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WMC Opens European Desk at Methodist Church House, London
Bishop Ivan Abrahams, General Secretary of the World Methodist Council, will be taking up semi-permanent residence at Methodist Church House, London, following the official opening of a new desk for the World Methodist Council European Office.
Present at the opening were Kirby Hickey, Treasurer/CFO of the WMC; Doug Swanney, Connexional Secretary; David Friswell, World Church Relations Team Leader; representative members of the WMC British Committee and members of the Connexional Team. Notably absent from the event was Bishop Ivan Abrahams himself, who was not able to attend due to illness.
In Ivan Abraham’s place, Kirby Hickey officially unveiled the desk – cutting a paper chain reflecting the broken slave chains that are depicted around the sides of the Methodist Church House font. This font is carved from one of the stone steps of Nathaniel Gilbert’s house in Antigua. Gilbert, a slave owner, was probably the first person to share his Methodist faith outside the British Isles in 1760.
Speaking to the crowd, Kirby said: “It is very fitting that the first European desk of the World Methodist Council should be set up in London, where the first ever meeting of the World Methodist Council first took place all those years ago. “It’s a great honour to be opening this desk and may it grow our already close links even closer.”
Following the chain cutting a cheque of £10,000 was presented to the WMC, bringing the total amount donated from the Methodist Church in Britain to £78,000. The event was closed in prayer by Doug Swanney who prayed blessing for the work of the WMC, for Ivan’s quick recovery and reminded those present that “under God’s care, we are all one together”.