Hundreds Of Pentecostal Christians To Gather In London For Landmark Meeting

Hundreds will mark the UK's first ever National Pentecostal Symposium in London on Saturday.

As estimated 250,000 Christians will be represented by 20 organisations from across the UK at the celebration in Kensington Temple, West London.

Pentecostalism is the fastest growing Christian expression in the world, according to academics.Pexels

Pentecostalism is the fastest growing Christian movement worldwide according to academics such as Alan Anderson and frequently offsets the decline seen in the Church of England and other more traditional expressions. There are currently an estimated 280 million pentecostals around the world, three times more than the 85 million-strong Anglican Communion.

The symposium on Saturday will combine sung worship and preaching with academic discussion. Four papers will be published from the day on areas such as Pentecostal history and diversity and Pentecostal relationship with ecumenism, social, economic and political relations.

Bishop Dr Joe Aldred, Churches Together in England's (CTE) Pentecostal and multicultural relations secretary, said the growth showed "decline is not inevitable, even in a post-Christendom world". 

He told Christian Today: "In an age of scepticism where faith is deemed by many people to be something that only the non-smart engage in, it is important that we resist the temptation to gravitate towards the emotional, the sensational and only appeal to the wilder side of human nature.

"While we need to give some vent to emotion I think it is important that we spend time reflecting on our faith and discussing it and appealing to the mind."

He added: "We must use heart and head, God-given emotion and intellect, to explore how we improve Christian mission in the world; deepening our understanding of the legitimate differences we have; embracing the dynamism the Holy Spirit brings."

The Revd Dr David Cornick, CTE general secretary said: "Pentecostalism's roots lie deep in the holiness traditions of the 19th century, and their presence in Britain dates back to a series of revivals which rippled through these isles in the early years of the 20th century. One of the remarkable features of 20th century Christianity was the growth of the Pentecostal churches and the emergence of the charismatic movement.

"We are delighted that the churches of these traditions are coming together to celebrate the gifts God has given them and to share their insights with their Christians friends from other traditions."

Current CTE Pentecostal president, Bishop Eric Brown, said: "We live in a world and a country where human difference is difficult to manage and so it has been heart-warming to be a part of a project that shows that with the right spirit our God-given diversity can be a strength, not a weakness."