Tues 18 July 2023 at 10:30am
Welcome to Commissioning 2023!
Follow the event on social media using #CAEvangelists23
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.
As we come together to celebrate this wonderful occasion, Elli Wort, Head of Initial Training at Church Army, tells us why the day is so important.
“We are so proud to see everyone being Commissioned. This day marks the culmination of years of discerning a vocation and being formed as evangelists.
When they are in training with us, we call our students Evangelists-in-Training: that’s because they are already evangelists when they come to us – it’s God who calls and equips them to be evangelists! But while they are in training with Church Army, they deepen in their faith as a disciple of Christ, learn more about their vocation with Church Army and the Anglican church, and grow in their skills as pioneering evangelists.
Many of those being Commissioned have also completed their Diploma or Certificate of Higher Education in Theology, Mission and Ministry, validated by Durham University under the Church of England’s Common Awards scheme. This is also a huge achievement and is an example of the dedication they all have in growing in their understanding of what it is to be evangelists.”
Meet the 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.
Beautiful North Wales is home to Martha who has three children and two grandchildren. Growing up, Martha attended Sunday school, but it wasn’t until later in life that she had a powerful encounter with God and committed fully to her faith. To her delight, her parents also became devoted Christians not long after. Evangelism comes naturally to Martha – she’s always been passionate about sharing her faith with others. At first, she thought it was just something everyone did, but as she explored it further, she realized it was a special gift from God.
For around ten years, Martha was working in the St. Albans Diocese as Christian Schools Worker, when a colleague suggested she investigate Church Army to discover more about her calling. Coincidentally, she had explored Church Army previously, but the timing wasn’t right. Undeterred, Martha attended a Church Army Discovery Day and found that she felt excited, it ignited her passion and so she began her journey to Admitting and Commissioning. Martha had considered ordination, but her ambition mirrored that of Church Army, to take the Good News beyond the parameters of the four walls of the church, and make Jesus known to those who need Him most.
Coming to the Wilson Carlile Centre and the training has been like a breath of fresh air for Martha, where being part of a cohort has provided her with a deep level of camaraderie and an wonderful sense of belonging. Being part of something so meaningful has been a special experience and though it has not been without its challenges, it is a personal achievement that Martha holds dear. On a vocational level, the endorsement of Church Army will be valuable as Martha continues to share the love of God in a practical way.
Martha is looking forward to the Admitting and Commissioning service and hopes to share the experience with her family and friends, one of whom has been instrumental in helping Martha to discern her calling and continue the path God has created for her to follow. Martha is soon to embark on a mission trip with her daughters, working with orphan children in Africa and hopes the trip will inspire others to explore the gifting of evangelism. After Admitting and Commissioning, Martha hopes to develop some projects and innovative outreach programmes, including a bible garden, in her local community alongside her local parish church.
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.
Collette has lived in Leyton, London for 32 years and she has 3 adult children and a 3-year-old granddaughter. Collette was raised in a Christian household with God being very present in her life. But it wasn’t until her vicar suggested she consider evangelism that she started to explore Church Army. Collette is a dedicated member of her local church who is passionate about lay ministry and she is involved in a meaningful outreach program at a nearby residential care home. But despite her devotion to helping others, she never considered herself an evangelist. In her mind, evangelists were loud and charismatic, like Billy Graham, always focused on winning souls. Her natural talent for pastoral care came second nature to her, and it wasn’t until she began Church Army training that she learned that being an evangelist is not just about preaching the gospel, but about showing God’s love to everyone around her. She realised that her years of caring for people pastorally was all part of her unique gift of evangelism.
For Collette, the training has been a wonderful experience and the practical skills she has learned have been immediately useful. It has enabled her to connect what she has learned with what she is doing out in the community and has been relevant it every context she works in. For Collette, finding Church Army and being involved in training was like finding a new beloved family of people who really care. It is a place where you feel good about being who you are and the training gives you the tools to empower you to be the best version of yourself and share your gifts with others, encouraging them to do the same. For Collette, Church Army training has given her both head and heart knowledge, an ability to carry out God’s calling by having compassion and meeting people on a practical level and draw alongside them wherever they are.
