Senior Church Leaders gather in South London
Claire Crowley from Churches Together in South London, writes:
On Thursday 19 January 2017, senior church leaders gathered to mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity at Methodist Central Hall Westminster.
Back row left-right:
Greek Orthodox, Very Rev Archimandrite Christodoulos Persopoulos of St. Mary’s Cathedral, Camberwell
Roman Catholic Archbishop of Southwark, Most Rev Peter Smith
Salvation Army Divisional Mission Commander South London Division, Captain Kevin Stanbury
Newer Free Churches, Roger Forster of Ichthus Christian Fellowship
Front row left-right:
London Quakers, Eleri Pengelly
United Reformed Church Moderator, Southern Synod, Rev Nicola Furley-Smith
Newer Free Churches, Faith Forster of Ichthus Christian Fellowship
Methodist London District Chair, Rev Michaela Youngson
Churches Together in South London, Claire Crowley
Meeting together at the invitation of Churches Together in South London (CTSL), these leaders demonstrate the strong relationships and shared purposes of South London's churches. Reverend Nicola Furley-Smith offered a reflection at the invitation of Reverend Michaela Youngson, Chair of CTSL, and spoke about reconciliation. Drawing on the theme of Crossing Barriers for this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Nicola recounted that on an international conference last summer, many were grappling with issues affecting community. There was Brexit, a growing antagonism to refugees in Germany, and towards the romany community in Ostrava, the possibility of a President Trump – surely not! In each place there was a common theme of the Gospel call to live not for ourselves but for Christ, to reach out to others and to break down the barriers of isolation.
CTSL’s Chair invited the leaders to share key initiatives for 2017 and many shared priorities emerged, including London Churches Social Action’s #LondonUnited campaign and Christian Aid’s #ChangetheStory campaign. It is a strong witness to fellowship between denominations to see this group of Christian leaders meeting with one another to pray, reflect, discuss and eat together at a time when unity, friendship and multilateral partnership, is crucial for our city and world.
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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For images and further information, contact Claire Crowley at CTSL on claire(AT)ctslondon.org.uk or 07517 117 982, or see