Admitting & Commissioning 2023

Tues 18 July 2023 at 10:30am @ Sheffield Cathedral


Watch Church Army’s annual Commissioning celebration! Join the class of ’23 as they are Commissioned as Church Army Evangelists and Admitted to the Office of Evangelist.

Bishop Tim Thornton, previously Bishop of Truro and then Bishop at Lambeth will be admitting our new Evangelists this year. Tim is the Episcopal Visitor for the Church Army Mission Community, has served as a Board member for CA, and many will be aware that his parents were both CA evangelists; so CA is very much his heritage and his joy.
The pandemic has kept people away from this service over recent years, but we hope that this year those that felt unable to attend over the last few years will come again. We have moved the service back to Sheffield Cathedral, in part, to enable us to encourage more of the Church Army family to attend. In previous years Admitting & Commissioning has provided a wonderful opportunity for CA people to reconnect with each other and to reaffirm their own commissioning and promises amongst the gathered CA community. We very much hope that it can provide such a space once again.

Meet the Evangelists

Class of 2023

As we approach 18 July, we would like to introduce you to each of the Evangelists-in-Training who will be part of the Admitting and Commissioning service at Sheffield Cathedral. It will be a joyous occasion for all and you can get to know each of them a little better by reading about their personal journey, as well as what exciting plans they have for serving God in the future. Let’s come together to encourage this group of extraordinary individuals as they share their faith as Church Army Evangelists.


Read about Jo here

Jo Miller lives in Londonderry with her husband Ernest and her 9-year-old son James. Through her local Presbyterian church Jo became a Christian at age 7 after a trip to girls’ camp, but after meeting her husband Jo felt the calling of the Church of Ireland. This is where she really found her heart for evangelism and ministry; by getting involved with Sunday school, becoming a church warden and starting mission events from church. It was clear that evangelism had become very dear to her heart.

In 2016, ‘The Year of Opportunity’ declared by their Bishop, gave Jo the chance to take ministry outside the church doors into the wider community. Jo became part of an incredible initiative called ‘Another Chance’ – a charity shop and café with an inspiring mission to bring together two segregated communities in Londonderry. Sitting in what is known as the interface area between Protestant and Roman Catholic estates, during The Troubles it would have been unthinkable for people from either side of this divide to mix – but now ‘Another Chance’ is helping foster love through practical help and it is growing with services like Messy Church sessions, stay & play groups, and The Sanctuary which is an inviting warm space for people – all made possible by meeting real needs within their community whilst allowing God’s light to shine into difficult places!

Jo was looking for a way to make her ministry, and the development of ‘Another Chance’ even stronger; something that would help foster closer relationships with God and local people. Though ordination didn’t seem like an ideal solution, she searched for another option – one which could support her current ministry, as well as further develop their church. She came across Church Army whilst searching online and it was evident: Church Army encompassed all the values & aspirations that Jo was looking for. Jo applied and it was clear that she had the heart and enthusiasm of a Church Army Evangelist.

As Jo approaches the Admitting and Commissioning service, let us take a moment to celebrate her incredible journey. For Jo, the training has been an invaluable experience providing meaningful and practical tools that have equipped her with the skills needed for ministry in Londonderry as well as skills of encouragement to boost church participation with God’s love. With each step forward along this path, it has become more evident that being a Church Army Evangelist is exactly what God had planned all along for Jo! On top of providing recognition for Jo’s work, Admitting and Commissioning also brings about an exciting personal milestone, validating everything she has done as part of his divine plan! Through the Admitting and Commissioning of Jo, recognition is awarded not only towards the work already done but also all yet-to-come; affirming that being an evangelist is incredibly valuable and important when serving In Our Lord’s name. It confirms that evangelism truly is where God intended her to be!

After Admitting and Commissioning, Jo intends to continue building on the wonderful work going on in her community and developing Another Chance even further whilst listening to God. One of her ambitions is to raise the profile of Church Army. Jo says ‘I want to raise the CA profile in all of the churches in my area so that everyone knows about the amazing opportunities available and what that can mean for others.

Steven Grasham

Read about Steve here

Steve Grasham lives in Geashill in charming County Offaly, Ireland. He and his wife Fran live and work in the community, where Fran serves as the local church minister. Though his roots are in Hull, England, Steven has been living in Ireland for 6 years. He has two grown up children, Katherine and Joe, who live in England. He currently works for the Church of Ireland Youth Department, helping support youth ministry throughout the Republic of Ireland.

