Starting a church with how many?

I looped back to read up on the British Orthodox Church, and saw news of a new mission in Windsor:

Father Peter had prepared to pray with one person he had been visiting for some months, but as the prayers from the Agpeya, or Coptic Daily Office, began there were eight people from a variety of backgrounds who had come together to begin this new service. And a further eight people had wanted to be present but were unable to do so for various reasons.

Let’s revisit that: “had prepared to pray with one person”. I won’t say that an intended one-person mission is the best way to make something last. And indeed, there are significant polity, historical and demographic differences between the kind of churchmanship the British Orthodox have and that most of my readers (the Indy Catholics perhaps excepted) but there is something about the audacious faithfulness about starting a mission this way is worthy of respect and perhaps adaptation.

By Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 46, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.


  1. Well, it certainly says more abotu starting a new congregation so that people can practice their spirituality together; as opposed to starting a new congregation because we need a church from franchise X in geographic locale Y. The first is about grass roots needs; while the second is about the organization extending the organization.

  2. What Derek says. I really wish that there was a way to capture this sense in our own churches but even at my own congregation-of-multiple-affiliations the default is institutional concerns, our affiliates, our buildings, our staff (me included) etc. At least we have the British Orthodox and their ilk to remind us from time to time…

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