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25 November 2013

New leader for Fresh Expressions

New leader for Fresh Expressions

Canon Phil Potter with Bishop Graham Cray

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York have announced that Canon Phil Potter will be the next Archbishops' missioner and leader of the Fresh Expressions team.

Canon Potter, director of pioneer ministry for the Diocese of Liverpool, will succeed Bishop Graham Cray, who has held the post since 2009. Phil Potter will begin the role in April 2014.

Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said: "I am delighted that Canon Potter has agreed to take up the post. Phil is a skilled and imaginative practitioner whose achievements as a pioneer minister and church builder have been extraordinary. At the same time, I would like to express my deep thanks to Bishop Graham for his five years of distinguished service."

Fresh Expressions is an ecumenical movement that encourages the planting of new congregations or churches that are different in ethos and style from the church which planted them, because they aim to reach a particular group of people. Fresh expressions of church include café churches and church in pubs or gyms.

Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, said: "Phil Potter has a strong track record in pioneer ministry in his own Diocese and beyond. I am confident that his leadership will strengthen the Church's mission and proclaim Christ afresh in this and future generations."

Phil Potter is involved in national and international strategies for promoting new ways of doing church. He has worked as a consultant and speaker in Australia, North America, Finland, Denmark, Norway and Germany and spent twenty years as vicar of St Marks, Haydock.

Commenting on his appointment, Canon Potter said: 'It is a great privilege for me to take on the role of Archbishops' missioner and team leader of Fresh Expressions for the next phase of its development. As well as being a dynamic and effective ecumenical partnership encompassing many denominations and traditions, Fresh Expressions is a movement that is transforming the missional life of so many churches in this country and around the world. It is also transforming individual lives by reaching many people who wouldn't normally be reached with the good news of Jesus.

"I pray that this third phase of Fresh Expressions will see many more people champion its ministry and effectiveness."

Before ordination Canon Potter worked in retail management and vocational guidance before becoming a professional singer songwriter. Helping to pioneer contemporary worship, he worked and travelled internationally with the late David Watson, leading his team of Christian artists in mission, and recorded four solo albums with Kingsway music.

He has written two books: The Challenge of Change (BRF 2009), and The Challenge of Cell Church (BRF 2001).