Church of England Newspaper October 31
A NEW Archbishops’ Missioner and leader of Fresh Expressions has been announced following the Rev Steven Croft’s appointment as the Bishop of Sheffield. The Rt Rev Graham Cray will assume the full-time role from May and will step down as the Bishop of Maidstone.
The new appointment means Bishop Cray can develop many of the ideas put forward by the Working Party he chaired which produced the highly-acclaimed Mission-shaped Church report.
Both the Archbishops of Canterbury and York and the Methodist Church announced this week that the Fresh Expressions initiative would continue for a further five years. Fresh Expression is a means of developing new styles of conducting worship and liturgy and has produced some radical forms of church since its genesis.
Speaking to The Church of England Newspaper Bishop Cray, well known in some circles for his involvement with the charismatic youth movement Soul Survivor, said he was totally committed to the new role. “This is releasing me to spend my last years in stipendiary ministry giving it my whole attention,” he explained.
Discussing his vision for Fresh Expressions he said he wanted to see “more and more parishes and districts take this up and have a go”. It was also about developing existing Fresh Expressions, he said. “We have got to help existing ones mature. One of the things to do is to learn the lessons that help projects move from being experiments to securely established and mature Christian congregations.”
The Bishop also said he would like to see liturgy developed further in Fresh Expressions churches, in particular how it can be conducted in a “light touch way”.
Bishop Graham who is 61 is Episcopal Adviser to Anglican Mainstream