The Church Army

On Sunday 24th September we welcomed as our Preacher Captain Philip Johanson, the Chief Secretary of the Church Army. That particular Sunday is designated as Church Army Sunday, and the following short article introducing the work of the Church Army was written for us by Captain Dennis Tully CA, the Diocesan Youth Officer. One of the reasons for inviting Philip to St Peterís was to look at possible ways in which the Church Army might become involved in the ministry of the churches in the city centre.

Many people, even within the Church of England, for which it provides evangelists, are unaware of Church Army and the work that it does. The reality is that Church Army has been at the heart of evangelism within the established Church since 1882 when Prebendary Wilson Carlisle a young curate at St Mary Abbots, Kensington, founded the Church Army to take the Gospel to all, but particularly those suffering the injustices of the age. This has been the Church Armyís goal ever since. Today the Church Army has five specific focus areas of work:

Church Army evangelists working in Area Evangelism can make their contribution, not just through what they do themselves, but by acting as a catalyst between others, helping them to pool their resources and people so as to make the most of evangelistic opportunities.

Church Army has been bringing the Good News to Children and Young People for more than a hundred years. As well as being involved in Church services and clubs, school assemblies, taking RE lessons and helping with Christian Unions, Church Army Evangelists because of their recognised status, have opportunities to minister in cutting edge situations with children and young people who would otherwise have little or no contact with Christians or with the Church.

Church Army believes that the secret of a successful church plant is to allow it to grow and develop in its own way, although this can often be a lot more daunting than taking a safe and known model into a new setting. Church Army Church Planting Evangelists are supported and trained rigorously by those who have already planted churches and who are acknowledged leaders and experts in the field of church planting.

Church Army believes that care and encouragement of the homeless is born out of a recognition of the value and worth of all people before God, whatever their situation and whatever their need. Church Army also seeks to help the Church and society tackle this most unnecessary of problems, now we are in the 21st century, as well as helping to develop a broader understanding of the issues facing the homeless.

Church Army believes that Older People still need to be reached with the Good News of the Gospel and that they have a huge amount to give and a big role to play in our Church and Society well into old age. There are four Church Army evangelists working in Southwell Diocese: Sister Christine Goodger is chaplain to Sutton centre and is responsible for a church plant in Sutton in Ashfield, Captain Andy Fisher is parish evangelist in Carlton Nottingham, Captain Phil Gay is Parish Evangelist in Carlton in Lindrick, Captain Denis Tully is the adviser for youth work for the diocese.

Captain Dennis Tully
© St Peter's Church, Nottingham
Last revised 1st October 2001