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Fresh Expression grows

21 February 2014

by Sheila Johnson


The Bishop of Gloucester, the Right Revd Michael Perham

The Bishop of Gloucester, the Right Revd Michael Perham

AT THE end of last month, a Cheltenham church, formerly known as Glenfall, reformed itself as Cheltenham Network Church (CNC). It is another of the growing number of Fresh Expressions within the Church of England.

Meeting in the drama studio of a secondary school, the church's congregation encourages various networks with the local community. These include a book club, a men's fitness group, and a community-volunteer group, as well as the groups engaged in worship, prayer, and discipleship.

CNC has had the support of the parishes on the south side of Cheltenham, where it now meets, and is working towards a Bishop's Mission Order from the Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Revd Michael Perham (above), which will release it as a mission initiative across the Cheltenham deanery.

Glenfall was established more than 20 years ago as an illegal cross-parish church plant, taking its name from the junior school where its members met. The challenge of parish boundaries led to its becoming independent from the Church of England, although, in time, it developed good relationships with the local churches.

The diocese drew the fellowship back into the fold ten years ago by connecting it to Holy Trinity, Cheltenham. After moving to a new area of town, well away from its original Glenfall location, last autumn, the church took a new name to reflect its changing mission.

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