The group brings together those in our Member Churches who take responsibility for portfolios of mission and evangelism in their denomination. It also draws on the expertise and giftings from our Charities and Networks in Association and other parachurch organisations in England.
The group meets together three times a year. The rhythm of the year involves a face-to-face meeting at our offices in Tavistock Square, a virtual meeting usually via Zoom, and a contextual meeting.
The current chair of the Group is Trey Hall who is the director of Evangelism and Growth for Methodist Church of Great Britain. Core members of the group come from the Church of England, The Methodist Church, The Sion community, The Catholic Bishops Conference, Elim, United Reformed Church, YFC, The Bible Society, CEA, HOPE, Rural Evangelism Network, the Evangelical Alliance, The Congregational Federation, RCCG, Church of God of Prophecy and The Oecumenical Patriarchate and the Coptic Orthodox Church.
In October 2021 the group spent the day at the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales in Victoria. Hosted by Fr Jan Nowotnik, the new Director of Mission, the group explored Pope Francis’ passion for mission and the synodal process the church is embracing on.
The contextual meeting allows the group to be together to experience a particular place, tradition or programme.
In October 2022 were hosted by Elim Pentecostal Mission and Evangelism leaders at Regents College.
In June 2023 the group attended the Windrush 75 celebration at Southwark Cathedral.
In October 2023 the group heard from the experiences of Millennials on evangelism.
Other Member Churches from CTE and appropriate Bodies in Association are very welcome to send representatives: for more information contact Principle Officer for Mission and Evangelism, Ben Aldous.
CTE provides an ecumenical space, akin to a ‘big tent’, within which churches across England can have conversations and develop strategies for mission.
A 4th Learning to be Missionary Disciples Conference will take place from 27th-28th November 2024.
Our third Learning to be Missionary Disciples took place from the 28th February to 1st March and focused on the theme of “living on the edge”. This conference brought together people representing over 20 of our Member Churches, alongside charities, mission agencies, youth organisations, theological institutions and ecumenical bodies of various kinds – national, regional, intermediate and local. Keynote speakers were Israel Olofinjana from the EA, Singer songwriter Andy Flannagan and Methodist deacon Eunice Attwood.
A follow up Learning to be Missionary Disciples 2 event took place in November 2021 at The Hayes, Swanwick in Derbyshire bringing together 50 national church leaders. The conference drew together 13 of our national member churches, 16 Christian charities (a number of which are BiAs), 3 Theological colleges, 3 other unity movements, 3 intermediate bodies. We heard inspiring and challenging keynote addresses from Sanjee Perara, Harvey Kwiyani and Archbishop Nikitas.
We hosted our first Learning to be Missionary Disciples event in November 2020 (online).
The Churches Group for Evangelisation traces its history almost back to inauguration of CTE in 1990. In its history it has birthed, amongst other initiatives the Christian Enquiry Agency which is the charity behind the website www.christianity.org.uk (you can also read more here).
The Churches Group for Evangelisation, or ‘GfE’ as it has been known, up until 2005. These notes are based on a history provided by the previous Secretary, Rev Roger Whitehead, who served the group from the foundation to 2005. The Group for Evangelisation was brought together by Revd Dr Donald English in 1988 when he was General Secretary of the Home Mission Division of the Methodist Church. The vision was for the national evangelism officers of the main denominations in England to meet around the table. Dr English invited Rev Roger Whitehead to co-ordinate the work for the Group.
Initially, the Group’s main function was to share information, but when the Decade of Evangelism started the Group began to plan together and then to work together. Today, the churches are in the position that no one major denomination would undertake new work without prior consultation with the others, and usually with active involvement of them too.
During the Decade of Evangelism the Group initiated or Co-ordinated major initiatives including:
- On Fire (Oasis Trust 1994)
- Open Book (Bible Society 1996)
- Churches Information on Mission – Church Life Profile (2001)
- Churches Millennium preparations (1994-2000)
- 20 from 10 (Assessment of the Decade)
- Rejesus.co.uk website (2002)
Roger says, ‘On occasion it seemed right for the Group to do work on behalf of the churches, but usually the work was to co-ordinate what the churches were wanting to do together’. Roger Whitehead had overseen and co-ordinated the major project ‘Evangelising Contemporary Spiritualities’ which gave rise to the major tour and book ‘Equipping your Church in a Spiritual Age’.
GfE members produced the book Equipping your Church in a Spiritual Age, which sold over 2000 copies, is now available here as a PDF.
Jim Currin of CTE was then secretary of the group from 2005-2019, followed by CTE’s Principle Officer for Mission and Evangelism, Ben Aldous from June 2019.