Church Mission Society has unveiled its recently “refreshed vision and purpose” for this generation, which is to make disciples of Jesus ‘at the edges of society’: the ‘edges of Church’ and the ‘edges of people’s comfort zones’. It will thus prioritise mission “at the margins and cultural fringes.”

Alastair Bateman, CEO of Church Mission Society, said mission is “no longer a Western enterprise, but a global effort.” He went on: “We are committed to moving further edge-ward in true collaboration with our global family of network partners.” This includes CMS-Africa and Asia-CMS.”

This ‘at the edges’ vision is exemplified by CMS mission partners such as Alison Giblett and Ann-Marie Wilson. Alison has lived in Ukraine since 2004, leading a team that helps people recovering from addiction. Since the invasion of Russian troops, she has chosen to remain in Ukraine to support the local community and is “praying day and night for the war to end”. She says: “What right do I have to serve people in good times if I’m not willing to stand with them in the hard times?”

In 2005 Ann-Marie left her job in London to set up 28 Too Many, a charity campaigning to put an end to Female Genital Mutilation [FGM].

CMS also tells the story of Jay Lilley, a self-proclaimed “working-class boy from East London” who came to faith through meeting CMS-trained pioneer Dave Harrigan at a local boxing club Dave had set up in Essex. Jay said, “I realised these were my kind of people…I just didn’t know my kind of people went to church.” Jay is now studying on CMS’s Pioneer Mission Leadership Training course for a youthwork qualification.

CMS supports hundreds of people serving in mission worldwide, from Africa to South East Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.