The Profile
Anba Angaelos: The first Coptic Archbishop of London

Anba Angaelos: The first Coptic Archbishop of London

May 27, 2022

The beheading of 21 Coptic Orthodox Christians in Libya by Islamic State in 2015 brought worldwide attention to a Church that has endured persecution throughout its 2,000- year history. The first Coptic (the word means ‘Egyptian’) Orthodox Archbishop of London, Archbishop Angaelos, said he forgave the killers, and in the same year was awarded an OBE for his work as an advocate for religious freedom. Today, he continues that work, as well as overseeing the 35 Coptic Orthodox parishes in the UK. Abi Thomas met Archbishop Angaelos at the Cathedral of St George, part of the Coptic Orthodox Centre in Hertfordshire. The building, which was completed in 2006, contrasts many modern elements (including the large sports hall under the same roof) with an abundance of traditional Coptic icons dedicated to past saints. The pair spoke about a range of issues including Thy Kingdom Come, a prayer initiative begun by the Church of England but now supported by a range of denominations, including the Orthodox Church. 

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*BONUS EPISODE​* Franklin Graham on defying his critics

*BONUS EPISODE​* Franklin Graham on defying his critics

May 24, 2022

Franklin Graham is in good spirits when he meets Premier's head of news Marcus Jones in London's Hyde Park Corner. He's excited to be visiting Speaker's Corner, the place where many evangelists have preached and debated over the years. Many there have faced fierce opposition because of the message they preached, something Graham himself can sympathise with. The US based evangelist, whose father was the renowned Billy Graham, is in the UK for the God Loves You Tour. The tour was due to take place in 2020 but every venue he'd booked to preach in cancelled him after complaints were made about past comments he'd made about homosexuality and Islam. He would later take successful legal action against some of the venues, meaning the tour is back on, stopping off at Liverpool, Newport, Sheffield and London. Hear their conversation in full now on this special bonus episode of The Profile podcast.

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Rev Dr Israel Olofinjana: The reverse-missionary on building multi-ethnic churches

Rev Dr Israel Olofinjana: The reverse-missionary on building multi-ethnic churches

May 20, 2022
Ordained Baptist minister Rev Dr Israel Oluwole Olofinjana grew up in Nigeria in a polygamous family. In this interview with Premier Christianity's Sam Hailes he explains more about his 'tough' family background and the story of how he came to the UK to work as a reverse missionary. Israel also speaks about his role at the Evangelical Alliance, and why we need to keep talking about race within the UK Church.
 

The Profile is brought to you by Premier Christianity, the UK's leading Christian magazine. Enjoy full online access plus the print magazine delivered to your door for just £4.95/month at premierchristianity.com/subscribe

Churches Together’s Shermara Fletcher: Ministering on the margins

Churches Together’s Shermara Fletcher: Ministering on the margins

May 13, 2022

Shermara Fletcher might be the Principal Officer for Pentecostal, Charismatic and Multi-cultural Relations at Churches Together in England, but she's also learned to appreciate - and even embrace - other Christian traditions. In this interview with Premier Christianity's Sam Hailes, Shermara explains how Anglo-Catholic spirituality is nourishing her right now. She also opens up about her experience ministering alongside the homeless in Birmingham and London, and reflects on how her deeply Christian upbringing has shaped her life. Shermara, who has been invited to address politicians on the impact of Brexit on homeless women, says: "We don't worship politics, but the reality is policy governs and shapes our lives and the decisions we're able to make. The text talks about praying for leaders who are in charge, so I don't think we can detach from the political conversation. We should be pointing to morality and showing a different way, but not disengaging from the conversation altogether."

The Profile is brought to you by Premier Christianity, the UK's leading Christian magazine. Enjoy full online access plus the print magazine delivered to your door for just £1/month at premierchristianity.com/subscribe

Maverick City’s Dante Bowe: The Grammy-award winning artist doesn’t want to be a celebrity

Maverick City’s Dante Bowe: The Grammy-award winning artist doesn’t want to be a celebrity

May 6, 2022
Ahead of his UK debut at Big Church Day Out, the trailblazing worship leader (Bethel Music, Maverick City) and fashion model (Tommy Hilfiger) talks to us about breaking boundaries, hearing from God and why he’s ‘traumatised’ by the thought of being a Christian celebrity. 
 
