Senior church leaders gather in South London
3 weeks ago
Senior church leaders gathered to mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity at Southwark Cathedral.
(Image by Southwark Diocesan Communications)
left-right: Roman Catholic Bishop of Southwark, Most Rev Paul Hendricks; London Baptist Association Team Leader, Rev Phil Barnard;
Greek Orthodox, Very Rev Archimandrite Christodoulos Persopoulos of St. Mary’s Cathedral, Camberwell; Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London, Archbishop Angaelos; Churches Together in South London, Claire Crowley;
Methodist London District Chair, Rev Dr Jongikaya Zihle; Power of the Living Word Ministries International, Rt Rev Dr Donnett Thomas;
Apostolic Pastoral Congress, Deputy-Director & Greater London Regional Bishop, Rt Rev Moses Owusu-Sekyere;
London Quakers, Fred Ashmore; Anglican Bishop of Southwark, Most Rev Christopher Chessun;
Power of the Living Word Ministries International, Bishop’s Chaplain, Rev Alison Trethewy; Newer Free Churches, Roger and Faith Forster of Ichthus Christian Fellowship; United Reformed Church Moderator, Southern Synod, Rev Nicola Furley-Smith
Meeting together at the invitation of Churches Together in South London (CTSL), these leaders witness to the friendship and shared purposes of South London's churches. Roger and Faith Forster offered a reflection at the invitation of Reverend Michaela Youngson, Chair of CTSL, and spoke about building bridges not walls, inspired by Pope Francis. Drawing on the theme of liberation for this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Roger and Faith reflected on Exodus 15 and Ephesians 2, reading Luci Shaw’s poem “Step on it” that finishes:
one Bridge to us
Solid enough, long
enough, strong enough
to stand all tides for all time,
Bishop Christopher invited the leaders to share plans for 2018 and many common areas emerged, including CTSL’s upcoming Forum on 22 March at Livability in North Greenwich, which will take forward initiatives to tackle knife crime in the capital. It is a powerful witness to fellowship between denominations to see this large group of Christian leaders joining together to pray, reflect, discuss and eat together at a time when unity and partnership, is crucial for our city and world.
Photo of South London by Bill Green www.bill-green.co.uk
Churches Together in South London (CTSL) represents over 50 local ecumenical networks across 10 London boroughs south of the River Thames, and is one of 49 intermediary bodies around the country for Churches Together in England. You can find your nearest local network on www.ctslondon.org.uk.
To follow more stories of ecumenical work and witness by the churches in London, including projects tackling climate change, the refugee response, and homelessness, follow CTSL on facebook at www.facebook.com/CTSouthLondon and on twitter @CTSouthLondon.
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