Moving in Mission - Centres of Mission q & A
Church Army’s first centres of mission were established in 2008. We now have a total of 24 centres of mission across the UK and Ireland – and many more on the horizon. We speak to Church Army’s National Operations Manager, Neville Willerton, to discover how they are bringing adults and children to a living faith:
How is a centre of mission born?
It begins with a bishop or senior member of the diocesan team getting in touch with Church Army when they need support with outreach in an area of their diocese. Sometimes, they’ve also seen a drop in the number of church-goers, especially young people. Either me or another member of the Operations Team goes to visit the area to get a real feel of that community; its people, streets, buildings and so on. We then dream, pray and brainstorm together on the most innovative and relevant ways to reach out to that community.
Is a centre of mission a physical building?
No, it isn’t. Church Army has always been about reaching outside the walls of the church to meet people where they’re at. The advantage of this is that we’re not tied down to a single area, but are free to move around and be responsive to people living in different areas of the diocese.
What exactly is the role of Church Army within a diocese?
On one side of the River Thames in London stands St Paul’s Cathedral, an important symbol of spirituality and historic Christian faith. On the other side, the Tate Modern represents contemporary culture. The Millennium Bridge links the two together. I like to think of Church Army as having the same role as the bridge – a link between the church and its community.
How many evangelists are there in each centre?
Normally there are two evangelists in every centre of mission, a lead evangelist and a pioneer evangelist. This way, we stay true to the Biblical model – Jesus didn’t send out disciples as individuals but two by two, so they could encourage and learn from each other.
You can see where our centres of mission are located and what they're up to in England, Northern Ireland and Ireland, Wales and Scotland.
You can also read wonderful stories of lives transformed through Jesus at our centres of mission by clicking here.