A Bright Future for Evangelism
What a joyous celebration! We were warmly welcomed by the Dean and Chapter of Sheffield Cathedral on July 18 for our annual Admitting and Commissioning service. Led by Bishop Tim Thornton and the Venerable Peter Rouch, Chief Executive of Church Army, we witnessed 15 incredible candidates being Admitted to the Office of Evangelist under the authority of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York with each Evangelist receiving their Church Army Commission from Peter Rouch.
This momentous occasion took place in the beautiful Sheffield Cathedral, a true reflection of the connection between Church Army and the Diocese, shared by countless Dioceses across the UK and Ireland. The newly Commissioned Evangelists were surrounded by their loved ones and the Church Army family with the presence of God being tangible throughout the entire service, making it an unforgettable experience. Adding to the joyous atmosphere, Bishop Tim Thornton shared stories about his parents and their time as Church Army Officers and the service was a delightful blend of heartfelt moments and light-hearted humour. The service was infused with the power of the Holy Spirit, which was evident through the prayers and jubilant songs. It truly was a celebration of faith, unity, and the incredible dedication of these newly Commissioned Evangelists.
We spoke to some of the newly Commissioned Evangelists, Bishop Tim Thornton and Peter Rouch our CEO, shortly after the service.
‘It was pretty fantastic! Studying through Covid has meant we have had limited in-person contact with the Church Army Community so for everyone to be here is ace.’ – Kia Macpherson, newly Commissioned CA Evangelist
‘It was moving and it was funny in all the right places. It was fantastic and a wonderful reminder of what Church Army is.’ – Helen Kiralfy, newly Commissioned CA Evangelist
‘It’s been a joyous occasion today, and that’s one of the great things about Church Army, whenever Church Army people gather, there is fun, joy and laughter as well as the reality of the serious business of understanding what God’s calling is about. The other great thing about today is that we’ve commissioned, we’ve admitted a whole new lot of evangelists who are so keen and enthusiastic to get back into their context and go on listening, talking and working with people and trying to discern what God is about and each of them will do that in their own way. I have been so encouraged by today with the work that Church Army does on the margins alongside those who are the least in many ways in the eyes of society but as we know they are the most in the eyes of God.’ – Bishop Tim Thornton
‘The Commissions are at the heart of Church Army…so there is a sense of the continuing call of God. The continuing mission is what we are about and that is being reaffirmed and refreshed at every Admitting and Commissioning service. The service was extraordinary. It’s amazing being in a space or building that has such history and seems so formal but it had such a burst of life, and fun and joy. It was a wonderful mix of form and fun.’ – Peter Rouch, Church Army CEO
We thank God for the privilege of witnessing such a special service at Sheffield Cathedral. Our hearts are full of gratitude and joy as we continue to serve and glorify His name. We look forward to seeing how God will work through our evangelists to help more people feel His love.