TWO new presidents of Churches Together in England (CTE) assumed office this week. They are Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira & Great Britain, in the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Holy Synod, and Bishop Tedroy Powell, Leader of the Pentecostal Church of God of Prophecy.
The two new presidents signed the Presidents’ Covenant in Lambeth Palace, on Tuesday. Archbishop Nikitas succeeds Coptic Orthodox Archbishop Angaelos of London, and Bishop Powell succeeds Pastor Agu Irukwu of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, who is lead pastor of Jesus House, in north-west London.
There are six presidents of CTE, the ecumenical instrument for England. The others include the Archbishop of Canterbury; the Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols; and the Moderator of the Free Churches Group, the Revd Dr Hugh Osgood.
Hannah Brock Womack, an active Quaker, was nominated to the fourth presidency in 2019, but, on learning that she was married to a woman, a majority of member Churches of CTE, through its enabling group, voted to request that the CTE “refrain from enacting its Presidency, leaving the Fourth Presidency as an ‘empty chair’ for the current term of office” (News, 22 November 2019).
The General Secretary of CTE, the Revd Dr Paul Goodliff, said on Wednesday that a new president would take up office next April: the Revd Helen Cameron, a Methodist District Chair. She will succeed Dr Osgood.
“The Methodist Church is representative of those Free Churches Group members who have made synodical decisions to allow equal marriages in their churches, and so Helen is representative of those churches which would want to see more rapid change in the policies of Churches towards same-sex marriage,” Dr Goodliff said.