Lord Bourne meets Bishop Angaelos

Coptic Orthodox Church UK – Media and Communications Office – 2/9/16

Lord Bourne meets with HG Bishop Angaelos to discuss the engagement of faith leaders with the Department for Communities and Local Government

On 1 September 2016, Lord Bourne of Aberystwyth, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, was received by His Grace Bishop Angaelos, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom, at The Coptic Orthodox Church Centre. During the visit, discussions took place on matters relating to the state of Christians in the Middle East, Freedom of Religion or Belief around the world, and interfaith engagement and collaboration between faith leaders in the United Kingdom and Her Majesty’s Government.

After a tour of the Cathedral of Saint George with Lord Bourne, Bishop Angaelos said:

“Lord Bourne’s visit today sends a very clear message of his, and his department’s, desire to reach out to and work with local communities. As Christians we believe that we have been entrusted with a stewardship that calls us to engage and be active citizens within our communities, and it is important for us all to discover and pursue the full breadth of opportunity for collaboration at both the national and local level. By working together, we will ensure that our collective experience can be put to good use in portraying the will of the vast majority of British society for a peaceful, prosperous, safe and accepting nation.”

After the visit, Lord Bourne said:

“It was an honour to meet a true leader of the community, His Grace Bishop Angaelos. His knowledge, passion and commitment to not only the Coptic Christian community but to the country as a whole was evident throughout our meeting. The Coptic Centre and the Cathedral of St. George are remarkable – an example to us all of what a community can do when it works together.”

Speaking on collaboration to an audience of over 700 MPs and Church and community leaders at the annual National Parliamentary Prayer Breakfast on 15 June 2016, Bishop Angaelos said:

“We must realise that the current situation is greater than us all; it needs us all to work together…There can no longer be a concept of ‘over there’ because families of those affected in the Middle East are members of your constituencies, our Churches, and our society as a whole…We are one very large community…our paths cross, our experience is one and our journey is one that we must share.”

Bishop Angaelos went on to say:

“Regardless of which House one sits in, which Church one worships in, or indeed which faith one does or does not have, we must work together for the freedom and dignity of human life and speak with a collaborative voice.”

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