Admitting and Commissioning is of great importance to Collette as it validates her calling as an evangelist and confirms that she is following the right path. It also holds special significance for her, as she comes from a family of evangelists who dedicated her and her twin brother to serving God from birth. Collette is humbled by the gift of evangelism God has given her and feels a sense of purpose in carrying out His work outside the church. Joining Church Army has been a source of joy for Collette, and she is grateful for God’s unwavering support.
Collette’s valuable community work will continue after Admitting and Commissioning. She hopes to create a project that sends mobile teams of evangelists to areas where people may be experiencing difficult events and providing them with comfort through God’s love.
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!
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.
Meet Heidi, a music teacher and Mission and Family Development worker for a group of local churches on Dartmoor, South Devon, England, where she shares her home with her daughter Allanah. Her journey to becoming a Christian started when she joined the church choir as a child, and continued as she attended church with her family. It was a documentary on John Wesley that ultimately inspired her to embrace Christianity. When Wesley described feeling his heart ‘strangely warmed’ by the Holy Spirit, Heidi realised this was something that she wanted too.
Heidi felt a calling to ministry at the age of seventeen but spent many years trying to avoid it. Many years later, she decided to start looking into what she felt she was being called to do. She contacted a local vicar to talk about it, she was confused as she felt called to ministry but also knew in her heart that ordination wasn’t the right path for her. Heid was put in touch with a vocations director who asked her to describe her perfect type of church and ministry, and as she did this, his face lit up and he said, ‘You’re describing Church Army!’. Feeling inspired and keen to know more, she attended a Discovery Day and immediately Heidi knew Church Army was the right place for her.
Heidi’s training experience has been wonderful! Each module and assignment has been easy to relate to her work and goals. The program has given her a new perspective on evangelism, uncovering a unique method she has been gifted with all her life. Through it all, Heidi has received unwavering support and encouragement, allowing her to develop her existing skills and discern which evangelism approach would work best in any given situation. She’s learnt that gentle evangelism is every bit as impactful as the more obvious charismatic kind. As a significant milestone, Admitting and Commissioning is important to Heidi. Being formally recognised gives her the confidence to push open more doors with her ministry, while drawing alongside and collaborating with other ministerial roles within her community. She has also become an enthusiastic advocate for the work of Church Army.
After Admitting and Commissioning, Heidi will continue her work as Mission and Family Development worker. She will then listen to God and be led by the Holy Spirit, confident in her ability to continue bringing the love of God to others.
Julie and her husband live in north Manchester with their dog Charlie and have four children and three grandchildren between them. Julie’s journey as a follower of Christ began at just 7 years old, inspiring her family to join her – perhaps this was the earliest demonstration of Julie’s evangelistic heart! However, as Julie became a teenager, she felt herself at odds with the church after seeing some disruptive children turned away. Even then at the age of 14, Julie had compassion for the lost.
Having turned away from God for a time, Julie sadly found herself broken and living in fear. In desperate need of healing, she felt drawn back to God and found solace in a local church. The sense of peace she experienced was overwhelming, leading her to give her life anew to God. With time, Julie’s inner peace and healing transformed into a deep passion to help others. From her own experience, she knew that God could heal brokenness and make anyone whole again. Julie wanted everyone to know the power of faith and how it had transformed her life.
Julie has worked with many people who want to follow Jesus but feel lost when they go to church with services often being difficult for them to understand. Feeling led by the Holy Spirit, Julie began a small church plant with the vision of creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for anyone with mental health issues, additional needs, or no church experience who wants to know Jesus. It was at an Urban Estate Ministry Day when Julie explained her vision for the church plant to someone who recommended Church Army. She enrolled on a Discovery Day and it was there that she knew she found her calling. Though she started her church plant without any formal training, her heartfelt connection to the Holy Spirit led her to Church Army and a new journey.
