Diocesan press releases

Don’t fear evangelism – it’s all about the “little things”, says the Bishop of Chelmsford

The keynote speaker at this year’s St Asaph Diocesan Conference will tell delegates that evangelism is something everyone can do.

The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, will pick up the theme of the conference, Do the Little Things and explain how evangelism is done by the whole people of God together according to individual gifts.

Bishop Stephen, who has written widely on evangelism, spirituality and discipleship, will inspire people using stories and his own experience, to show how all the “little things” done by individuals come together to make a difference.

In an interview ahead of the conference, Bishop Stephen said: “Many people think of evangelism as one big, scary “thing” done by someone else.  They’re daunted by the notion that evangelism takes place in a stadium venue, with a big-name evangelist, calling people to respond.

“I want to say to the people of St Asaph, there’s no need to be scared.  Evangelism is something done by the whole people of God together, according to their gifts. All the little things we do, be it offering a kind word or welcoming a visitor, makes a difference.

“At the conference, I’ll be presenting an Anglican model for doing evangelism, focusing on what every individual can do.  I want to inspire people to share how God has transformed their life and give them the language to explain to others what they’ve received.”

The Diocesan Conference takes place at St Joseph’s Catholic and Anglican High School in Wrexham on Saturday 7 October.  The day-long event brings together approximately 400 people from across the Diocese of St Asaph.  The conference will open with an address by the president of the conference, the Bishop of St Asaph, the Rt Revd Gregory Cameron.

More information about the conference can be found at http://stasaph.churchinwales.org.uk/life/diocesan-conference-2017/

About the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, Bishop of Chelmsford

Stephen Cottrell is Bishop of Chelmsford and was formerly Bishop of Reading. He has worked in parishes in London and Chichester, as Canon Pastor of Peterborough Cathedral, as Missioner in the Wakefield diocese and as part of Springboard, the Archbishop of Canterbury’s evangelism team.

He has written widely and among his most recent books are a series of Lent and Holy Week meditations, The Things He Carried (2008), a follow up of reflections for Easter Day, The Things He Said (2009), The Nail: Being part of the Passion (2011) and Christ in the Wilderness: Reflecting on the paintings of Stanley Spencer (2012). His best selling, I Thirst (Zondervan) was the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent book for 2004.

Stephen was ordained deacon in 1984 and priest in 1985. An ordinand of the diocese of Chelmsford, he served his title at Christ Church & St Paul’s, Forest Hill in the diocese of Southwark, having trained for ordination at St Stephen’s House in Oxford. He went on to become Priest-in-Charge of St Wilfrid’s, Parklands, a small council estate parish on the edge of Chichester, and later Assistant Director of Pastoral Studies at Chichester Theological College.

Stephen’s passions for ministry have always involved evangelism and teaching and commending the Christian faith. He has led many parish missions. Stephen is a founding member of the College of Evangelists. He has also served on the Church of England’s Mission, Renewal and Evangelism committee.

Stephen’s interests include writing, reading, cooking and music. He is a keen Spurs fan, but also supports his local team wherever he lives, so at various points has followed Southend United, Leyton Orient, Portsmouth, Huddersfield, Peterborough and Reading. He is married to Rebecca, who is a potter and they have three sons.