Thursday, 30 January 2014

Fresh Expressions Postbag

I was intrigued by the Fresh Expressions "Myths Busted" post on Missional Musings. I frequently get letters asking my advice, or telling me about their great ideas - because, let's face it, the Beaker Folk are definitely a Fresh Expression. And one of the most profitable, to boot. Mind you, if you think about it, Canterbury Cathedral was a Fresh Expression once upon a time.

So here's the Fresh Expressions postbag. I hope you can build on these ideas so that one day, you too may be able to fill in your own grant application.

"Dear Archdruid,

We knew that if we wanted to reach the unchurched on the estate, we had to get to where people really were - share their experiences, know what really moved them.
So I took up Twocking.  Within a few weeks, I'd really earned the kids' respect, and I was having a great time myself, living "on the edge" of the kingdom.
But after I hit that bus shelter, the bishop has found out, and now he says I can't be the vicar anymore. This persecution is the sort of thing that happened to John the Baptist."

"Dear Archdruid,

I like to put on a badger outfit and yodel. I'm sure there must be other people like me. Do you reckon I could start a church?"

"Dear Archdruid,

I was all in favour of Messy Church when the vicar introduced it. What a great way of communicating with a new generation, I thought.
But then I went along, and it was full of children! Ghastly. And the vicar was not wearing a chasuble. If this is your Fresh Expressions, I'll stick to the Masons."

"Dear Archdruid,

We're seriously looking at starting a Godly Play. We've collected together a number of models and a sheet of beize. However we are all atheists, and the models are mostly old Matchbox cars. So we spend our time re-creating famous traffic jams."

"Dear Archdruid,

The rainy weather has had the effect of causing a bryophitic carpet to spread across the roof of St Hilda's. So we're thinking of renaming it "Mossy Church".

"Dear Archdruid,

Our Civil War Church was a great new innovation. As members of Lord Rockingham's Light Infantry, Fr Fresshe and myself would go along in the guise of Cavalier chaplains, offer a traditional form of Eucharist and preach a homily. We got to wear lace, and the Civil War people were gradually converted into card-carrying Laudians.

Then Peter Kirk came along and told us Cromwell wasn't so bad after all, and it all went to pot. Now half of them are Anabaptists, and the rest skip communion to go to their Presbyterian prophesying class."

"Dear Archdruid,

Here in the Somerset Levels, we are great outdoors types. So we thought "Rambling Church" would be a great idea. And in the autumn, we had a great time - sometimes twenty people would join us in what was, after all, Our Lord's way of doing church - the vicar would head across fields, preaching sermons over his shoulder. But in December and January, attendance has dropped off, and the vicar has developed trench foot. Most people can't work out why, but I blame the gays."

"Dear Archdruid,

I like to stand in Dunstable town centre wearing an anorak, shouting threats of eternal damnation at passers-by. Nobody was converted. Last week I decided to become a Fresh Expression. Now I wear a T-shirt with a cheerful image on it, and stand in Dunstable town centre shouting threats of eternal damnation at passers-by. Still nobody is converted, but at least I feel I'm moving with the times."

"Dear Archdruid,

I have a large bag of porridge and a "Footprints" towel, in a lock-up garage in Meriden. Am I a Fresh Expression? Or, given the brand of porridge, am I just a Quaker?"

"Dear Archdruid,

Attendance at our Youth Club really took off over the last couple of months. But then one of the parents found out about the "Breezers Bar", and now we're right back to where we are. I blame Michael Gove."


  1. Dear Arch Druid,

    Our Yoof Group must be a fresh expression because they are all WASP, which given that this is Labour Borough to the hilt, must be win, win situation for the Church.

    By the way, I've pushed a UKIP flyer through your door as I know that you're renowned for being beastly to the plebs.

    Yours Sincerely, Nigel F

    Dear Arch Druid,

    Our All Age Service held once a month at 11 am on Mondays, allows those collecting their pensions to get to the post office and to the over 60's coffee morning before coming to worship.

    The only problem I've noticed is that very few school age children come and not a lot of mums and dads? Although I've noticed that some members of the Saturday midday pram group have been coming occasionally.

    Can you please advise where we're going wrong.

    Yours in Tears,

    A N Other, NSM, Assistant Curate(Associate Priest/Team Vicar/Priest in Charge of the "Eighteen Group of Parishes, Lincolnshire

  2. As the "visitor from Winchester, Virginia" in your live traffic feed, perhaps your Civil War Church priest has made the mistake of choosing the wrong Civil War. He can rebuild his congregation by focusing on the valiant fight of Abraham Lincoln against the wicked slave owners of the southern states. I would let him get away with it for a bit until someone tells him that Lincoln was a tyrant who took up arms to crush the democratic freedoms of those in South, many of whom opposed slavery but were loyal to their states. It was well into the war that Lincoln came out against slavery, to win friends internationally. How would you feel if the EU President mobilised an army to invade the UK to force it to accept the Euro?

  3. I would feel we had at least 10 years to get our defences in order, as the member states tried to arrange referenda in each country and the French dairy farmers blockaded the Channel ports demanding bigger subsidies.

    Never knew about Lincoln. What a rotter. I can't wait till 4th July.


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