This bilateral relationship-building reception – entitled Deepening our understanding of Orthodox Christianity: Pentecostal, Charismatic and Orthodox Leaders gathering – was an opportunity to share knowledge of each other’s confessions and to foster deeper relationships.
The reception opened with words of welcome, reflection and encouragement from CTE General Secretary Bishop Mike Royal. The gathering also heard stories of faith journeys from four leaders. His Grace Bishop Hovakim Manukyan, Primate of the Armenian Church of the United Kingdom and Ireland and Archpriest Stephen Platt from the Russian Orthodox parish of St Nicholas the Wonderworker shared their own stories. Father Stephen shared how he had been drawn to the Orthodox tradition initially by his own experiences of the Greek Orthodox church when on holiday in Mykonos as a small child.
Linda Ward the National Ecumenical Officer for Pioneer and Pastor Akpo Onduku the National Ecumenical Officer for the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) both shared powerful stories of their vocational journeys and of how important ecumenism and building collaborative relationships were for their denominations. Pastor Akpo shared how his Christian journey with RCCG had taken him to many parts of the world including Switzerland and the USA before settling in the UK to plant a church in Bradford, which he continues to lead.
There were also representatives from the Lausanne Orthodox Initiative and The Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies in Cambridge at the gathering.
It is anticipated there will be further events to deepen Orthodox and Pentecostal and Charismatic relationships in the future.
Watch an introduction to the Pentecostal and Charismatic churches in England and learn more about their tradition.
Watch an Introduction to the Orthodox churches and learn more about their tradition.