Carolyn Kinsman, 24/05/2017
Church Army > web > Be Inspired > Blog > The 1882 Challenge: Why does Church Army keep talking about 1882?

The 1882 Challenge: Why does Church Army keep talking about 1882?

The world is moving forward at a fast pace – digital advances, cultural shifts, the ‘new normal’.. and the next generation, Gen Z, is rising up – the most politically and digitally engaged generation yet. The church can't afford to stand still. 

The Good News and hope of Jesus is as relevant now as it’s ever been so we can’t keep doing everything how we’ve always done it. Church Army is not standing still. We’ve never stood still.

Wison Carlile at his deskBack in the late 19th Century Wilson Carlile (pictured) wasn’t satisfied with doing church how he’d always done it. So he focused not on those “in” the church but sought to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the London slums, with people who weren’t the 'classic churchgoers' of the time. He was on fire with the gospel and this work formed the basis of Church Army. Carlile founded Church Army as a mission agency in partnership with the Church of England in 1882.

So why am I talking about moving forward and reaching people who don’t know Jesus today but then referring back to 1882?

Because Church Army is still living out Wilson Carlile’s vision – taking the Good News of Jesus to places the church isn’t reaching, to people who have little connection with the church, often in deprived areas where people feel forgotten or disenfranchised. Church Army isn’t waiting for people to walk into a church building - we’re going to the places people are and setting up new ways of doing church that make sense to those communities.

I think Wilson Carlile would love to hear that we’re…

  • Investing in young people through Xplore – a free discipleship community, equipping 18-30s to live missionally and evangelistically in their contexts of work, uni, and home life.
  • Through Missional Youth Church Network, a partnership with The Archbishop of York’s Youth Trust, we’re aiming to plant at least 30 youth churches in the north of England over the next five years. This will allow 11-18 year olds to build community and discover faith in Jesus.
  • And we’re supporting 165 young people who self-harm and struggle with mental ill-health at the Amber Project in Cardiff. We’re looking at how we can roll this model of support out across the UK.
1882 Challenge: Challenge yourself. Girl doing backflip

Charities are needed now more than ever but the simple truth is, that without help, many will cease to exist. The COVID-19 pandemic has made it even harder for the marginalised in our society to access basic human rights such as food, shelter and community. Lockdown brought many things to a screaming halt, but Church Army has not been standing still.

This September we’re inviting people like you to take part in the 1882 Challenge and join with Church Army as we support those struggling, invest in the next generation, and leave a legacy of faith.

1882 comes from the year Wilson Carlile founded Church Army. The challenge part is up to you - use your imagination to create a fun, sponsored challenge around the numbers 18, 82… or even 1882! Think making 18 jars of jam, an 82-meter hopscotch, 1882 minutes of running over a week, or eating as many biscuits as possible in 18.82 seconds!

Find out more and be part of the 1882 Challenge.

Hannah Ling


Hannah Ling
28 August 2020
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Hannah is Church Army’s Marketing and Communications Officer. She loves a challenge and a good bit of competitive spirit. In April Hannah took part in the 2.6 Challenge to raise money for Church Army and made 26 different TikTok videos in one day... which was both exhausting and a great deal of fun!



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Hannah Ling, 28/08/2020
Carolyn Kinsman, 24/05/2017