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Church Army Evangelists to be commissioned at Sheffield Cathedral

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Two Church Army evangelists from Sheffield are set to take part in an Admitting and Commissioning Ceremony at Sheffield Cathedral in July.

The event, for evangelists who have successfully completed their three-year training, means they will be admitting onto the Church of England Office of Evangelist and Commissioned as Church Army Evangelists. This year’s ceremony will be held on the 20th July at Sheffield Cathedral.

The two Sheffield-based evangelists are currently involved in incredible work across their local communities. Helen Reynolds works with vulnerable adults within a faith-based context and Heather Waller, who has been a key part of Church in School at Porter Croft School, works across many initiatives across her local community including a fully accessible Messy Church for people who may not be able to access ordinary church settings for a number of reasons.

Learn more about Helen and Heather:

Helen Reynolds

Helen had her first encounter with Jesus in her late 20s while working as a teacher, her husband having recently embraced Christianity at a Christian organisation. After a taxing day, a Christian parent from school shared about Jesus over some drinks. On her journey home that evening, Helen felt overwhelmed with emotion, reflecting on her past and realising Jesus’ constant presence during the struggles in her early life. The next day, a medical emergency led to life-threatening surgery, but amid the fear, a wave of peace enveloped her, confirming Jesus’ presence in her life.

Helen and her husband now have three sons and she works with vulnerable adults within a faith setting. She has previously been involved in volunteer work with her church and the YMCA and it was her husband who encouraged her to look into training, and she began a Growing Leaders course followed by a foundation course at Church Army. It was then that she discovered she has a real heart for evangelism and applied to begin the discernment process for Commissioning.

Training with Church Army has been transformative for Helen. It’s a place where she feels she truly belongs, where everyone’s differences are celebrated, and their unique gifts are nurtured. The environment is filled with love and a shared passion for sharing Jesus. Helen has not only flourished and gained confidence and skills but has also felt cared for and supported by the tutors who have encouraged her talents. This journey for Helen has been about challenges, self-discovery and growth in a beautiful setting, creating a truly wonderful experience. To her, Commissioning is incredibly important as it signifies her becoming part of Wilson Carlile’s impactful legacy, something she deeply treasures. Inspired by Wilson’s approach of relating to people differently, Helen aspires to follow suit, viewing it as a humbling privilege.

After Admitting and Commissioning, Helen will continue in her work with vulnerable adults whilst reflecting on all of the amazing things she has learnt and how she can implement these things to reach others, ensuring she says yes to Jesus every day.

Heather Waller

Heather is a true pioneer in every sense of the word. She has a heart for making faith and church inclusive and accessible for everyone and lives out her ministry through innovative and exiting ways. She lives in Sheffield with her three lively sons, their cat and pet axolotl.

As a licensed school chaplain, Heather is involved in RE lessons at a local primary school. Her passion lies in ensuring the church is inclusive and accessible to all, especially for those who may struggle with a traditional church setting for various reasons. Heather found inspiration in Messy Church, which led her to establish one in her own home. Witnessing the positive impact on her children motivated her to share this joy with others. Despite initial uncertainties, Heather invited nearly everyone she knew, and the response was overwhelming. People came from the other side of the city to experience it. Buoyed by the success, Heather encouraged her school to create their own Messy Church. Since 2019, the school’s Messy Church has flourished, drawing a strong and enthusiastic crowd.

Heather embarked on her journey with Church Army, after being inspired by a friend who is a Commissioned Evangelist. It has been a deeply fulfilling and delightful experience for her, enriched with teachings that provide practical skills for her innovative ministry. Heather has developed an understanding of diverse interpretations of the Bible, a valuable asset for her work in varied settings. Joining a community of fellow evangelists has been both enriching and empowering, fostering vibrant discussions and mutual encouragement. Guided by supportive tutors, Heather has acquired the abilities to initiate new projects, exhibit courage and innovation, and truly listen to God. She now feels equipped with confidence, knowledge, and inspiration.

Admitting and Commissioning is a significant landmark in Heather’s journey of evangelism. It gives her credibility and is an acknowledgment that she is doing what God had planned for her. It allows her to continue to be part of a supportive network of like-minded evangelists and means she is part of something bigger. This experience will serve as a continued source of inspiration and encouragement, uplifting her along her path. Heather has all kinds of plans for the future after Commissioning, including continuing her passion for community and fresh expressions.