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17 February 2016

Church of England – fresh emphasis on prayer and evangelism 

Prayer and evangelism are core priorities for the Church of England, according to a new report  endorsed by the Archbishop of Canterbury. 

The Archbishop was speaking at the General Synod of the Church of England yesterday (16 February 2016), introducing a report from the Archbishops’ Evangelism Task Group. 

He described evangelism as ‘our duty, our privilege and our joy’ and added, ‘For too long the ministry of evangelism in the church has been viewed as an app on the system…. simply to be used for those who are gifted, who don’t mind being out of their comfort zones, who are happy talking about faith with strangers, and have a clever way of explaining the mysteries of God’s love. But evangelism and witness are not an app. They are the operating system itself.’

Responding to the report, Roy Crowne, HOPE’s Executive Director, said, ‘We are thrilled that General Synod is making evangelism a priority. HOPE is right behind the recommendations and the emphasis on prayer and proclamation. We are encouraging all the churches we connect with across the Christian denominations to join the 8-15 May ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ week of prayer. 

‘Also, we are excited to hear the emphasis on evangelism and witness with younger people and the importance being given to working with the Black and Asian Ethnic Minority (BAME) population. 

HOPE encourages churches of all denominations to do more together in mission, putting our Christian faith into words and actions. We are praying that every Christian will be equipped to speak and act in Jesus’ name as a result of this report being worked out in parishes, deaneries and dioceses.’

Revd Canon Yemi Adedeji, Associate Director of HOPE, also welcomed the task group’s emphasis and the comments of the Revd Elizabeth Adekunle who presented the Black and Asian Ethnic Minority section of the report. He commented, ‘We are one body, as the report reminds us. Jesus broke down barriers of cultural and racial difference, and we must follow his lead by nurturing BAME Christians for leadership positions and sharing the good news with all people – including the BAME population.’

Read the Archbishop of Canterbury’s speech introducing the report presentation here.

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