances at a given time.

✘ Fresh expressions are for ‘those people’ and not ‘us’

✔︎ Some church members may find accepting those who are different to them or who have little common with them, challenging. They may see ‘those people’ as disruptive or unsettling and not right for ‘us’. Whilst you can try and bring them with you on your journey, they need to travel willingly – sadly, this will not always be possible.

✘ New fresh expressions or missional congregations are expected to become part of our main patterns of worship

✔︎ No – patterns and forms of worship will develop appropriately to a new fresh expression’s own context. Some will mature and build strong links with their established worshipping communities, others will grow into a distinct worshipping community with their own identity but clearly within their local parish. Our vision is to make new disciples of Christ in any context and allow them to follow their own journey of faith, wherever that might lead them.

Unravelling the language – what do we mean by….

The project is called ‘Reaching New People’ rather than ‘Fresh Expressions’!

We want ‘Reaching New People’ to have the widest recognition and support inside and outside our established church communities. ‘Fresh Expressions’ is an ambiguous term: it is understood by some to relate to a very specific brand of new expressions of church, by others as a more generic term merely describing any new expression of church.
We want to be free to use the term in this latter, generic sense, but not to allow the name of the project to be perceived as relating to the former more specific sense.


Those who have never had or who have had little engagement with the Christian faith – they have never been reached by the Church though they may possibly have come for some occasional services.


Those who have stopped going and are not willing to go back to what they experienced before:

  • possibly as a child or when they had a young family but through circumstances, other pressures in their lives haven’t been to church for some time – over a year
  • didn’t feel engaged and decided that ‘church’ as they knew it wasn’t for them
What is a ‘Wave One’ Church?

‘Wave One’ churches are:

  • The first group of churches taking part in RNP, who are acting as pilots and centres of good practice, to enable us to demonstrate the possibility of developing new forms of church alongside existing ones. We hope Wave One churches will provide a significant encouragement to churches across the Diocese to develop a ‘can do, want to do’ positive attitude towards these new ways of reaching new people.
  • Drawn from across the Archdeaconries, they represent all different contexts and traditions. For example:
    • Rural, market town, suburban, urban, estate
    • Modern and older church buildings
    • Formal to informal styles of worship
    • Congregation and ministry sizes
    • Large and small buildings and communities
  • All at different points on the journey to reach new people. All are enthusiastic about and committed to developing intentionally missional congregations and all wish to engage with those who are un- or de-churched

Through using their knowledge, experience and enthusiasm and working with the FX Development Officers, Wave One churches will:

  • become training and learning centres
  • provide examples of good practice
  • be ‘virtual schools,’ helping to provide e-learning and networks of learning and sharing
  • develop new resources and toolkits
  • support the development of new forms of worship and missional congregations that nurture the faith of our younger generations across the Diocese
‘The journey’

The diagram below illustrates how parishes and worshipping communities may progress in developing their missional journey

The Reaching New People journey diagram

Wherever you start, you will be at some point on the chart. You may be:

  • At the very beginning, before the ‘listening’ stage
  • Trying to find ways of moving from ‘building community’ to ‘evangelism and discipleship’. This is possibly the toughest move and a key focus of the RNP project.
  • Looking at how you take an established fresh expression or new form of worship to ‘doing it again’.

We have developed a more detailed journey diagram as part of our RNP Questionnaire to all parishes that also provides examples and help you determine where you are today. It can be found at

Remember, fresh expressions or missional congregations may begin their journey at different points on the chart and some will not progress all the way through either remaining at an earlier stage or beginning again.

A community

May be a group or community:

  • within a church
  • with similar interests e.g. art, knitting, walking, cycling, skate boarding, monastic contemplation
  • comprising a specific age group(s)
A fresh expression or new form of worship

There are many forms and names. Often, they are focused on particular groups, activities or contexts and maybe less formal (but not always) and include, for example:

  • Tots & Mums, pre-school
  • Messy Church, Messy Mass, school based
  • Young People, Youth
  • Pub church, Walk and Pray
  • All Age worship, Café Church
  • New Monastic
  • Older people’s, ‘Knit and pray’, Dementia church (in church or in a care home)

We have produced some short films that will explain more:

Waves – the phases of the project

When does the Project start?

The Project has started!

  • The first group of ‘Wave One churches’ has been identified
  • The development and support teams are nearly all in post
  • Rural/Area/Assistant Deans and Lay Chairs have been briefed
How will the project progress?
  • Wave One

The first group of ‘Wave One’ churches, drawn from all the Archdeaconries, will with support, develop the disciple-making capabilities of their fresh expressions or missional congregations. In turn, their experience will enable the creation of toolkits and resources to be rolled out across the Diocese.

  • Wave Two

All parishes, churches, benefices, fresh expressions, missional congregations of all traditions and contexts, actively showing an interest in and heart for reaching new people in new ways and growing new disciples through RNP will be candidates to join Wave Two.

