Starting and developing new Christian communities and congregations

Greenhouse is a national church project enabling dioceses to cultivate and grow Fresh Expressions and Pioneering projects/vocations and design the landscape for tomorrow.

We’re about starting and developing new Christian communities and congregations and developing disciples, nurturing vocations, inspiring evangelism through them.

Over the next 5 years we’re looking to cultivate over 70 Fresh Expressions and welcome over 1500 new people as followers of Christ.

We’re currently looking for teams from Stoke on Trent, Newcastle and Walsall - mostly from local churches - to join in.

What’s Involved?

We have three trellises to train your team around:

Learning Community

A local network with others also growing new discipleship climates. Each local Gathering will meet together once every few months and be connected online in-between gatherings.

FX Godsend App

What Jesus wants isn’t complicated: he calls us to be a community and through that to introduce the world to Him. Greenhouse will guide teams through this free app (Apple and Android versions available) contains the wisdom and experience of thousands of people who’ve developed incredibly varied forms of FX.

Diocesan DVE Team

Teams will be supported through our Fresh Expressions Enabler, Revd David Cundill, local enablers and coaching giving access a wealth of talent, resource and local knowledge.

Why Greenhouse?

A greenhouse provides a stable, nurturing environment to grow crops all year round and extend the produce of the plants. Once the plants are resilient, they can be moved on (protected in their context if needed, for example in a polytunnel) and the next season’s crop prepared.

Growth explained as a circular diagram of six stages (listen, love, community, share Jesus, church, repeat) and noting that groups can: join at any point / develop at own pace / natural cycle

Four types of new growth

Greenhouse is for teams who are looking to:

Plant seeds

Teams who want to plant a new Fresh Expression; to plant a known seed from an established variety for new people to enjoy e.g:

  • a Messy Church, Breakfast Church or a reimagined midweek congregation,
  • an engaging presence on an established estate or new housing
  • development or similar
  • or you may not even have a team yet - just an inkling of a need to reach those who might be square pegs in a round congregation: young people | the elderly | workplace | shoppers | commuters | students | BAME | specific needs | etc


Teams who have started or establish a Fresh Expression sometimes need help and encouragement to be sustainable for the long-term e.g:

  • an afternoon tea event needing a spiritual dimension
  • a Messy Church needing to develop a leadership team
  • help to move beyond forming community to sharing Jesus or developing disciples
  • an informal worship gathering wanting to draw out the gifts and context of non-churched attendees

Take Cuttings

Teams who have an established Fresh Expression, Messy Church or similar may want to start another e.g:

  • the same - in a different location,
  • quite similar - for a different community
  • potting-on - for the same congregation as they grow in age or discipleship i.e. a Messy Church needing to start something for older children / teenagers or for their parents.


We have a deep-rooted faith but not everyone is attracted to the same flowers. So sometimes new churches can grow through gathering people of similar outlook or interest rather than place or church tradition e.g to start or develop a Fresh Expression:

  • at the pub or the the gym, around sports, arts and crafts, social groups, music, or for dog owners, DIY enthusiasts
  • through sharing an allotment, community initiatives, things to meet people’s needs
  • exploring Christian spirituality and tradition in new and creative ways like forest church, new monastic communities, meditation

2020 Gatherings

Stoke and Newcastle

4 Gatherings, each comprising of a Friday evening session from 7-9pm, and a Saturday conference from 10am - 4pm; 

  • January 17th: Sneyd Green St Andrew (No Saturday Gathering)
  • March 13th - 14th: Longton Hall St Paul
  • June 12th - 13th: Birches Head St Matthew
  • October 9th - 10th: Cross Heath St Michael


4 Gatherings, each comprising of a Friday evening session from 7-9pm, and a Saturday conference from 10am - 4pm; 

  • January 24th: Walsall Wood St John (No Saturday Gathering)
  • March 20th - 21st: Fulbrook St Gabriel
  • June 19th - 20th: St Matthew's Centre
  • October 16th - 17th: Streetly All Saints

Further details will appear soon