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Friday, 1 October 2010

The Revd Adèle Kelham Elected President of Swiss Ecumenical Council

At its General Meeting in Lausanne on 22 September, the Revd Adèle Kelham was elected President of the Swiss national ecumenical body (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Christlicher Kirchen in der Schweiz AGCK-CH – Communauté de Travail des Eglises Chrétiennes en Suisse CTECH). She will take up this office on 1 January 2011, and will serve for a term of 2 years in succession to Bishop Vitus Huonder, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Chur. Bishop Huonder is pictured above congratulating Adèle. This is not only a great honour within Switzerland, but is an appointment with global significance; Adèle will be one of very few women worldwide to hold the office of president of a national council of churches.

Adèle is the priest-in-charge of our parish of Christ Church, Lausanne. She is also our Diocesan Advisor on Women's Ministry with a specific responsibility to support the ministry of women clergy in the diocese. (Over 20% of the licensed clergy of the Diocese in Europe are women). Before her theological training Adèle first studied physics. She commented that the two subjects complement one another, "One looks at creation, the other at the Creator". Adèle is deeply committed to ecumenism as being central to Christian witness and mission. She says, "Divided, the Church cannot properly fulfil its tasks. How can we show the love of God in the world, if we fail to love our fellow Christians respectfully and from the heart? How can we foster God’s peace and justice in the world, if we do not show mutual support for one another?"

We offer our congratulations to Adèle as she takes up this vital ecumenical office and assure her of our prayers.

The website of the Swiss National Ecumenical Body, 
AGCK-CH is here. Christ Church Lausanne's website is here.

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