God needs you!

 

Evangelisation of England and Wales book cover

 

Westminster Cathedral

Research

Fr. Philip Knights , a member of the CASE team, and Andrea Murray , were responsible for a substantial research project into Evangelisation which was submitted to the Bishop's Conference in Low Week 2002.

This has been published as Evangelisation in England and Wales: A Report to the Catholic Bishops (Philip Knights and Andrea Murray ISBN 0 905241 24 X)

All enquiries about this publication should be addressed to Catholic Communications Services .

This included a substantial survey based on questionnaires to various constituencies within the Church. Most of the data collected is available online here .

Below is an abstract of this report.

Evangelisation in England and Wales:

Evangelisation is the proclamation and enactment of the Good News of Christ. This is an essential aspect of the mission of the Church. We are privileged to participate in God's purposes of love for his people and his world. The Church is obliged to share the Good News with all people. This sharing involves the penetration and integration of the Good News of Jesus into all dimensions of humanity. It thus encompasses: Christian witness; presentation of the Good News to those who have not heard it; initiation into the Church through Catechesis; the ongoing formation of Christian believers and communities; the renewal of the Church; and all actions which further the building of God's Kingdom of love justice and peace.

Evangelisation is the proclamation and enactment of the Good News of Christ. This is an essential aspect of the mission of the Church. We are privileged to participate in God's purposes of love for his people and his world. The Church is obliged to share the Good News with all people. This sharing involves the penetration and integration of the Good News of Jesus into all dimensions of humanity. It thus encompasses: Christian witness; presentation of the Good News to those who have not heard it; initiation into the Church through Catechesis; the ongoing formation of Christian believers and communities; the renewal of the Church; and all actions which further the building of God's Kingdom of love justice and peace.

Presumptions often held about evangelisation
Mind of many workers in the field today
10
Convincing people about doctrinal arguments Entering into relationships  
Big events Value of small groups and local communities  
Conversion event Development process and journey  
Intellectual decision of individual Holistic growth with others  
Dramatic and sudden Gentle and gradual  
Evangelists as teachers Evangelists as Witnesses  
Work of professionals Work of all Christians  
Imposing truth' Sharing Spirituality in dialogue  
Answering Protestant objections to Catholicism: converting non-Catholics Working together with other Christians in common commitment to mission and unity  
Lecture Celebration  
Other worldly focus Integrated with daily life, including the search for Justice and Peace  
Telling people about Christianity Experiencing living Christianity  

New Evangelisation : The new presentation of the Gospel where it has already been proclaimed but is only partially accepted and enacted. (Between Christendom and Paganism.)

New Ardour: The priority for the work of the Church is the Gospel, being formed in the Gospel in such a way that Christians feel enthused and impelled to communicate and share the good news they have received.

New Methods: Each age of evangelisation has found appropriate techniques with which to express and share the Gospel. As people ask new questions, new ways of engaging with their faith journey must be found.

laptopNew means of communication: The technology of communication has multiplied into many media. Recent thinking has opened them up as areopagi – places where we can engage with those outside the Church and enable people to hear that of their lives which offers worship to the unknown God.

All are evangelisers: It must be stressed that the identity of baptised Christians as the Royal Priesthood orders every member of the Church to the work of proclaiming and enacting the Gospel.

The source of evangelisation is the encounter of the mystery of God in Christ with the world and the ongoing activity of the Holy Spirit. It is this work of the triune God which brings Good News to people and brings about Good News for people; it establishes and renews the Church and commissions and empowers the Church to share Good News with others.

The nature of evangelisation is a complex and dynamic process which integrates the proclamation and enactment of the Good News of the Kingdom and the Salvation offered in God's universal grace both of which are incarnate in the person of Christ Jesus. For the Church evangelisation brings the Gospel into all areas of her being and doing. It involves proclamation and dialogue, word and sacrament, wordless and spoken witness, life and celebration, personal conversion, ecclesial renewal and social transformation.

The context of evangelisation demands that the Church take seriously the contemporary situations in service of the Gospel. The practical outworking of the call to evangelisation will shape the Church's actions as she engages with the needs of men and women today in their varying and fragmented contexts.

Contextualisation

The dynamic of mission always implies a threefold continuum of sending: the sender (God the Father, the Holy Trinity), the sent (Christ, the Holy Spirit, the Church), and those they are sent to (people and the world). This last gives a special weight to the experiences and forces which situate people in the world.

seedsThe Church should express herself in terms accessible to the thought forms and meaning structures of human cultures. There is a need to find dynamic equivalents with which to articulate the truths of faith and a presumption that the Gospel is capable of being proclaimed to all human cultures. Further, there is an expectation of discovering the grace of God already active in the world and in people's lives: the Church should hope to discover “seeds of the Word” which enable her to “baptise the culture” without diluting her inheritance of faith through syncretism.

In encountering the modern world, the Church's social teaching is a necessary component of evangelisation as we meet people in their social, political and economic contexts. The “preferential option for the poor” and walking with the poor in mission have a particular priority.

Locations of Evangelisation

Presence: 

Prayer and Sacrament

Wordless Witness

Visible Parish

“Celtic Model”

Koinonia

Parish Mission Process(es)

Catechumenate

Core or Covenant Communities within ecclesial community.

Schools of Evangelisation

84

Direct Initial Kerygmatic Proclamation

Individual (One-to-One) initiatives a: informal

Individual (One-to-One) initiatives b: formal

Spiritual Direction or Counselling opportunities.

The Use of Gifts

Individual media driven initiatives

Large Group events: Mission week or weekend 

Small Group Initiatives

Communities and Movements

Seeker Services

Diakonia

Service of Church and Neighbour
Preferential option for the poor

Communion and Charity

 

 

Place of Evangelisation Key Character Priorities of action Examples of Good Practice 105
Gateway
Accessibility Making contact with people, connecting with their experiences, meaning systems etc. Alpha 'Come and See'

Seeker Services
 
Threshold Incorporation Catechesis, Catechumenate, journey of mutual discovery, entry into the community of faith RCIA Sacramental Programmes  
Life of Household Ecclesial Renewal The Church becoming ‘good news' in order to share ‘good news'. Being a community which puts the Gospel into action. Parish Renewal programmes Process based parish missions  
Market Place Encounter and Dialogue Meeting with other men and women of good will. Meeting the grace of God active in the world. Being a sacrament of the Kingdom in the world. J&P Groups SVP

CAFOD
 

Key Learnings

Key Learnings

a. The richness of scope of Evangelisation

107

b. The orientation of Christians must be outwards

c. Evangelisation is the source and fruit of Communion

d. All are called to be evangelisers and formed in evangelisation

e. Conversation with the world involves both dialogue and proclamation

f. The fruit of evangelisation is service of those in need

g. Pilgrimage into God may journey down diverse roads

h. Further research into specific areas of evangelisation is important

The Rev'd Dr Philip Knights cms and Mrs Andrea Murray March 2002