One of the key intentions of fresh expressions of church is to reach the kind of people inherited
church find it hard to reach. Psychological type profiling of church congregations has
demonstrated that Anglican churches have particular difficulty in reaching those whose
Jungian judging preference is for thinking rather than for feeling. Studies that have explored
the psychological type profile of participants within fresh expressions suggest that they do not
significantly differ from inherited congregations in terms of reaching thinking types. Two
previous studies, however, have reported higher proportions of thinking types attending
cathedral carol services. The present study among 441 individuals attending the Holly Bough
service in Liverpool Cathedral also found a higher proportion of thinking types among the
participants. These findings suggest that cathedral carol services may be functioning as fresh
expressions of church in a significant way.
CONTRIBUTION: Situated within the science of cathedral studies, rooted in psychological type
theory, and drawing on data from 441 attendees at the Holly Bough service, this study
demonstrates that cathedral services at Christmas are more successful than either inherited
church or fresh expressions of church in reaching thinking types.