Through the training, Julie has grown and gained confidence, allowing her to use her testimony as a gift, creating connections with others. For Julie the journey to Admitting and Commissioning has been a wonderful one, it gives her affirmation of her calling and exciting opportunities to create a deeper level of fellowship. She has been given new tools and insights on how to engage with others. After Admitting and Commissioning, Julie hopes to continue developing her church plant with the local community and deepen relationships with other churches. Join her in prayer for inspiring others to join her in leadership and deepen their connections with the church.
Kia is currently living in Hull in the north of England with her husband Aian and their two children. Aian serves as the vicar at our local church, where Kia also plays a vital role in running various impactful community projects. From organising the food bank to nurturing a community of passionate volunteers, Kia is making a real difference in the lives of those around her.
But Kia’s journey to faith was not always easy. Growing up, she didn’t come from a Christian household. However, some school friends introduced her to the world of church, which initially felt unfamiliar and somewhat exclusive. It wasn’t until Kia was 14 and attended an ecumenical youth camp, generously funded by a Baptist church, that she fully embraced Christianity. As Kia began university, she began to sense the hand of God guiding her path. Time in America, as part of her course, proved to be pivotal. Kia joined a mission trip led by fellow students to the challenging streets of Chicago’s ghetto. This experience had a profound impact on Kia and changed her future.
Years later, Kia followed a strong calling to the Church of England. She embarked on a journey to explore different paths, seeking guidance from her husband who suggested she consider the Church Army. On attending a Discovery Day, she stepped into the Wilson Carlile Centre, and felt like she had found her rightful place – a true sense of home. During that Discovery Day, Kia encountered a wonderful group of like-minded individuals who would become her companions in training. Some of them will even be Admitted and Commissioned alongside her in the upcoming ceremony.
Kia’s training has been nothing short of life-giving. Through the process of formation, she has discovered a new way of thinking and being that will extend beyond her training. Every aspect of her studies has been relevant to her ministry and personal growth. The course has equipped her with valuable knowledge and skills that directly impact her ministry and igniting in her a deeper desire to question and understand scripture, using it in meaningful ways to help others.
The experience of Admitting and Commissioning holds great significance for Kia, it is an affirmation that she is exactly where she should be. It has also provided her with the opportunity to connect with and engage her supportive community, who have encouraged Kia throughout her training. Following Admitting and Commissioning, God has revealed many projects for Kia to focus on in her current ministry and community. This includes writing and releasing a vlog, which she would appreciate prayer support for as she navigates the next stages. Alongside these endeavours, Kia is eager to become an advocate for Church Army, using her voice to make a difference.
Meet Joanne, who lives with her husband, three daughters and her dog Bailey in a village near Hull in Yorkshire. As a hospital chaplain, Joanne’s heart overflows with compassion and joy for others. Religion was a familiar presence in Joanne’s childhood home. Her mother was a Christian, but Joanne was always encouraged to explore her own path. One pivotal moment came when Joanne was just 14 years old. She was offered a spot on a successful hockey team, but there was a catch – the team played on Sunday mornings, conflicting with church. Joanne made a courageous choice, she decided to prioritise her relationship with Jesus and continue worshiping on Sunday mornings alongside her mother. This defining moment set Joanne on a path to follow Jesus wholeheartedly.
Years later, Joanne began working as a pharmacy technician for the NHS but felt a strong calling to serve in a more hands-on approach and joined Youth for Christ as a volunteer Youth Worker. It ignited a passion within Joanne to help those in need in a more direct way and she made the brave decision to take a part-time role within the NHS to allow her to work for Hull City Council as a Youth Worker. Evangelism has always been something Joanne has done, sharing Jesus’s love to people is one of her passions but the dynamics of showing God’s love in a practical way is something that comes naturally to Joanne.
