United Parish of Upper Nidderdale




Fresh Expressions is a way of describing the planting of new congregations or churches which are different in ethos and style from the church which planted them; because they are designed to reach a different group of people than those already attending the original church. There is no single model to copy but a wide variety of approaches for a wide variety of contexts and constituencies. The emphasis is on planting something which is appropriate to its context, rather than cloning something which works elsewhere.

Some fresh expressions are very different from church as we have been used to it in the UK – there is a surfer church on Polzeath beach, a youth congregation based in a skate park and a church for skiiers. Others are more familiar but in unfamiliar settings – such as church in a café, pub, church or school. They can be found in rural areas as well as in towns and cities and have been planted to reach all age groups - pensioners as well as those focused on children or young families. There is no intention to divide people up. The surfer church does not have security guards to ban non-surfers at the door. But the aim is to plant church into the communities to which people actually belong. Then those churches can reach out to people who are different as well. Many churches are neighbourhood based, but fresh expressions of church are also planted into networks.

In January 2014 the United Parish of Upper Nidderdale sent three of its parishioners to train on a Mission Shaped Ministry course to be Lay Pioneer Ministers developing Fresh Expressions of Church. Sue Beever, Peter Wright and Linsay Pooley. They have already made a start of developing fresh expressions of church, please pray for them as they continue their training.


in the United Parish of Upper Nidderdale


Walking in Faith is simply coming together to enjoy a good walk; to journey and explore together in the company of old friends and new, sharing in the experiences of the moment, being open to what the day has to offer. There’s also the opportunity to talk about faith, spirituality, religion, maybe one or two questions that are on our minds… just as much or as little as feels right. We try to cater for all walkers (individuals and families, younger, older…) by choosing locations that give the opportunity to combine a shorter route with longer options, aiming to meet and eat together somewhere en route.

Our first outing was on Saturday, 24th May, combining riverside and moorland walking around Merryfield Mines in Upper Nidderdale. We numbered 20 in all, including regular visitors to Nidderdale, local people and some enthusiastic walkers who heard about Walking in Faith through our Mission Shaped Ministry course.

An atmosphere of welcome, friendship and openness was immediately apparent and, despite a grey start to the day and a poor forecast, a great time was had by all. A few lines from Psalm 104 got us off to a good start, and whilst the line, “From your lofty abode you water the mountains” was somewhat prophetic, the rain didn’t join in until lunchtime! Our “bring and share” picnic lunch took place under the shelter of several large trees, with food and good spirits in bountiful supply. The feasting was preceded by short “eye-witness” accounts of the feeding of the 5000 from the perspectives of different characters, derived from John’s Gospel.

Here’s some feedback from participants:

“Accommodating both long and short walks was a great idea giving inclusion for everyone. The distances appeared just right. What a great opportunity to meet 'new' people and others known by face but not spoken to.” Laurie and Linda from Batley, regular visitors to Nidderdale.

“Phil and I enjoyed ourselves enormously, chatting to new people and finding out that we have some quite close connections [with others on the walk].” Liz and Phil from Gildersome.

“We really enjoyed the day very much. It was so good to get to know some new people.” Richard and Linsay, Bewerley

“I thought the worship part was spot on and the length of the walk was just right!” Alison, Leeds

Keep an eye on Source (our parish magazine) if you’d like to join our next outing, or email me at suebeedo1@gmail.com and I’ll keep you up-to-date.


Fresh expressions in Upper Nidderdale

Church for families involving fun. 

Fun is a  Fresh Expression of Church church which engages families with the Christian Faith through arts and crafts outside the usual context of church. Run by the team of Lay Pioneers in the United Parish of Upper Nidderdale Fun is a form of church which involves creativity, celebration and hospitality.

We had our first meeting around Easter 2014 where our worship group played and sang contemporary Christian music, there was a variety of arts and crafts on a theme for the families to join in with, a scrumptious banquet to enjoy and we even had our vicar with one of his puppets, 'Gary the Gorilla' talking about the Easter message with a truly magical illusion. Over 50 people many of whom do not come to traditional church services came along for Fun.

Our aim is to introduce people to Jesus and give them an opportunity to develop relationships and aspects of faith.

The format might change from time to time but one thing will always remain at its heart and that is having Fun. 


Click on this link to take you back to the churches of Upper Nidderdale http://www.thechurchinthedale.com/our-churches/the-united-parish-of-upper-nidderdale/the-churches-of-upper-nidderdale/