Carolyn Kinsman, 11/10/2017
Research Unit > Fresh expressions of Church 

Fresh expressions of church 

For over twenty years, Church Army’s Research Unit (CARU) has been at the heart of conversations about church planting and fresh expressions, providing timely insights into the developing movements

Fresh expressions of Church (fxC) are defined as: “new forms of church that emerge within contemporary culture and engage primarily with those who don’t go to church”. Exploring how fxC are engaging with mission has always dovetailed with CARU’s vision and values.

For past CARU publications examining fresh expressions of Church, please see our archive publications.

Fresh expressions of Church continue to be one of the main subjects of our current research.

The following reports were published in November 2016, and are the culmination of four years’ research into fxC in the Church of England. They provide a broad insight into how fresh expressions of Church develop, who attends them and how they can be sustained.

Click the titles to download PDFs of each.


The Day of Small Things - by George Lings

A large-scale analysis of over 1100 fxC surveyed across 21 dioceses of the Church of England, this project provides vast and rich data on missional and ecclesial characteristics of fresh expressions of Church.

Encountering the Day of Small
Encountering The Day of Small Things
- by George Lings

A 36-page summary version of The Day of Small Things.

Who's there?
- by Claire Dalpra and John Vivian

This compares responses on church background from 2000 attenders of Anglican fxC with 500 attenders of inherited Sunday congregations.

Sustaining young Churches
- by Andy Wier

This pilot study qualitatively examines how 12 case study fxCs have approached the challenge of sustainability, a vital question for church growth.

What happens after research?
- by Elspeth McGann

Is all this research useful? This report examines how 10 dioceses in the Church of England reacted to and practically utilised the investigations of Church Army's Research Unit into fxC.

Seeing the bigger picture

A four-page leaflet summarising the above reports.


Given the widespread and substantive impacts of fresh expressions of Church as seen in the projects listed above, we are expectant that God will continue to use fxC to bring missional ministry into new contexts and new communities, ultimately to bring the gospel to new people.

Alongside our current research, we are exploring possible ways of trying to equip and empower churches to be more deeply connected with understanding and supporting the changing fxC landscapes in their own dioceses and parishes.

If you are involved in, or thinking of starting an fxC and have questions not addressed here, or for information on how to order printed copies of any of the four reports, email:

Andrew Wooding, 03/12/2017