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Hundreds Set to Mark Pentecostal Presence in Britain in First Ever National Pentecostal Symposium and Celebration!

PRESS RELEASE

17 November 2016

Hundreds Set to Mark Pentecostal Presence in Britain in First Ever National Pentecostal Symposium and Celebration!

Twenty national organisations representing an estimated 250,000 Pentecostal and Charismatic followers will hold their first ever national Symposium and Celebration at Kensington Temple in west London on Saturday 26 November 2016.  The unique event in British Pentecostal history will mix vibrant music, singing and preaching with academic interrogation of key areas such as Pentecostal history and diversity; and Pentecostal relationship with ecumenism, social, economic and political relations.  Artists include London Community Gospel Choir, Motivation by Music, Noel Robinson, and New Covenant Choir.

Speaking ahead of the event, Bishop Dr Joe Aldred, CTE’s Pentecostal and Multicultural Relations Secretary said, ‘these are exciting times for the church in Britain as Pentecostals show that decline is not inevitable, even in a post-Christendom world. However, to stay ahead we must use heart and head, God-given emotion and intellect, to explore how we improve Christian mission in the world; deepening our understanding of the legitimate differences we have; embracing the dynamism the Holy Spirit brings’.

Pentecostalism is the fastest growing Christian expression worldwide, currently 280 million, several times larger than the 85-million strong Anglican Communion; and offsetting decreases in traditional mainline denominations in Britain (Brierley).  For many, the public face of Pentecostalism in Britain is Black, seen as an offshoot of Caribbean Windrush and later African migration since the 1950s.

As Revd Dr David Cornick, CTE General Secretary points out, ‘Pentecostalism’s roots lie deep in the holiness traditions of the 19th Century, and their presence in Britain dates back to a series of revivals which rippled through these isles in the early years of the 20th Century. One of the remarkable features of twentieth century Christianity was the growth of the Pentecostal churches and the emergence of the charismatic movement. We are delighted that the churches of these traditions are coming together to celebrate the gifts God has given them and to share their insights with their Christians friends from other traditions’.

In recent years, a quiet revolution has been taking place involving Pentecostals and their newer Charismatic religious cousins as they transcend cultural, ethnic and denominational boundaries to engage with each other, and in Christian mission together in local communities and national life.  Spearheading this development has been the National Pentecostal Leaders Forum operating under the aegis of Churches Together in England through a Pentecostal Presidency.  The current CTE Pentecostal President, Bishop Eric Brown, said, ‘we live in a world and a country where human difference is difficult to manage and so it has been heart-warming to be a part of a project that shows that with the right spirit our God-given diversity can be a strength, not a weakness’.

The Pentecostal Symposium and Celebration event will culminate with recognition of four individuals for outstanding contributions to Pentecostalism in Britain; a resolution to work together better as Pentecostals and with the wider church and community; and a Eucharist of reconciliation and commitment to Christian unity in diversity.

ENDS

Notes

  1. The first ever National Pentecostal Symposium and Celebration takes place on 26 November 2016, from 9.30am to 8.30pm, at Kensington Temple, Kensington Park Road, Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3BY.
  2. Registration fee is £9.99 by Eventbrite at http://bit.do/pentsymp
  3. Speakers include: Dr Andrew Davies, Pastor (Dr) Daniel Akhazemea, Dr Anne Dyer, Dr R David Muir, Revd Canon Billy Kennedy and Pastor Penny Francis.
  4. The National Pentecostal Leaders Forum of CTE is made up of twenty national churches and umbrella organisations that identify as Pentecostal or Charismatic.
  5. Churches Together in England is a visible sign in England of the Churches’ commitment as they seek a deepening of their communion with Christ and with one another, and proclaim the Gospel together by common witness and service. Its strength comes from people from different traditions finding new ways to work and worship together. Website: http://www.cte.org.uk
  6. CTE’s Pentecostal and Charismatic national members include: Apostolic Pastoral Congress, Assemblies of God, Church of God of Prophecy, Churches in Communities International, Council of African and Caribbean Churches UK, Elim Pentecostal Church, Ground Level, Ichthus Christian Fellowship, International Ministerial Council of Great Britain, Ixthus Church Council, Joint Council for Anglo-Caribbean Churches, New Testament Assembly, New Testament Church of God, Pioneer Network of Churches, Redeemed Christian Church of God, Ruach Network of Churches, Trans-Atlantic Pacific Alliance of Churches, United Kingdom World Evangelism Trust, Unification Council od Cherubim and Seraphim Churches (Europe Chapter), Wesleyan Holiness Church.
  7. For further comment contact Dr Joe Aldred, Mobile: 07775 632288; Email: joe.aldred@cte.org.uk

 

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