19 September 2012
Church Army launches Mission Community
More than 180 people gathered at St Paul's yesterday for the launch of Church Army's Mission Community.
The initiative aims to open up the work of the Church Army so that more people can be part of their effort to evangelise and impact communities.
The Mission Community aims to be a place where those passionate about evangelism can be resourced and encouraged.
Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said: "Church Army is a gift to the wider Church, serving the gospel, building the Kingdom, specifically by the training and deploying of evangelists to be good news to those beyond the walls of the church.
"I have watched with admiration how Church Army has wrestled with the vocation to a new future as a Mission Community, and applaud the vision to grow an inclusive movement of evangelists, lay and ordained, male and female, full-time and part-time. I am thrilled the new Mission Community can embrace evangelists up and down the land who share the vision and values of Church Army. I pray Church Army can be a home to anyone who has the vocation of the evangelist."
Among the people attending the service were Stephen Cottrell the Bishop of Chelmsford and representative of the Church of England, Bob Gillies the Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney representing the Episcopal Church of Scotland, Ken Clarke the Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh representing the Church of Ireland, and John Davies, the Bishop of Swansea and the Brecon, who represented the Church in Wales.
Part of the service was the welcoming back of 25 people who had left the Church Army on their ordination, and were able to return with the launching of the Mission Community, who were received by a standing ovation.
Another adjacent service was run in Sheffield in Church Army's Wilson Carlile Centre, which was attended by 70 people and led by the Bishop of Dudley, David Walker.
Mark Russell, the Church Army's chief executive, said: "I am really excited! Church Army is opening its doors to many others, and we dream of growing a new mission community committed to the re-evangelisation of the nations.
"If you are passionate about evangelism - come join the party."