Fresh Expresions: Council asked to seek visual resources

by
14 July 2010

SYNOD members are seeking the creation of an online library of visual resources for worship.

On Monday evening, the Revd Richard Moy (Lichfield) moved a private member’s motion, which 200 members had signed up to, seeking greater provision for online resources that would communicate with younger people. Mr Moy said that many of those aged 16-30 at his Fresh Expressions church were visual learners. “They don’t tend to look for lectionary or liturgy on an iPhone app: they look for images.”

The Church spent money on staff who spent hours preparing presenta­tions that were seen once. “This is about economies of scale — how to save the Church money.”

The Bishop of Sheffield, the Rt Revd Steven Croft, said that most key points of resource come through connecting people rather than telling them what to do. This was “hub protocol and connection . . . a profound principle of the New Testament”. It also created space for creative entrepreneurs who needed two things: “They need a vast amount of encouragement, and they need investment which would start things rolling.” It was also international and ecumenical.

The Revd Vera Hunt (Deaf Anglicans Together) in an address that was signed by Synod’s signer, said: “Personally, I would love to see much more resources for deaf people. Most of the resources are aimed at hearing people. They have subtitles, but there are far too many words.” She would like to see video clips with action.

She invited the Synod to think about the story of Emmaus: “Just imagine the wonder on the disciples’ face as they recognise Jesus in the breaking of bread. Why on earth would you need words?”

The Revd Mark Ireland (Lichfield) spoke to his amendment that would move responsibility to act to produce the online library to the Archbishops’ Council. Mr Moy’s proposal saved reinventing the wheel and allowed creative artists to be rewarded for their labours. It would enable clergy easily to access material, promote home-grown talent, and “let non-tech vicars like me do my work.” But, disappointed by the response from Fresh Expressions, he sought to put this possibility for this “core business” of the Church of England into the hands of the Council.

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The Church Commissioners had set aside £12 million to develop initiatives such as web-based material, and the First Church Estates Commissioner was sympathetic.

Canon Carl Turner (Exeter) spoke to his amendment that recognised that the resources available to the Fresh Expressions team and the Liturgical Commission were too limited, and asked the Archbishops’ Council for a feasibility study for a business plan.

The Bishop of Hereford, the Rt Revd Anthony Priddis, said that his local Evangelical church had just spent £18,000 on new audio-visual equipment, but couldn’t find good resources for it. Mr Ireland was asking for £2000 from the dioceses: couldn’t the Archbishops’ Council be approached?

Kay Dyer (Coventry) said that it should be shared across a much wider range of congregations. It could show silver surfers what new worship could be. The Education Division might also like to be included.

Canon Alma Servant (Man­chester) hoped that people over 60 might get more attention. Neglected people in care homes had no stimulation, in dreary surroundings: good resources to convey beauty and delight could be aimed at them.

The Revd Andrew Dow (Glou­cester) gave the example of Christian workers in schools. This was a priceless opportunity to provide audio-visual resources for those working in this “prime mission territory”.

Mr Moy, responding, asked the Archbishops’ Council to set up a working group.

The motion was carried as amended. It read:

That this Synod request the Archbishops’ Council to identify sources of funding for the production of an online library of visual and video resources for worship, so that hard-pressed local worship leaders may access and use them in both mission and congregational contexts.

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