Suffolk Centre Of Mission


Suffolk Centre of Mission in partnership with the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich has a diocese-wide vision for Evangelism and Pioneering. The purpose of the Centre of Mission is to be a hub for evangelism for the diocese involving training others to join in evangelism in a variety of ways and also hands-on evangelism and pioneering, providing a centre where good practice can be seen and shared. The Centre of Mission will work both face to face and online for training and evangelism.

Specifically, the Centre of Mission will:

  • Run Diocesan-wide Evangelism training using Church Army’s Faith Empowered material building on the existing Licensed Lay Evangelist scheme.
  • Lead and model evangelism in South West Ipswich, nurturing fresh expressions amongst groups who are not connecting with the prevalent forms of church.
  • Develop the Pilgrim Together Community, a Lightwave Pioneering Project in a rural part of the diocese, sharing the story of that community and mentoring and encouraging others in evangelism and pioneering to enable the model to be replicated in an appropriately contextual way.
  • Work with the diocesan Mission and Ministry team to develop a Mission Apprentice Programme for young evangelists using Church Army’s Envoy programme.
  • Run one-off, in-person and online events to inspire evangelism and pioneering.
  • Build an evangelism-focussed community around the Centre of Mission consisting of those involved in volunteering and the existing Licensed Lay Evangelists, Lay Pioneers and Mission Apprentices

Update: 28 September 2022

Suffolk Centre of Mission has a bold vision to equip churches for evangelism across the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich. To do this, the three Evangelists; James Hawksworth, Gail Southgate, and Will Abbott are engaging in training people in evangelism and modelling evangelism in particular local settings:

  • James Hawksworth – Pioneer Evangelist South West Ipswich

James is working with a group of 18 young people who have no background in Christianity. A space for reflection and presence is much needed and the group are beginning to explore faith in a way that encourages openness and honesty. This has begun to bear fruit as the young people are beginning to pray and form as a small budding community. James is making partnerships with the local church and Further Education college and also working on opening the doors into the local secondary school. The work in Ipswich forms part of Inspiring Ipswich, a diocesan project with Church Commissioners funding to make new disciples across Ipswich.

  • Gail Southgate – Lightwave Pioneer Evangelist

Gail works within the Lightwave community which is a diocesan wide network of Fresh Expressions where she both leads a Fresh Expression, Pilgrims Together and is developing Envoy as a core part of Evangelism training in the diocese. Pilgrims Together gather to worship both in person and online. As a community they are reaching out to people who are moving into new housing in the village by welcoming them, offering prayer and gifting spider plants. In partnership with the local pub they also meet for Breakfast Rambles and Good News Faith Café where a community is developing with different members leading sessions and discussions about faith.

  • Will Abbott – Lead Evangelist

Will, alongside leading the team, focuses on the network of Licensed Lay Evangelists by training new evangelists using Faith Empowered and working with the Church Army Cluster to build a network of support for evangelism. He also works closely with St Peter’s Stoke Park to build up evangelistic outreach in that part of Ipswich.

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Evangelists & Leaders

Will Abbott

Gail Southgate

James Hawksworth


Diocese of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich

The Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich was founded in 1914 and includes the county of Suffolk, with the exceptions of an area of North East Suffolk around Lowestoft, and one parish in the county of Essex. Serving about 631,000 people living in a geographical area of more than 1,400 square miles, the communities of the diocese are served by 443 parishes within 106 benefices and 16 deaneries.

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