The United Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney and the Church Army, an Anglican society of evangelists, are working together to create a Centre of Mission in Aberdeen – the north-east Scotland coastal city. The Centre of Mission will be used to resource evangelism in the city in partnership with other churches and ecumenical partners. The centre will operate from three locations: St Devenick’s Church in Bieldside, and two missional cafés: Caf4e in the Bridge of Don, and Caf4e at Credo in the city centre.
In a statement, the Scottish Episcopal Church explained that the new scheme will build on and extend the work done over a number of years by Church Army Evangelists Gerry and Jo Bowyer. Next month, Gerry Bowyer will become Rector of St Devenick’s and leader of the Centre of Mission; while Jo Bowyer will continue to be based at Credo, the café in the city centre that is the location of a fresh expression of church with Caf4e. A third church army evangelist will be appointed to lead the Caf4e community at the Bridge of Don.
“I am delighted that the Church Army is investing further resources into the City of Aberdeen,” The Bishop of Aberdeen and Orkney, Anne Dyer, said. “The churches in the city are concerned with sharing the love of God through mission and evangelism in many and varied ways. The development of the Centre of Mission will support and encourage wider engagement, especially among those who are not presently part of church communities.”
The Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, Bishop Mark Strange, is Vice President of the Church Army. He, too, welcomed this step forward in mission, saying: “I am delighted that the Church Army has again chosen to support the mission outreach of the Scottish Episcopal Church. The decision to share the provision of further ministry and evangelism in the City of Aberdeen can only increase the love and care that is central to Jesus’ message.”
Church Army’s National Development Officer for Scotland, Canon Kerry Dixon, commented: “Church Army are delighted at the partnership with Bishop Anne and The United Diocese of Aberdeen and Orkney in establishing a new centre of mission in Aberdeen. This follows in a great Church Army tradition of working together to share the gospel so that lives are transformed and those who would never darken the door of a Church Building have the opportunity to become a follower of Jesus!”
Gerry Bower, currently searching for a pioneer evangelist to join the team, said: “This person will help bring into reality a vision Jo and I had for many years, to create a Centre of Mission in Aberdeen, which will model a varied way of making new disciples. In the long term we want to see churches in our diocese grow and if the Church Army team can to be an advocate, to resource and enable others in mission then we will have achieved our goal.”