NEW SUPPORT for non-English-speaking Church of England congregations is to be provided by the Church Mission Society (CMS).
Its “learning community” will be launched on Tuesday, and will be aimed specifically at the more than 20 such congregations in and around London. They include congregations serving people who speak Arabic, Turkish, Japanese, Spanish, Hindi, Gujarati, Ukrainian, and Russian.
CMS says that the aim is to “celebrate the unique nature of each congregation, as well as supporting and resourcing leaders to grow and develop their own ministry”. Participants will have the opportunity to pray and learn together.
The initiative is being led by Canon Philip Mounstephen, who became executive leader of CMS after serving as Chaplain of St Michael’s, Paris, for five years.
”Our goal is to enable the Church of England increasingly to reflect the diverse nature of our capital city, so that everyone is able to hear the good news of Jesus in their own language,” he said last week. “When a diverse group like this comes together, inevitably there will differences of emphasis and approach, but we are bound by our common commitment to mission and to reaching new people with the love of God, in this great global city.”
The initiative is being supported by the Bishop of Islington, the Rt Revd Ric Thorpe, who has responsibility for church-planting in London, and by Girma Bishaw, leader of the Ethiopian Fellowship Church in London.
CMS hopes that the model can be reproduced in other cities in the UK. Many Anglican priests speak languages other than English. The mission-support priest for cultural diversity in the diocese of Manchester, the Revd Omid Moludy, is collecting their details in a database.
The CMS launch will take place at Christ Church, Kensington, on Tuesday.