You can also read this interview on premierchristianity.com. Subscribe now for just £1
Mandisa: How the Grammy award winning artist found Christ

Mandisa: How the Grammy award winning artist found Christ

April 22, 2022
Dami Okeke sits down with the popular singer and Gospel artist Mandisa to hear about her journey to faith. Mandisa first shot to fame after appearing on American Idol. Her new book is Out of the Dark: My journey through the shadows to find God's love
 

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Strictly star Rhys Stephenson: How ’desperate’ prayers got me to CBBC

Strictly star Rhys Stephenson: How ’desperate’ prayers got me to CBBC

April 15, 2022

When Rhys Stephenson joined Strictly Come Dancing, most people over the age of twelve would have been forgiven for not knowing who the CBBC presenter was (the 28-year-old has spent the majority of his professional life interacting with a puppet dog called Hacker!) But the prime time BBC One show has propelled the presenter to new heights, and in this conversation with Premier Christianity's Emma Fowle Rhys reveals how a 'desperate' prayer and the support of his church family led him into his chosen career. Rhys also explains why he feels so strongly that Christianity gets a bad rap in the media. He worries this has led many Christian young people – and adults – to feel embarrassed about expressing their faith. The star narrowly missed out on the final, but says if his Strictly journey helped others to “feel seen… feel represented”, that’s the real prize.

You can also read this interview on premierchristianity.com. Subscribe now for just £1

Graham Kendrick: Celebrating 50 years of songwriting

Graham Kendrick: Celebrating 50 years of songwriting

April 8, 2022

He might be best known for penning congregational hits such as ‘Amazing love’ and ‘Shine, Jesus, shine’ (the latter is now fondly referred to by millennials as a “primary school assembly banger”), but Graham Kendrick started out by writing story-based songs. This year marks 50 years since the release of Graham's first album Footsteps on the Sea. In order to celebrate, Graham has re-recorded the song that started it all, and put out a new EP entitled Where It All Began which sees him collaborate with singers Lucy Grimble and Lurine Cato MBE. The four-track EP is a tribute to that 1960s/70s era when the bearded guitarist was pioneering musical evangelism in coffee bars and folk clubs. In this in-depth interview with Premier Christianity's Sam Hailes, Graham reflects on his life and career in music, comments on the highs and lows of the modern worship movement and explains why the Church needs to be singing the stories of scripture. 

You can also read this interview on premierchristianity.com. Subscribe now for just £1

 
Join the listening party for Graham's new EP Where It All Began, airing on Premier Christian Radio at 2pm on Easter Monday. 
Baroness Cox: A voice for the voiceless // Paul Woolley: Making ’whole life’ disciples

Baroness Cox: A voice for the voiceless // Paul Woolley: Making ’whole life’ disciples

April 1, 2022
It's a double bill this week as Jemimah Wright interviews the legendary campaigner and humanitarian Baroness Cox, and Sam Hailes sits down with the head of the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity (LICC) to talk about the importance of whole life discipleship. 
 

Read the interview with Baroness Cox in Premier Woman Alive magazine.

For more on LICC's 40 cities tour, see http://licc.org.uk

 

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Genelle Aldred: The communications pro on stillbirth, racism and Jesus the radical

Genelle Aldred: The communications pro on stillbirth, racism and Jesus the radical

March 25, 2022
The journalist and activist Genelle Aldred was just 19 when an unplanned pregnancy ended in the stillbirth of her daughter. It was an experience that still drives her to tackle inequality wherever she sees it. In this interview with Abi Thomas, Aldred details her varied career so far, which has seen her present the news for some of the world’s largest broadcasters, including the BBC and ITV, and interviewing Lenny Henry, Paul O’Grady and One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson. She now works with organisations to help them achieve gender and racial diversity, as well as improve their workplace culture and communication. It’s a role which, in many ways, her Christian faith prepared her for. Genelle is the author of new book Communicate for Change (SPCK). 
 

 

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