Original Research - Special Collection: Yolanda Dreyer Festschrift

The Filling Station as a Fresh Expression of church for consideration in the local congregational context: A practical-theological investigation

Ian A. Nell, Susan Mellows
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 73, No 4 | a4544 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v73i4.4544 | © 2017 Ian A. Nell, Susan Mellows | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 13 March 2017 | Published: 26 June 2017

About the author(s)

Ian A. Nell, Department of Practical Theology and Missiology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Susan Mellows, Department of Practical Theology and Missiology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa


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Abstract

The findings of the Archbishop’s Council in their 2004 report, to the effect that traditional forms of church in Britain are under threat because of changing cultural patterns, emphasise the need to re-think church for our contemporary contexts. The ‘Fresh Expressions of church’ movement is one such initiative identified and approved of by the Archbishop’s Council. This article reports on research undertaken in a practical theological interpretation of The Filling Station, a Christian ministry that has grown significantly in its 10-year history and was formed as a missional endeavour in recognition of declining church attendance in traditional churches in Britain. This work explores whether The Filling Station is a Fresh Expression of church and whether it meets the values of authentic missional churches. In examining whether The Filling Station ought to be considered for import into appropriate local congregational contexts, it enquires whether it satisfactorily addresses prevailing social trends affecting churches, including consumerism and the need for identity.

Keywords

Fresh Expressions of Church; Congregational Studies; Archbishop's Council; Consumerism; Identity Formation

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