As a former primary school teacher, Steven’s passion for youth ministry and teaching has evolved and he became involved with the Aurora Training initiative. This certificate course equips youth and children’s ministry volunteers with the confidence and skills they need to make a difference in children and young people’s lives. After moving to Ireland, Steven noticed a lack of formal training in youth work and so he started Aurora in Ireland. Steven adapted the course material to fit within the Church of Ireland. It was a lot of hard work, but the results have been incredible, and his evangelistic heart shines through in this well-received initiative.

Steven’s journey towards becoming a commissioned CA evangelist began with a chat with Alan Williamson (CA Evangelist). Seeking validation for his lay ministry and recognition in Ireland, Steven discovered the discernment process as his right path. Steven has always believed in the importance of lay ministry and by becoming an advocate through his Admitting and Commissioning, he hopes to inspire others to follow in his footsteps. Throughout his training, Steven has enjoyed learning and gaining new insights. But what’s even more valuable is learning how to put things into practice in context.

Wherever Steven has lived in the UK and Ireland, CA has always had a presence, doing good in the name of God. When he learned that the Admitting and Commissioning service would be held at Sheffield Cathedral, he was really pleased. This event is a major milestone for Steven, and a celebration of all the EiTs being Admitted and Commissioned and Church Army itself. Steven says ‘The fact that the Admitting and Commissioning service is being held at Sheffield Cathedral is important to me as it brings the wonderful work of CA to the city of Sheffield more broadly. I am really looking forward to the service, it is one of those significant markers on the journey of life’.

After his Admission and Commissioning, Steven will continue to spread positivity and enthusiasm through his work in Youth ministry for the Church of Ireland, while keeping his ears open for God’s next call. He is keen to become an advocate for the growth and development of Church Army and lay ministry throughout Ireland. Join us as we cheer Steven on as he embarks on this next chapter with passion and purpose!

Robson Rodrigues

Read about Robson here

Robson Rodrigues lives in Crossmolina, a small village in County Mayo, Ireland with his wife Emma and two children Kristen and Aaron and they have lived there for 6 years. Although the village is small it is big in community spirit and Robson who has a heart for mission and community, is a volunteer at the Ballina Centre of Mission, building bridges in the local community, and actively working with the Church of Ireland parish in Foxford. Robson is a Brazilian futsal and Football coach and uses these skills to make connections with the community through sports.

Originally from Brazil, as a teenager Robson, spent his days surfing and enjoying the sunshine, but he felt a something was missing. After accompanying a friend to a bible study group, he experienced a transformative moment that left him feeling like a new person. God spoke to him in a simple but powerful way, filling him with joy and a desire to know Jesus. Bible college followed for Robson and he discovered his passion for mission work, he had found what was missing from his life. He went on to embark on many missions and later met his wife Emma, also a CA Evangelist.

When Robson was living in Cork, Ireland, he discovered Church Army through some local church leaders. Intrigued, he attended an introduction event and was captivated by the passion, commitment, and vision. Church Army aligns with Robson’s belief that church is about demonstrating love and support to those in need, showing them the unconditional love of God. With Church Army, Robson found a community committed to showing love and support to those in need.

Robson has found the training for Admitting and Commissioning to be a wonderful experience. As he is still learning the English language, he faced challenges learning in a new language and culture but with the support and guidance from Church Army, he overcame those hurdles and his learning journey has been a truly enriching experience. It is a huge achievement for Robson and the sense of community he’s gained from this training has been invaluable and has given him a deep sense of belonging. As he prepares for the service, Robson views this as an opportunity to commit himself to the work of Christ. Church Army’s vision to share Jesus’ love with those in need resonates deeply with Robson and he feels privileged to be a part of it.

After Admitting and Commissioning Robson will continue to live out his faith by helping others and growing in his spirituality and continue his work in the community and will be establishing pioneering work in the Ballinlough Parish amongst the Brazilian community, in cooperation with the Bishop of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh, the Rt Revd Ferran Glenfield.

Mike Dare

Read about Mike here

Mike is originally a Londoner who has lived all over the UK, including the Scottish Highlands and Glasgow. It was there that he met his lovely wife, Claire, and together they now call Wales home, where they share their lives with their dog, Evangeline. Named after the beautiful meaning “Good News,” Evangeline has become an amazing icebreaker for Mike to chat about his faith with others.

Being part of the mission community, Mike has been involved with Church Army for a long time and in 2017, over a period of about 6 months, God started speaking to Mike very clearly about Church Army and his calling. It wasn’t until 2 years later that Mike began working at the Medway Centre of Mission. He has now worked for Church Army for 4 years, currently as the Lead Evangelist at the Haverfordwest Centre of Mission. Through a passage in the Bible during a church service, Mike felt God calling him to training to enable him to see and understand things from other perspectives. This calling prompted him to apply for discernment and it has been one of the best things he has ever done.

