More than forty church leaders or their representatives gathered at Lambeth Palace on Thursday 18 November for the first CTE Presidents’ Dinner since the pandemic. Hosted by Archbishop Justin Welby, one of CTE’s Presidents, those present heard from outgoing Pentecostal and Charismatic President Pastor Agu Irukwu, who spoke of the privilege in representing the churches in that capacity, and especially during the summer of 2020 and the response to the death of George Floyd. Apologies for absence were received from the other leaving President, Archbishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Archbishop of London, who was in Cairo.
The three incoming Presidents: Bishop Tedroy Powell (Pentecostal and Charismatic President from Church of God of Prophecy), Archbishop Nikitas (Orthodox President, and Oecumenical Patriarchate) and Rev Helen Cameron (from April 2022 the Moderator of the Free Churches Group and Free Church President, serving as a District Chair in the Methodist Church) all introduced themselves to the church leaders after dinner. Each of them reflected upon their deep commitment to the ecumenical journey, and their eagerness to play their part in the life of the churches in England as their representatives. The attendees were reminded by the CTE General Secretary, Rev Dr Paul Goodliff, of the continuing empty chair for the Fourth Presidency Group.
The event closed with a service of compline in the chapel at Lambeth Palace. It was an evening of fellowship characterised by prayer.