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Archbishop licenses new Fresh Expressions leader

Wednesday 2nd April 2014

Archbishop Justin says Fresh Expressions movement will continue leading the 're-imagination' of the church's ministry, during service to commission the Revd Canon Phil Potter as its new leader

Archbishop Justin licensed the Revd Canon Phil Potter as Archbishops’ Missioner and Team Leader of Fresh Expressions during a service at Lambeth Palace today.

Canon Potter, Director of Pioneer Ministry for the Diocese of Liverpool, succeeds Bishop Graham Gray, who has held the post since 2009.

Archbishop Justin said today that Bishop Cray would be “a really hard act to follow, and in Phil Potter I think Fresh Expressions have got one of the few people who can do it well. It’s all in God’s hands and I am confident that Fresh Expressions will continue to lead the reimagination of the ministry of the church in this country.”

Canon Potter said: "This is going to be an exciting and challenging season as we all work together for the renewal of our Church and the re-evangelisation of our nation. I am looking forward immensely to working with new colleagues and forging fresh partnerships in the task of making Christ fully known to all.”

During the Service of Commissioning Archbishop Justin, on behalf of the Provinces of Canterbury and York, gave his license and commission to Canon Potter, who made the Declaration of Assent and the Oaths of Allegiance and Canonical Obedience.

Archbishop Justin and the Revd Dr Martyn Atkins, General Secretary of the Methodist Church, then led prayers of commissioning for Canon Potter, joined by members of the congregation.

During his homily, Archbishop Justin noted that members of the congregation represented different church denominations and church groups.

“I want to emphasise that this is truly a work of collaboration by those of different denominations who have been caught up by the life and presence of Jesus Christ,” he said. “We have all come to share not in an Anglican thing but in something that is the work of the Church of God.”

The Archbishop went on to say that those involved in Fresh Expressions would need “soft hearts and hard feet” and would need to run fast “to keep up with what God is doing”.

“It’s about salvation; it’s about God bringing life. It’s about seeing what the Father is doing and joining in. He does it for the sake of the world, not for our sake."

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