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World churches chief to visit Britain and Ireland

The general secretary of the World Council of Churches (WCC), the Rev Dr Samuel Kobia, will seek new insights into the life and current work of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland’s (CTBI) member churches in his visit to England, Scotland, both jurisdictions of Ireland and Wales at the end of this month.

Dr Kobia’s April-May trip will bring the world churches’ chief into contact with church leaders and workers engaged in such diverse fields as interfaith relations, work with refugees and asylum seekers, racial justice initiatives, and ecumenical theological education.

He is likely to encounter enthusiasm at the grassroots in the four nations, but tiredness in some of the official inter-church structures – which have faced cutbacks and lack of enthusiasm from some of the major churches in recent years.

Dr Kobia will stress that he is here to listen and learn, but he will also urge a vision for the future.

In the area of mission, the 2010 centennial celebration of the 1910 World Mission Conference in Edinburgh, widely considered as the symbolic starting point of the contemporary ecumenical movement, will be the focus of a visit to that city. Dr Kobia is scheduled to speak on “Edinburgh 2010” at the opening session of a planning conference for this major event.

During his trip, the WCC general secretary will be addressing several gatherings on a variety of topics including “Global migration and new ecclesial realities,” “Hope and the healing of memories,” and “Called to be one,” and will respond to a lecture on “Prisoner abuse: from Abu Ghraib to the passion of the Christ”.

Full story at Ekklesia.

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