14 June 1999
The Archbishops' Council has appointed Canon Robert Freeman as National Adviser in Evangelism.
Canon Freeman has been Vicar of the Church of the Martyrs, Leicester, for the past 14 years. The church is in a multi-racial, inner city area and has a strong emphasis on evangelism and social justice; over recent years, the congregation has grown considerably.
Robert has been vice-chair of Leicester City Challenge, a £170 million urban regeneration programme, and has been involved in Leicester SACRE (Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education) and a number of Faith in the City initiatives. He is currently helping to plan a city-wide millennium initiative, focusing on the distribution of an evangelism video.
Previously, he served as a team vicar at Chigwell, in Essex, and as a curate in Blackpool, where he was also chaplain to the Tower Circus. He is married to Chris, an author of educational resources, and has three teenage daughters. They plan to continue living in Leicester. Robert's interests include time with the family, films, puddings, computer games and reluctant gardening.
In his new post, Canon Freeman will be helping dioceses and parishes to build on the successes of the Decade of Evangelism. A recent survey conducted among Church of England dioceses revealed that there had been a major shift in attitude towards evangelism during the Decade and that it was now seen as a priority. The building of relationships has been shown to be central to effective evangelism, as evidenced by the significant growth of Alpha and Emmaus courses.
Robert says: 'The post of National Adviser in Evangelism is both exciting and daunting. I am an enthusiast for parochial ministry and am keen to encourage churches to share the Good News of Jesus Christ both by word and by action. We need to discover and present the gospel's relevance to all aspects of life. The Decade of Evangelism has produced significant evangelistic impetus. It has also seen the development of many creative ideas and resources. The challenge for the future is to build on this interest and enthusiasm.'
He starts work with the Board of Mission of the Archbishops' Council on 13 September 1999. The previous National Adviser in Evangelism, Canon Robert Warren, is well-known for his extremely successful project Building Missionary Congregations. Canon Warren still works in partnership with the Council's Board of Mission but is now part of the Archbishops' Springboard team.
Further information from:
Steve Jenkins (press) tel (0171) 898-1000 ext 1457/1464
Jonathan Jennings (broadcasting) ext 1456