Mike’s experience with Church Army training has been a joyful journey. Being part of a network of like-hearted individuals has been a tremendous source of encouragement for him. Although evangelism, pioneering, and leadership can be challenging, the training, support, and network of people have equipped him for the journey. Throughout the training, Mike felt a real sense of togetherness a feeling of being part of something great. Unlike some other academic training, Church Army training embraces your existing skills, teaches you new ones, and shows you how to utilise them to benefit others. It’s an experience that fosters group unity and creates another layer of fellowship. Above all, the training has highlighted to Mike that if God is in it, then things will be brilliant.

As Mike prepares for the Admitting and Commissioning service, he has taken time to pause and reflect on the incredible journey he’s been on in the last five years. Through God’s guidance and support, he’s developed his talents and gained valuable knowledge and skills that have helped him become the person he is today. For Mike, this upcoming service represents a meaningful confirmation from the Holy Spirit that he’s on the right path, and he’s grateful for the opportunity to celebrate this important milestone with the Church Army family.

Mike’s dream job as an evangelist allows him to share the love of God with his community. He feels a strong sense of purpose in fulfilling this role, he feels it is what he was designed to do. Mike is committed to continuing to bring the love of God to his local community and after Commissioning, Mike will continue to work towards bringing faith to more people, improving lives, and rejoicing in the glory of God through evangelism and mission.

Helen Kiralfy

Read about Helen here

Helen lives in Kent with her husband Roger where she is the Lead Evangelist at the Medway Centre of Mission. They have three grown up children and a Grandson Benjamin, who is eighteen months old. Helen was born in Lancashire but moved to the Wirral when she was seven. Although not from a faith family, Sunday school was a regular activity as a child, but Liverpool FC was the first thing Helen worshipped.

At 17, Helen reluctantly joined her best friend at a Christian Union meeting and church, feeling like she had yet to encounter God. However, it was during a Mission England weekend in Liverpool that she met Jesus and her life changed forever. Despite doubts, she became a devoted Christian. Helen went to university where she met her husband Roger, but she felt disappointed with her university course. Together they moved around the country a little before they settled in Kent. It was there that Helen, and a friend were presented with an opportunity to join a missional community in Chatham. It was through this mission community that she became involved as a volunteer with Church Army. With the encouragement of CA Evangelist Stephen Ramshaw, she attended a Church Army Discovery Day. Searching for a way to better serve her community, Helen promised to explore all opportunities with Church Army and was delighted to find the door wide open. 

Becoming involved with Church Army has been a transforming experience for Helen, she feels accepted, valued, and loved for who she truly is. Helen has discovered through Church Army that she was already an evangelist, and the training has given her the confidence and expertise to use her skills in different settings. Although Helen once struggled with her confidence due to a disappointing university experience, the supportive cohort of evangelists and the exceptional training have provided her with a much-needed boost of self-confidence and belief. As she looks forward to the Admitting and Commissioning service, Helen anticipates a tremendous day surrounded by loved ones and the meaningful presence of God. The occasion will be a crowning accomplishment, underscoring Helen’s sense of purpose.

Helen feels she is exactly where God wants her to be, changing lives and having a positive impact on the people of Medway and surrounding areas. After Admitting and Commissioning, Helen will continue her work as Lead Evangelist at Medway Centre of Mission using her skills and knowledge in the local community to help change lives, whilst remaining open to explore whatever God puts in her path.

Karen Saunders

Read about Karen here

Karen and her husband have two sons and four grandchildren and they live in Abbey Wood, in the London borough of Greenwich. Growing up, Karen’s family was deeply involved in the church and faith played an essential role in their lives but there was a period when Karen thought God was no longer present in her life until she rediscovered her faith through Church Army. 

Karen’s teenage son was actively involved in the local community attending several youth clubs, but an unexpected illness changed their lives overnight. When he was able to return to the youth clubs he enjoyed, Karen was disappointed to find that most of the clubs were unable to accommodate his needs.  Feeling desperate, Karen was delighted when a youth club led by a Church Army Evangelist refused to give up and instead looked for a way to be able to welcome her son once again. Karen becoming a volunteer at the youth club was suggested by the Church Army Evangelist and allowed her son to re-join his friends at youth club. Through this demonstration of love and support, Church Army became a beacon of hope for Karen and her family and reignited her faith and showed her that God works in even the toughest times.

Karen became more involved with Church Army, creating positive change in the community and helping everyone everywhere to encounter God’s love. She developed her skills in working with young people and helping them connect with their faith. Karen initially struggled with identifying herself as an evangelist, believing that they were people who preached to others. But her burning desire to work with young people and help them explore their faith encouraged her to start the training process.