Joanne was exploring how to grow her passion for evangelism and ministry and was encouraged by her then vicar at St. Aidan’s Church in Southcoates. She attended a Church Army Discovery Day and it was exactly what she was looking for. Initially, Joanne was concerned about the academic side of training but soon found that she was unlocking her potential and everything she studied was valuable and practical. It has been a real confidence boost and an affirming experience for Joanne. Joining her cohort, she discovered a community that understood and shared her beliefs, confirming her own unique approach to evangelism. Being Admitted and Commissioned fills Joanne with a sense of affirmation, assuring her that she is on the right path, following Jesus as she was meant to. This affirmation will give her the confidence needed to serve people she encounters through chaplaincy and church in the most impactful way possible. Now a hospital chaplain, Joanne feels the training compliments her work perfectly, allowing her to connect with people and show them the love of God in practical ways.
Joanne’s journey continues as she embraces her calling as a hospital chaplain. In the midst of her ministry, she remains open to the guiding voice of God. Recently joining St. Matthews Church, Withernsea, she eagerly anticipates discovering how she can serve Him through her church. Let’s support Joanne on this joyous path of faith and service!
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.
Neil Obbard is the Lead Evangelist at the Leeds Centre of Mission and husband to Tina. With two grown up sons, Neil’s life has been full of adventure and challenges. Though Tina has been a Christian for a long time, Neil’s journey to faith was more unexpected. While serving in the British Army for 25 years – including stints in Northern Ireland, Iraq, Bosnia, and Kosovo – Neil had no intention of becoming involved with Christianity. It wasn’t until a Mothers’ Union holiday that his life took a transformative turn. Struggling with PTSD, Neil stumbled upon a reflection service where a passage from Matthew 11:28 (‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest’ NIV) spoke directly to his weary heart. In that moment, Neil encountered Jesus for the first time and began his journey.
When Neil felt called by the Holy Spirit to revisit a Christian Festival, he knew he was being called to a new opportunity, but what he didn’t know was how that would look or that it would be with Church Army. He applied for a job at the Leeds Centre of Mission and his military background and training proved to be the perfect foundation to connect with young people in Seacroft, Leeds.
The training with Church Army has provided Neil with the credibility to confidently say that he is part of an incredible organisation, whilst providing more opportunities for him. Church Army is known for important work and becoming a Commissioned Evangelist means you’ve gone through the rigorous training that comes with it. Initially, Neil was worried about balancing work at the Centre of Mission with the training, but the flexibility of the program and the different assessment and learning methods made him feel encouraged and supported throughout the process. Not only has the training taught him new skills, but it has also helped him develop his existing ones and given him the ability to problem-solve on a deeper level. The relationships Neil has established with his cohort have been wonderful as they form a deep sense of camaraderie and fellowship – providing him with a sustainable network of support and expertise.
For Neil, Admitting and Commissioning will allow a deeper relationship with God as he feels he will be more accountable to Him. James 3:1 (NIV) ‘Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.’ has important meaning for Neil as he approaches the service. After Commissioning, Neil will continue and develop his wonderful work at the Leeds Centre of Mission whilst listening to God.
Growing up in Peckham, London with her parents and four siblings, Miranda was blessed to be raised in a home filled with love, laughter, faith and a deep respect for the Lord our God. Her family was always supportive of each other and encouraged them to pursue their passions and fulfil their God-given purpose. Now, as an adult living in the bustling capital, she continues to carry that same joyful spirit with her everywhere she goes.
Miranda’s childhood dream was to become a nurse, knowing from a young age that her calling was to serve and care for people in a physical way. After training and becoming a nurse, she specialised in midwifery and worked as a health visitor in the community. Her experience has taught her how to care for people during every stage of life. Life took an exciting turn for Miranda after a mission trip to St. Vincent and the Grenadines with USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel). Upon returning, her incumbent suggested that she visit a vocational fair in the diocese, and that’s where she first discovered the amazing work of Church Army. She was inspired by Church Army’s mission to take the church to people who need it most in the community. Eager to learn more, Miranda visited local Centres of Mission and applied for training, beginning her journey towards Commissioning.
