Carolyn Kinsman, 03/11/2017
Church Army > web > Get Involved > Christmas Appeal

Will you bring joy to our world this Christmas?

For Sharon, Darryll and Oliver, life on the Mereside estate in Blackpool was hard. Life truly hit rock bottom with the devastating news that Sharon’s mum was dying of cancer.

Through this tragedy the family met Church Army evangelist-in-training Pete Tomkinson and his wife Rev Linda, who have planted Freedom Church Mereside on the estate. Thanks to Pete and Linda’s witness the whole family have come to faith and found real joy.

Sharon says, “I feel so much joy, I feel so ecstatic about God, it’s just so amazing the way you feel. I was quite miserable but coming to church and feeling so loved by God, I just feel so happy.”

Away from the glitz of Blackpool's iconic illuminations, the social problems on estates like Mereside are easy to see. 

Blackpool now ranks as the ninth most deprived local authority in England. Family breakdown is at an all-time high, with one in every 66 children in care. But, growing up in foster care is precisely what drives Pete’s passion for evangelism.

“Having grown up in Blackpool in the care system, I found life quite difficult. Having come out the other side and becoming a Christian, I feel this need to tell people who have come from a similar background to me about this joy that I have” says Pete.


This year 8 people from Mereside have come to faith and have been baptised. Freedom Church Mereside has grown from 5 people to 25 in just 18 months. God is good!

The Good News is for all people

Church Army has never shied away from challenging situations. We run to the tough neighbourhoods so that everyone everywhere can hear this Good News of great joy.

This year we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of people training as Church Army evangelists. And, many of our previously commissioned evangelists work on challenging urban estates where there is little or no church presence. But, we have a vision to do so much more.

That’s where you come in!

It costs us £3,500 per year to train an evangelist and the process takes either two or four years - costing Church Army up to £14,000.

Can you be a part of raising an ambitious £28,000 to pay for two evangelists like Pete to train for four years, so more people can be released to work in deprived communities, grow churches and lead people to Christ?

It's so simple and easy to donate by either:

Texting JTOW17 £5 or £10 to 70070
Calling our fundraising team on 0300 123 2113

Following the link below to donate online.

Joy to our world yellow


A gift from you means we can train more people like Pete, to bring the Good News to families like Sharon and Darryll’s. Thank you.