Archdeacons, Rural / Area Deans, FX Development Officers, Church Growth Officers will review existing MAPs. They will discuss with parishes seeking support with their missionally focused development to identify where the potential lies.

  • Beyond

We will work with further groups of churches to help them develop new worshipping communities and / or strengthen and grow existing ones.

What can I do if I want to begin now but am not part of the Wave One Churches?

Go to How you can get involved

How long is the Project?

The RNP Project is a five-year project funded by the Church Commissioners through their Strategic Development Fund and is part of our 10-year diocesan vision.

How will my parish benefit?

“If there are more of us, we will have a greater impact on growing God’s Kingdom”

The RNP project is for all our parishes and worshipping communities. It will provide the support and inspiration to enable you to reach new people and to help them to grow in faith in mission-shaped congregations or fresh expressions of church.

What benefits and support will there be for my parish?

Support, resources, information and lots more will be developed and made available to all parishes as they are created via email, mailings, networking, training and information events.
In addition, we are developing dedicated web pages which will include:

  • News
  • Resources – materials, templates and ‘how to’ guides
  • Learning and support sections
  • Stories – what’s gone well; what’s not gone so well
  • Links to other useful sources

The work with the initial Waves of churches developing fresh expressions of church will help the RNP team to shape the longer term ongoing parish support and resources in addition to providing the beginning of locally based networking groups, coaches and mentors and will include developing

  • online and paper-based resources, materials
  • Training courses for worship leaders and teams such as MSM
  • Coaching, mentoring, consultation
  • Formal and informal networking groups
  • Learning communities for worship leaders
How will we know what is happening?
  • Through newsletters and updates including SeeRound
  • Through regular emails and letters to incumbents, PCC secretaries, Churchwardens and worship leaders

Numbers, numbers ….

What do the RNP project numbers mean?

The project is about making new disciples of Jesus Christ by reaching new people in new ways. The Diocese has been awarded £1.7 million over five years to help us achieve our vision over 10 years of

  • Making 8,000 new disciples through
  • 300 maturing and sustainable fresh expressions of Church
  • and by equipping 1,200 Lay Leaders
What is the funding being spent on?

A good proportion of the funds will be spent on

  • Dedicated teams to support and enable the making of new disciples of Christ through maturing fresh expressions of church
  • 3 FX Development Officers, administrator, Training Co-ordinator and Project Co-ordinator
  • In addition, £250,000 has been made available for seed funding grants for the start up or development of fresh expressions or mission-focused congregations that are actively growing the faith of their members (see below)
  • The development of resources, training and toolkits to help parishes and new worshipping communities
  • Targeted communications to support parishes activities and in due course to raise awareness, create engagement opportunities and share the Reaching New People message with our wider communities.
Will this project have any impact on my Parish Share?

No, the project will not directly result in an increase in Parish Share.

Is there any funding available to help my church?

Parishes can apply for grant funding for the start-up of fresh expressions or
mission-focused congregations. These grants are designed to enable the development of fresh expressions and/or mission-focused congregations over the first 3 years.

Grants are available for:

  • a maximum of £3,500 (spread over 3 years) for a monthlymeeting,
  • and £14,500 (spread over 3 years) for a weeklymeeting.

To apply download an application form from or contact

Are fresh expressions of church financially sustainable?

Our main focus is to grow our fresh expressions or new forms of worship from our existing worshipping communities and parishes so that we develop and sustain a blended economy of traditional and new modes of church.

Teaching an understanding of generous giving as a key aspect of discipleship will be integral to our support, from the outset. This will enable all our churches to resource the mission that God is calling them to fulfil in their context.

What if I have other questions

My questions haven’t been answered so how do I get in contact?

We want to hear from you so that we can share information and help everyone to get as much as possible from the project. Please email us at

Our online FAQs will continually evolve so keep checking for updates

I have some ideas

We want to hear from you about your thoughts and ideas so please do feel free to speak to your FX Development Officer or to email us at

▾ Reaching New People in New Ways – Getting Involved

How you can get involved – what stage are you at?

‘Ready to Roll’

Ideally at parish or benefice level – supporting what you are doing or aiming to do, to meet with God in your context:

These are steps to take within your parish, benefice, team or group ministry if you are ‘ready to roll’ and move forward

  1. Include the development of fresh expressions, missional congregations and/or new forms of church as a missional priority in your MAP
  2. Include your plans in your PCC discussions and obtain buy-in and support from them
  3. Share your vision, plans and ideas with your congregation and your wider church community
  4. Identify leaders in your fresh expression/new form of Church in your parish/benefice who will commit to join the next Mission Shaped Ministry (MSM) course
  6. Once you are able to confirm that you have taken at least steps 1 to 3, you can register your interest in receiving input and support from the RNP project by
    • Attending a Vision Day
    • contacting your Archdeaconry FX Development officer or Church Growth Officer
    • contacting your Archdeacon and Rural / Area Dean