Karen has found the training to be a humbling experience, developing strong relationships with her cohort and gaining valuable practical skills to work with young people and leading her to accept that sharing Jesus’ love through her approach and actions is her own wonderful way of evangelism. The Admitting and Commissioning service is a milestone for Karen, recognising four years of hard work, dedication, and achievement. It equips her with the tools and confidence to go out into the world and share her faith in a meaningful way.

After Commissioning, Karen intends to continue working with young people in Abbey Wood, where there’s a dire need for help on every level. For Karen, her calling is to help the young people she encounters, feel God’s love and understand their importance to Him. 

Class of 2022

Sharon Deeming

Siân John

Chloë Sheppard

Allison Worrall

Class of 2021

Jane Duckitt

Marian Edwards Church Army

Marian Edwards

Jenny Falcon Otero

Jenny Falcon Otero

Matt Gould

Matt Gould

Amy Hayes

Jo Leslie

Paul Ogunyemi

Vee Pinto

Maria Seaman

Class of 2020

Judith Bawtree

Elaine Smith

Pete Tomkinson

Pete Tomkinson

Andy Wilson

Cherith Withington


Church Army’s tutors are experienced practitioners and theological educators. It’s their job not just to introduce our Evangelists-in-Training to the wider theory and practice of evangelism, but to also form their development as leaders in their churches. Between them, the tutors’ specialise in creating new worshipping communities and Fresh Expressions of church, contextual missiology, church history, personal and corporate spiritual disciplines, leading worship and much much more!

Elli Wort


Overseeing the training of our 34 Evangelists-in-Training (EiTs), and tutor to 6 EiTs.

This year, I’ve especially loved visiting EiTs in their context, to see them putting their learning into practice.

Beth Burras

Formation LEad & Tutor

Overseeing the development and formation of EiTs, enabling them to reflect on their growth, and tutor to 7 EiTs.

I’ve really enjoyed sitting with EiTs over coffee and journeying with them as they continually discern their vocation with Church Army.

Tim Woolley

Module Lead & Tutor

Overseeing the delivery and evaluation of our teaching modules, and tutor to 5 EiTs.

A highlight for me this year has been joining in with the stimulating conversations EiTs have about theology and practice on our tutor group WhatsApp.

Alan Williamson

Alan Williamson

Regional Training Lead & Tutor

Developing training on the island of Ireland, and tutor to 6 EiTs.

It’s been great seeing seeing past students coming to training weekends to speak to current students, and seeing how EiTs learn from them.

Mel Hartley


Teaching modules (including Creating New Communities), coordinating worship at training weekends, and tutor to 5 EiTs.

A highlight for me has been enabling EiTs to lead worship at training weekends, and sharing with them in worship.



Teaching modules (including Mission and Evangelism), coordinating chaplains at training weekends, and tutor to 5 EiTs.

I especially love hearing EiTs’ stories and reflections on their learning.

Liz Bentley


Helping EiTs access our library of 15,000 theological books, journals and articles.

This year, it’s been really nice chatting with our EiTs in the library about books they have enjoyed reading.

Jo Spink


Looking after EiTs’ travel to training weekends, booking accommodation, and liaising with the conference team at WCC.

This year, we did a drumming fundraiser to ‘Drum up support’ for Church Army, and I really enjoyed drumming with the EiTs in the Quad!

Andrew Wooding


Looking after Moodle (our online learning hub) and providing learning resources for training weekends.

I am a member of Sheffield Cluster and it is great when EiTs come a bit early for their training weekends, and join us in our Cluster meetings.

Meet Your HostS

Bishop Tim Thornton

Bishop Tim Thornton

Peter Rouch, CEO OF Church Army

Peter Rouch

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a commissioning service?

A Church Army Commissioning Service is a celebration of the completion of Church Army Training as well as recognition of those being commissioned also being admitted to the Office of Evangelist.

What is a Church Army evangelist?

Once an individual has successfully completed their training as a Church Army Evangelist, they will be admitted to the Office of Evangelist. A Church Army Evangelist is recognised for ministry by the Church of England and other Anglican Provinces.

Can I train to become an Evangelist?

If you feel called to share the Gospel and serve the poor, you could be called to be a Church Army Evangelist. We will help you discern your calling, equip you with training and study, and help you follow where God is leading you. Church Army training is part of the preparation for being commissioned as a Church Army Evangelist and recognised for ministry by the Church of England and other Anglican Provinces.

Are you Built Different?

At Church Army, we don’t fit into any box. We’re called by God to serve the poor and share the gospel. If you feel called to leadership within the church but not sure how, you’re invited to our Discover Events.

Find an event near you