Miranda was overjoyed to be selected for training and is immensely grateful to the Holy Spirit for guiding her throughout the selection process. During the training, she gained invaluable skills and knowledge that she can apply to help her community. It was a humbling experience for Miranda, and from a spiritual perspective, it is everlasting. She has gained a new outlook and understanding that bringing the Gospel to people where they are can have a profound impact, and she’s excited to continue in her ministry with the tools she has gained. It has been a liberating and enlightening experience that Miranda will treasure.
Admitting and Commissioning for Miranda is recognition of her God-given passion for evangelism and affirmation that she is fulfilling her purpose as an apostle for Christ. As she becomes a Commissioned Church Army Evangelist, she will be equipped with new opportunities to serve God in even more impactful ways. For Miranda being part of a like-hearted community with a shared mission of carrying out God’s will is a wonderful feeling. Though her journey has already been momentous, Miranda’s work in serving God is only just beginning! As she takes time to reflect, she will be listening for God’s calling to guide her toward her mission to serve Christ and make a profound impact on the world!
Meet Andrena, an incredible individual who lives in Oxford and dedicates her time and energy as a Church outreach worker for the United Reformed Church, Wessex Synod. With a burning zeal for sharing the gospel, Andrena embraces the opportunity to connect with individuals of diverse backgrounds and beliefs, welcoming everyone into inspiring conversations and actions.
Andrena made a bold decision in her early teens to leave her family’s church, where she was the only young person, and join a vibrant community at the local Baptist Church. She was drawn to their Girls’ Brigade program and the many young people attending. As a member of the church youth group, Andrena had the opportunity to participate in various events, including Billy Graham’s LIFE mission in 1989. It was during this mission that she made a personal commitment to her faith. As the years passed, Andrena’s passion for ministry grew stronger. She dedicated her time to volunteering as a Girls’ Brigade Leader and Sunday school teacher. Eventually, she felt a clear and undeniable calling to pursue ministry herself. Since 2009, Andrena has been fully immersed in her work, serving as a Church Family Worker, Youth Worker, and Youth and Community Minister in different churches.
In 2015, Andrena’s journey with Church Army began when she crossed paths with Sister Gill Martin during a Diocesan run Mission Shaped Ministry course. As she contemplated her own calling, Andrena’s enthusiasm grew after attending a Discovery Day. From that moment on, she couldn’t stop smiling and she eagerly embraced the opportunity to delve into their training. To her delight, Andrena was appointed as a Pioneer Evangelist in the Hackney Centre of Mission, a tremendous blessing for her to serve in this role while also receiving formal training for her ministry. In her work, Andrena focused on connecting with young people who were unfamiliar with the church. Today, Andrena works in Oxford and is an active member of the Oxford Cluster and the CA Mission Community, advocating for Church Army during diocesan discernment events. Andrena’s passion for sharing God’s love is contagious, and her commitment to share the gospel shines through in all that she does.
Andrena is eagerly anticipating her commission and admission as a Church Army Evangelist. She is incredibly grateful to everyone who has supported her during her training. With the help of those supporters and God she hopes to continue to make a positive impact on others through her ministry.
After Admitting and Commissioning, she will carry on her important work at Collinwood Road URC in Risinghurst. In addition, she will have the opportunity to collaborate with Holy Trinity Headington Quarry and St Mary’s Barton in ecumenical endeavours. Andrena is truly excited to carry on the mission that Church Army’s founder Wilson Carlile started – reaching out to those who may feel lost in our society.
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.
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
Class of 2021
Jenny Falcon Otero
Class of 2020
Meet THE TUTORS
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!
HEAD OF INITIAL TRAINING
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
CEO OF Church Army
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