*** DEBUG END ***

RC bishops roll out parish evangelisation programme

10 July 2015


Cardinal calling: the Archbishop of Westminister introduces the evangelisation initiative at a press conference

Cardinal calling: the Archbishop of Westminister introduces the evangelisation initiative at a press conference

THE Roman Catholic bishops of England and Wales have unveiled plans to create an “evangelisation team” in every parish. The pioneering initiative to turn some 5000 RC churches into “missionary parishes” was announced at a press conference at the London headquarters of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales on Tuesday.

The teams are expected to be up and running by September. They are part of the Proclaim ’15 initiative inspired by Evangelii Gaudium, the 2013 Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis, often considered as a blueprint for the “new evangelisation” of the secular West.

The press conference was held just four days before Proclaim ’15 was due to be launched at a National Catholic Evangelisation Conference in Birmingham this weekend, at which the Revd Nicky Gumbel, the Anglican pioneer of the Alpha course, will be among speakers addressing some 850 delegates. The conference will consider dozens of ways in which the evangelisation teams might work most effectively.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the RC Archbishop of Westminster and President of the Bishops’ Conference, said that successful evangelisation would involve Christians’ showing their love for Jesus through the witness of their own lives.

He said there would be no place for proselytising, “doorstepping”, or “cold calling” in an attempt to win converts. “Proselytising is a one-way street,” he said. “It is saying, ‘I have got something you must have and I’m going to make you receive it whether you like it or not.’

“Evangelisation is essentially an invitation . . . which will draw people closer together in their humanity, in their human experience.

“Doorstep evangelisation is impossible without a relationship, and you don’t begin to form a relationship of lasting quality if it stays on a doorstep. What we want is to show something of our own life and to let that speak for itself,” Cardinal Nichols said.

The success of the initiative would not be measured by “quick returns”.

“This is not a managerial exercise to get people into pews,” he said, “but a deep, deep desire to share something immensely precious, immensely life-giving, and very much needed in our world today.”

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events


Church Times/RSCM:

Festival of Faith and Music

26 - 28 April 2024

See the full programme on the festival website. 

Early bird tickets available


Intercultural Church for a Multicultural World

28 May 2024

A Church Times/Church House Publishing webinar

Tickets are FREE


Church Times/Modern Church:

A Political Faith?

Monday 3 June 2024

This panel will explore where Christians have come to in terms of political power and ask, where should we go next?

Online tickets available


Church Times/Modern Church:

Participating in Democracy

Monday 10 June 2024

This panel will explore the power of voting, and power beyond voting.

Online tickets available


Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)