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A tale of Story and Song

Back in mid-June, we took a trip down to the beautiful village of Downderry in Cornwall where we got together with a group of pioneers from the southwest. With this being our first regional gathering we were really excited to see how it would be received and we weren’t disappointed. We met at St Nicolas’ parish church and the day was filled with insightful talks, delicious food, and meaningful moments.

Inspiring Words from Simon Mattholie

The day kicked off with a talk by Simon Mattholie from Rural Ministries. He spoke about fresh expressions in rural settings and asked us about Jesus’ most important command from Mark Chapter 12. We all answered, “loving our neighbours and loving God,” but Simon pointed out that it starts with “Hear, O Israel.” He reminded us that listening is the first step in any fresh expression, a concept that really resonated with us and aligns perfectly with our Fresh Expressions Journey.

Delicious Pasties

I have to admit, I was very much looking forward to the pasties, and they were fantastic! Nothing beats the genuine article! Sharing a meal together always enhances the sense of community, and there were loads of great conversations had.

Stories from the Heart

After lunch, Rev Darren Middleton, a Methodist Minister,  from 7X shared his experience of setting up a Christian community in a hair salon. He told some beautiful stories about connecting with people. The salon’s intimate setting provides a unique space for meaningful conversations and relationships. It was inspiring to see how everyday places can become centres of community and faith.

Wandering and Listening

We then took some time to wander on the beach, literally! We spent this time listening to what God might be calling us to do next. The peaceful setting of the beach made it a perfect time for reflection and inspiration.

Sharing and Praying

Back at our meeting place, Tim Lea led a discussion about our beach reflections, and we ended the day by praying for each other. It was a powerful moment of connection and support.

A Day of Discovery

Overall, it was a wonderful day that reminded us of the importance of listening and rediscovering our stories. It was filled with learning, connection, and an overwhelming sense that we all need to keep going and a sense of community that we’ll carry with us.

We are looking forward to more gatherings like this where we can share, learn, and grow together!

Would you like to host a Regional gathering, why not contact us.




Had the very wonderful privilege of leading a mini conference down in Cornwall in this beautiful place. As a part of it, we spent time wandering on the beach listening to what God might be saying… #freshexpressions #freshexpressionsofchurch #JesusFollower #Cornwall #sea #seaside #storyandsea

♬ Rule of Life – Verganio