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What Happens After Research? – Church Army

November 15, 2016

whThis is he results of questionnaires that had been issued as a follow-up to the II dioceses that took part in two earlier surveys by Church Army on Fresh Expressions of Church (fxC) in 2011 and 2013.

The longevity of fxCs, and reasons for their closure since those findings, were mixed. Four dioceses said that they used the results of the surveys to ‘ decide whether or not various initiatives could be classified as fxC. Four expanded the usual criteria to include other missional activities, and seven used the information to raise awareness of new fxCs. One diocese had made no use of the definitions laid out in the reports.

The majority said that their in­volvement in the research had help­ed to expand their knowledge and vocabulary about fxCs. Only two said the reports had had no repercussions regarding the growth or decline of fxCs in the area.

wh2Quotations:

The first point to establish was whether there was a person with a brief that covered fxC within the diocese. This follow-up survey established that in all but one diocese there is a person who, as part of their role, carries the brief for fxC.

The most common cause of a fxC’s death was identified as the leader leaving, but in more than half the dioceses it was admitted that the reason for a fxC’s death was unclear or had not been investigated. Others identified a weakness within the structure of makeup of the fxC or that it was felt that the fxC was ‘for a season’ or ‘ran its course’.

In the support for leaders of fxC, the most common method was arranging chances for the leaders to meet together or network, and equally as common was providing some sort of training (not including the msm course). On the other hand, in three dioceses no level of support was offered to fxC leaders from the diocese itself and was all organised by the fxC leaders themselves. Some dioceses had partnered with other organisations to provide leader support. Supporting fxC leaders is seen as an ongoing area of development.

Throughout the responses to our questionnaire, one diocese noticeably stood out from the others: the responses to each question were either in the negative or no response was given. By the end of the questionnaire, they acknowledged that “our responses probably paint a pretty poor picture of our activity in this area”. This was the same diocese that did not have anyone who carried the brief for fxC as part of their role. It would seem that, as no one was responsible for the fxC agenda within the diocese, very little or no progress had been made to oversee, support or encourage them. This highlights the key importance of having at least one person with a fxC brief within the diocese.

The report is available here

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