Diocese partners with Church Army to revitalise evangelism in Southampton

Diocese partners with Church Army to revitalise evangelism in Southampton

The Diocese of Winchester and Church Army have teamed up and are working together to serve and share the good news of Jesus Christ to the local communities around the Townhill Park area of the parish of Bitterne Park in Southampton, and to encourage and support evangelism across the whole Diocese.

Claire Lingard has been appointed as Pioneer Evangelist and she will join Ruth Hills who is Lead Evangelist for the Church Army ‘Centre of Mission’ in Southampton. Claire comes to the Diocese from Middlesborough and is a Church Army Evangelist-in-Training.

I am so excited and feel very privileged to come to Diocese of Winchester to join Ruth in her work at Townhill Park and also to have the opportunity to meet lots of different people across the Diocese in my role coaching Envoy.

I have come here from the Diocese of York, where for the last 12 years I ran a hairdressing business, this gave me the perfect environment for evangelism. I was part of the community, building trusting relationships, which gave me the opportunities for listening to and praying with and for lots of different people, and of course most importantly sharing my faith. 

I was also blessed to study with York school of Ministry while discerning my vocation which among other things, helped to set me on the path of a full time Evangelist.  I am currently halfway through my training as an evangelist with Church Army, and I love every moment of it. Learning, growing and being transformed are all important in our individual walk with Jesus, but training with Church Army, being surrounded by likeminded people with so much knowledge and so many different experiences to share, has taken me higher and deeper in my own discipleship than I could have imagined. God is on the move in Winchester Diocese, and I feel blessed to be called to be part of what is happening in this new season, and I cannot wait to share the love of Jesus here.

Claire Lingard, Pioneer Evangelist

Half of Claire’s time will be focussed on running the Church Army’s ‘Envoy’ programme to give people opportunities to discover more about evangelism and engage with their local communities. ‘Envoy’ is a free step-by-step coaching community that is much more than an introduction to evangelism – it has been designed to grow missional thinking and habits of evangelism without the need for invitational or event-based programmes. It is there to accompany those involved in sharing Jesus with people in their own context, with a special focus on words and actions that connect to those who have little time for church, religion, or God. More at https://www.envoy.website/