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World News

'This is an attempt to find our confidence in our public voice': Church of England launches plan to better tell Christian story

by Alex Collett

Bishop of Kensington, Rt Rev Dr Graham Tomlin is to become the new lead as Centre for Cultural Witness.

Rt Rev Dr Tomlin will lead work on exploring how the Church can explain and share with others it’s profound and transforming story in public.

The four year project will be based at Lambeth Palace and will offer a learning and training programme for senior Christian leaders and emerging communicators, and theological research into the task of Cultural Witness in the contemporary context.

Speaking to Premier, Rt Rev Dr Graham Tomlin said: “We have an extraordinary remarkable story in the Christian faith which has shaped Western Culture in so many different ways.

“Our literature and our architecture and values and yet so often that story is forgotten in our culture today.

“Many people might not understand it and don’t really explore its depths, so this is an attempt to engage with the Church’s public witness, we do a fantastic job I think in churches across the country.

“On local level with our evangelism, our social action, our compassion, this is an attempt to find our confidence in our public voice as a Church, not just as the Church of England but churches across the country.”

Upon the Centre’s formal launch in the summer, Bishop Graham will step down as Bishop of Kensington, having held the position since 2015.

The project will be funded by donations, including from the McDonald Agape Foundation and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Charitable Fund.

Bishop Graham will lead a full-time staff, supported by regular and occasional contributors. Recruitment for this team will begin shortly.

The project will focus on the following three key areas Communication, Learning and Research.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev Justin Welby, celebrated his new appointment and said: “We are living in times – and in a world – that urgently need healing, justice and hope. In other words: a world that needs the gospel of Jesus Christ and the good news of his kingdom.

“Giving expression to that good news is the task of every new generation of Christians. That is why I am delighted to welcome the Centre for Cultural Witness and I’m especially pleased it will be led by Bishop Graham Tomlin, who will bring to it deep theological knowledge and a great flair for communication.

“I look forward to learning from the Centre and pray God would use this witness to excite, inspire and engage many with Jesus Christ, and the joy and wonder of his kingdom. This is timely, creative and essential.”


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