Fresh Expressions take many forms, as missional forms of church they take on the characteristics of the community they form within.
Some may be noisy places full of young people doing creative things, others on the other hand may be much quieter affairs.
Not all of the Quiet Day is totally quiet...
The other articles of this series are:
Rev Steve Tilley began to open up his home for ‘Quiet Days’ when he realised that others might like to share the peace he found in his tranquil home.
He has now held more than 50 quiet days, and has seen many attend, sharing spiritual stillness and taking time to rediscover the still small voice of God.
Now some consider the Quiet Days to be ‘their church’.
Steve, the associate Vicar in the Nailsea Local Ministry Group, moved to Nailsee in 2006, and immediately noticed the quiet.
He said: “As a city kid the first thing I noticed was how quiet it was. One night, soon after moving, I woke up and thought I'd missed the Second Coming. Where was the background buzz, frisking me with signs of life?
“Some weeks later I unintentionally scared some poor woman by being on the same footpath as her in the day-time. She was accustomed to an undisturbed walk.”
It didn’t take Steve long to realise the potential of the quietness, and he began to invite others to share it with him, setting out a basic plan for the day, and ensuring that much of it would be given over to silence.
He explained: “We start with coffee and chat then introduce ourselves to each other formally, explaining if there is anything we would like others to be praying for us too.
“There is a Bible Study, led with input by me and leading to discussion, then quiet.
“Lunch is communal and noisy then we share again after lunch if the Lord has been speaking to us, look at the bible again briefly followed by a shorter time of quiet and end with cuppa at 3.30.
“There are about two hours of food, drink and chat, three hours of silence and one hour of sharing and study, between ten and four.”
From the first Quiet day onwards, Steve has found an enthusiastic reception for his Quiet Days, which are popular with Christians, but not just ‘church-goers’.
Word of the Quiet Days is spread by personal invitation, through news sheets, and online – numbers are kept intentionally low – twelve is the maximum.
It’s a great example of a simple format that requires little in terms of resources, and yet ministers to people in a deep way.
Steve didn’t even establish it with a grand vision of creating a ‘Fresh Expression’. He said: “It just happened. I'm not convinced it is fully-formed yet, but it’s popular and it works.”
August 7th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Simon Cross