District Fresh Expressions

Fresh Expressions encourages new ways of being church in a contemporary world.



From the Chair—“Chancing your arm”

…. is perhaps a term you are familiar with. The phrase comes from a bitter feud between the Ormonds and the Kildares in Dublin in 1492. At one stage the Earl of Kildare besieged the Earl of Ormond and his followers in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin. As the siege wore on the Earl of Kildare concluded that the feuding was foolish. Here were two families living in the same country, worshipping the same God. So he called out to his enemy that no harm would come to him. Ormond, being wary, did not respond. So Kildare seized a spear, cut away a hole in the door and thrust his hand through. He “chanced his arm”. The hand was grasped by another hand inside, the door was opened, and the two men embraced.

Handshake picture unavailable“Chancing your arm” can be a relevant phrase with fresh ways of working within the life of Christ’s Church. We do not always know what will happen when we offer our hand past the walls and doors of our churches, when we try to connect with those outside who may inhabit a different place, a different culture. Yet that act of faith can bring immeasurable blessings.

May I encourage us to continue to reach out past the boundaries which so often hem us in to discover new life and new relationships, even when that means “chancing your arm”.

The Methodist Conference this year will be invited to continue its encouragement of Fresh Expressions and Fresh Ways of working. In this District we have committed time, energy and resources to this. Let us continue to treat that as a priority as part of joining in God’s mission to the world.

Revd Dr Andrew Wood


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Thank you for contacting this part of the District Website.  For further information on Fresh Expressions in the Southampton District contact me on 01305 820489 or email me.

Revd Chris Briggs

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