• The mission practices of new church congregations in Manchester city centre

      Graham, Elaine L.; Edson, John B. (University of Chester, 2013-10)
      Religious practices, which are increasingly being perceived as the bearers of the religious tradition, reflect and then shape the theology of the tradition of which they are a part. This thesis examines the mission practices of two different, yet growing, church congregations in Manchester city centre by asking what can be learnt from their practices in mission. Throughout the thesis different missiological themes and mission practices emerge from the two congregations as a response to the same postmodern, urban space of Manchester city centre. This difference, in themes and practices, is particularly notable regarding bounded and centred practices and the prioritisation of poiesis, theoria and praxis. In King’s Church, the first congregation researched, the notion of boundedness is identified as the most significant factor in their identity. This is reflected in their mission practices, which are shaped by their bounded ecclesiology, eschatology and pneumatology. It is from this boundedness that an eschatological ecclesiology becomes apparent and boundary crossing mission practices develop. This eschatological ecclesiology prioritises theoria, and hence their mission practices prioritise theoria above praxis and poiesis. In contrast, centred mission practices are identified in the second congregation, Sanctus1. Their synthetic approach to the city centre is dialogical and hence the ecclesiology and mission practices that develop are shaped by both the culture of the city centre and their religious tradition. Alongside the centeredness of their mission practices, a prioritisation of poiesis can be discerned as mission is approached in an innovative and oblique way.