The 63rd SEC Session commenced today in Portsmouth to start the process of electing leadership and implementing plans that will guide the South England Conference (SEC) over the next four years.
71% of the 594 delegates, selected from the local congregations and conference within the south of England registered and took to their seats in Portsmouth Guildhall’s main auditorium. The President and Chair, Dr Emmanuel Osei, opened by welcoming the attendees. Notably, among them was the Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor David Fuller; Legal Counsel of the General Conference (GC), Karnik Doukmetzia; Executive Secretary of the British Union Conference (BUC), Pastor John Surridge; and BUC President, Pastor Ian Sweeny.
Before the first Business Session started, the delegates were invited to prepare their hearts and set the spiritual tone for the task ahead. Firstly, they took part in a prayer session in which they asked for the forgives of their sins and the presence of the Holy Spirit. They then listened to an impassioned Keynote Address by visiting speaker, Pastor Royston Philbert, of the North Caribbean Conference. In his delivery, he noted that the most significant responsibility a Christian has, is to represent Christ, and reminded the delegates, that being tasked “to do God’s business, is a privilege, not a right”. He concluded that the challenge of Session was great but declared that the God we serve is greater.
What briefly followed was a series of procedural motions, including accepting all the churches established from 2015 to 2018, which were previously church ‘companies’, i.e. small groups, house churches, or church plants. The churches organised during this period were: Basingstoke; Bracknell Ghana; Frimley; North London Hispanic; Downham; East London Romanian; Harlow South; Romford; Bristol South; and Wokingham.