The Church Mission Society, Ireland is part of the global CMS family. CMS was established in 1799 with a threefold focus: the abolition of the slave trade, social reform at home and world evangelisation. For the early founders of CMS, ‘mission’ was understood to be the responsibility of the Church and was concerned with meeting both spiritual and physical needs. These beliefs continue to underpin the work of CMS Ireland today.
CMS first established a presence in Ireland in June 1814. The society began as a ‘people-sending’ organisation and most of our 200-year history has involved us facilitating the movement of people from ‘here’ to ‘there’ on long-term mission service. We’re immensely proud of this history – a history that placed people at the centre of our work as we helped individuals respond to God’s call on their lives.
CMS Ireland Today
Of course, over time, things change. The past 200 years have seen significant developments in the understanding of mission and of the world beyond our shores. So, while people remain central to all that we do, the CMS Ireland of today believes that:
- Mission isn’t just about what happens ‘overseas’. Mission is something for everywhere – local and global, home and abroad.
- Mission isn’t just about ‘missionaries’. It’s not a specialist activity for a minority, but is something for everyone who follows Christ.
- The Church in the Developing World is better placed than we are to respond sensitively and effectively to their local needs and opportunities.
- The Church in the Developing World has much to contribute to faith, church and mission here in Ireland.
- Mission is at its best when its personal – when people engage with people and share their lives with one another.
These things have helped to shape CMS Ireland’s work in recent years, particularly in relation to our focus on ‘partnership’.
Over many years, we have established strong, open and positive relationships with a number of Anglican Dioceses and churches in Africa and in Nepal. Much of our work involves developing two-way, dynamic Partnership Links between churches in Ireland and these Global Partners. These links offer opportunities to develop friendships, to pray for one another and to support each other in mission – Partnership Links have huge potential to transform lives both ‘there’ and ‘here’.
We currently work in relationship with 19 such Global Partners in 9 countries.
Our relationship with these Global Partners provide the context for all of CMS Ireland’s work, whether it’s sending teams, organising mission placements for individuals, facilitating visits to Ireland from our Global Partners, sharing stories of God at work or producing resources to help churches and individuals explore the biblical story of mission.