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A Pentecost learning community

Releasing the gifts of the global church: Philip Mounstephen, far right, with international church leaders in London.

Church Mission Society to launch a learning community for non-English speaking congregations in London

In an appropriate celebration of Pentecost, Church Mission Society is to launch a ‘Learning Community’ to support the emergence of more than 20 non-English speaking Anglican congregations that have grown up recently, in and around London.

New congregations now exist serving Arabic, Turkish, Japanese, Spanish, Hindi, Gujarati, Ukrainian and Russian speaking believers in the capital and the Learning Community aims to celebrate the unique nature of each congregation, as well as supporting and resourcing leaders to grow and develop their own ministry.

The new initiative, which is the brainchild of Philip Mounstephen, executive leader of Church Mission Society, will provide a context for leaders from the respective congregations to pray and learn together. Philip said: “More than 300 languages are spoken across London every day: 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.”

Philip continued, “When a diverse group like this comes together inevitably there will differences of emphasis and approach but we’re bound by our common commitment to mission and to reach new people with the love of God, in this great global city.”

Through Church Mission Society’s work in recent years with global congregations it has become aware of the need for support for non-English speaking church communities. This, combined with Philip's own experience of leading an English-speaking church in Paris, has convinced the organisation to launch this new community.

The initiative is being supported by both Bishop Ric Thorpe, who has responsibility for church planting in London, and Girma Bishaw, leader of the Ethiopian Fellowship Church in London. In the longer term Church Mission Society hopes this model can be reproduced in other urban centres across the UK where many non-English speaking congregations have emerged.

The launch of the Learning Community for non-English speaking believers takes place on 6 June 2017 at Christ Church, Kensington.