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Message from the Secretariat

Visit by Archbishop Angaelos, Moderator of Churches Together Britain & Ireland Trustees


This mosaic symbol of the WCC was created by the Sunday School children of St Paul's Presbyterian Church, Nedlands WA in 1974. They presented it to the Western Australian Council of Churches. 

It was made on a tabletop that had become redundant after the Parish concluded its Melting Pot coffee shop venture in the neighbouring suburb of Hollywood.

A year or two later the WACC General Secretary, the Revd Keith Dowding, offered it as a gift to the General Secretary of the ACC, Jean Skuse and it was hung in the ACC building at 199 Clarence Street, Sydney.

In an encouraging address on 22 August 2018, Archbishop Angaelos of the Coptic Archdiocese of London, gave us an image of mosaic art with its separate pieces of glass and stone. All the coloured pieces are distinct works of art forming one creation.

His Grace, a President of Churches Together England, encouraged us to visit each other’s Churches to know one another. “I have never been to an ecumenical event without learning something about my own tradition as well about the other. ”

Archbishop Angaelos reminded us that responding to the Lord’s call to be one, was not an easy task for Churches but there is much that can be done together in terms of mission, witness and advocacy. Coming together, in one place, of one accord, will allow for the gift of the Holy Spirit to empower our common works. (Acts 2)

We are encouraged to speak as one on what we share, being the nature of the body of Christ. We need to speak as one from our Christian identity to fulfil our ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18), for “how can we be reconcilers in our world, if we are not reconciled?” His Grace asked.

Embracing differences between Christian traditions requires us to be gracious and charitable. Dialoguing with those with whom we have a disagreement is respectful and a hallmark of ecumenism. “But it seems that we find inter-religious work easier than going into each other’s churches”, His Grace opined.

‘The whole earth is a living icon of the face of God’ (St John of Damascas).

“Our shared humanity is part of that icon”, the Archbishop pointed out. As Christians in the world we need to be protective and give priority to human life and the voiceless and suffering. We must never stop speaking of the righteousness and holiness that Jesus brings and the promise of saving justice for reconciling our world. Faith is core to what we do and we are stewards.  

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 Archbishop Angaelos addresses those present. L-R Anthony Morgan, (Coptic Orthodox) Rev Fr Shenouda Mansour and Wies Schuiringa (NSWEC), Archbishop Angaelos, Liz Stone (NCCA), Rob Floyd (UCA), Nishan Basmajian (Armenian Apostolic), Bishop Daniel and Fr Yousef Fanous (Coptic Orthodox, Sydney Diocese. 

(Coptic TV – ctv – will feature the talk and visit of Archbishop Angaelos to NCCA and NSW Ecumenical Council on their YouTube channel in coming days).


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