Not quite there yet

There might be steps to take, if you are seeking support and input, as you explore the development of fresh expressions, missional congregations or new forms of church in your parish or benefice but are not at a stage where you can commit to or confirm the key steps above

Wherever you are on your journey to reach new people, encourage your parish and individuals with a heart for mission to sign up to our courses:

  • Mission Shaped Ministry (MSM) – developing Lay Leaders in mission and developing fresh expression of church.
  • Leading Your Church into Growth (LYSiG) – encouraging, empowering and equipping church leaders to actively engage in growing their church spiritually and numerically.
  • Encourage individuals to explore their own ministry vocation through talking to the Diocesan Vocations team and / attending Vocational events and courses

▾ Reaching New People in New Ways – Working with you

How we will work with you

Support and Assistance from the RNP Team

Our commitment to you, as you join a ‘wave’ of churches embarking on the journey to make new disciples, is to travel with you every step of the way, in prayer and where appropriate, offering practical support.

As the project progresses and the numbers of participant churches grows, the shape of the support from the RNP team will change, as network and support groups develop, and toolkits and other resources are produced.

FX Developmental Journey

At the outset we will explore together the development work required. Looking at the RNP Developmental Journey we will identify:

  • where you have been
  • where you are
  • where you would like to be by the end of the year
  • the interventions that will get you there
Lead Measures / Actions

We will discuss with you the actions that will enable you to achieve your goal of making new disciples and provide support and the accountability to keep you on track.

We will also ask you to provide information regularly on certain aspects of your FX e.g. how many participants are getting involved in leadership, how effectively is the FX enabling the participants to grow in faith, or how much are the FX members giving? This will enable the RNP Team to best support you in your work and to monitor our collective progress. Each week (or following each meeting of your FX) you will be asked to enter the information required into our online collection system.

Regular contact

We are aware that being in regular contact will help you progress by building on the good work taking place in your fresh expression and assisting in overcoming obstacles.

Weekly – (Duration 5 to 10 minutes)

You and your FX Development Officer will look at your progress over the past week, which will help to create a picture of the progress of all the churches in the across an Archdeaconry.

Bi Monthly – (Duration 11/2 to 2 hours)

Learning Communities
Every other month, all the churches in a wave will meet to discuss progress, obstacles to progress, and to work on next steps that need to be implemented.

For example: if one of your ‘obstacles to progress’ is the need for more leaders, then we will ensure you have access to networks that can share information and their experience of how they built leadership capacity with you.

Bi Monthly meetings will ideally take place at the same time on each occasion and will need to be a priority for you in your work pattern.

Resources and support


Tailored support for each parish / benefice / church in the wave
During our exploratory discussions, it may become apparent that a visit from your FX Officer to your PCC, or to preach to your Sunday congregations, or to meet your leadership team would be helpful. Your FX Officer will be happy to do any of these if it will help you communicate your vision, inspire your congregations and achieve your goals. They will also be able to meet with you and other key leaders to help you to more confidently engage in any of the change management work required.


A coach will be available to you or other members of your leadership team on an individual basis to facilitate transforming conversations that bring clarity to decision-making, priorities, problems and opportunities. We began training our first group of coaches at the end of January, so we will be able to offer this early on in the project to those who would find coaching helpful.


Over time we will be creating digital resources, ‘how to?’ toolkits and area workshops.
We will make these available to you as soon as possible. We will also collaborate with you to make visible and to communicate your journey, to a wider audience to enable you to have an impact on encouraging other parishes.

Recommended Reading

The 4 Disciplines of Execution – Chris McChesney, Sean Covey and Jim Hurling
There is much to learn from the approach promoted in this excellent and challenging book which can help towards our own fundamental goal of: equipping 1200 new leaders, creating 300 new fresh expressions, and making 8000 new disciples by 2028

▾ Reaching New People in New Ways – Key Contacts

Mission and RNP contacts (Spring 2018)

PositionName / PhoneEmail
Director of MissionTim
Mission Department AdministratorCarol Chisnall
01727 818148
FX Development Officers
St Albanstba
HertfordRev’d Alison
Church Growth Officers
St Albanstba
HertfordRev'd Kate
Parish Development AdministratorKathryn McNamara
01727 818141
RNP Team
Project Co-ordinatorDave
Fresh Expressions AdministratorLinda Watson
01727 818113
Fresh Expressions Training Co-ordinatorSue Hughes
01727 818114
General enquiries01727
Children and Young People
Youth OfficerDean
Children's Mission EnablerMargaret Pritchard
Youth and Children's Work AdministratorJulie Cirillo
01727 818160
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  • Going Deeper into God
  • Making New Disciples
  • Transforming Communities

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