Church Leaders meeting
in South London
Claire Crowley writes:
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. Bishop Paul Hendricks, Auxiliary Bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark, offered a reflection at the invitation of Bishop Karowei Dorgu, Chair of CTSL. Bishop Paul talked about some of the ideas raised in Richard Rohr’s book “Falling Upward”, and the leaders discussed their relevance to ecumenism today.
Reverend Jongikaya Zihle raised themes from the resources for this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Churches Together in Britain and Ireland’s website explains that this year, the material originates from the churches of Indonesia, “where there is a strong emphasis upon the need for unity alongside the nation’s ethnic and religious diversity. The resources also highlight issues of economic injustice and how religious pluralism can face challenges in the face of radicalisation. The theme is based around Deuteronomy 16:18-20, ‘Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue…’.“ https://ctbi.org.uk/weekofprayer
Bishop Moses Owusu-Sekyere said, “Unity becomes even more essential, not only because of the commonality of our purpose, but also because of the mutuality of the threats we face in these challenging times.”
Rt Rev Moses Owusu-Sekyere is Deputy-Director & Greater London Regional Bishop, Apostolic Pastoral Congress.
Bishop Paul said, “I find the Week of Prayer a great inspiration. Despite our differences, we are united in prayer with Christians all around the world. At a time when many of our societies are divided over political issues, we recognise with joy that people of different Christian traditions are also faithful followers of Jesus. We renew our commitment to learn from each other as we walk the path of unity together.”
Rt Rev Paul Hendricks is the Roman Catholic Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark
London Quaker, Eleri Pengelly also said:
‘As a representative of London Quakers I am always delighted to attend these ecumenical events. We heard at our lunch about Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life by Richard Rohr. In it he says, “When you get your, 'Who am I?', question right, all of your, 'What should I do?' questions tend to take care of themselves”. Rohr argues that we might be closer to knowing the answer to those questions once we have navigated the midlife passage. I suppose I feel closer to finding the answers with the benefit of seeing the questions from different perspectives. Those different outlooks can come through my ecumenical encounters. Quaker guidance advises us that 'our understanding of our own religious tradition may sometimes be enhanced by insights from others'. That has been my experience and I thank CTSL for facilitating the dialogue.'
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 the world we share.
Roman Catholic Auxiliary Bishop of Southwark, Rt Rev Paul Hendricks
Methodist London District Chair, Rev Dr Jongikaya Zihle
United Reformed Church Moderator, Southern Synod, Rev Nicola Furley-Smith (Vice Chair, CTSL)
Churches Together in South London, Claire Crowley
Salvation Army, South London Divisional Commander, Major Valerie Mylechreest,
London Quakers, Eleri Pengelly
Apostolic Pastoral Congress, Deputy-Director & Greater London Regional Bishop, Rt Rev Moses Owusu-Sekyere
London Baptist Association London Regional Minister, Rev Carol Bostridge