Richard Coekin - Cathedral Spring Convention 2006

From the Dean

A regular article written by Phillip Jensen in his role as Dean of Sydney at St Andrew's Cathedral.

Originally Published:
28th July 2006

Tagged: church planting evangelism ministry


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Richard Coekin is a London minister, who has become known because of controversy when he should have already been known because of the quality of his leadership.

Richard, a solicitor before entering the ministry, read Law in Jesus College Cambridge and Theology in Wycliffe Hall Oxford. He has close associations with Australia, having spent some school years in Queensland and studying for a short time in Sydney at Moore College.

Since 1995, Richard has led one of the most innovative and creative ministries in the United Kingdom. He has been ministering in London at a new church known as Dundonald Church Wimbledon. This was a Church planted in 1990 from the proprietary chapel Emmanuel Wimbledon where the Rev Jonathan Fletcher is the minister.

Under Richard the Dundonald Church has grown in numbers attending especially young adults, students, and young families. Without its own church building, it now has three congregations meeting in different locations: a school, a wine bar and a church building.
Amongst the many programmes that the church runs there are Bible studies conducted in Korean and Afrikaans.

Not content to reach their local area, Richard leads a staff team of about a dozen to plant churches in other parts of London. At the moment I know of ten congregations they have planted and are growing. These are as far apart as Kingston, Balham and Mayfair.

Richard is a very gifted preacher of God’s Word. His evangelistic energies flow through his preaching and exceptional team leadership. He is passionate about reaching this generation of London with the gospel. He has created a workable and effective model of reaching people in new and innovative ways.

Yet as is the case with those who seek to please God and who work for the spiritual benefit of the community, all his good work has brought him no public recognition. But when he opposed his local Bishop his name was quickly spread around the world.

Richard’s principled stand against the Bishop of Southwark led to an ordination of two of his assistant ministers by a South African bishop. The Bishop of Southwark then revoked Richard’s license. Richard appealed against this action, and after a lengthy tribunal the Archbishop of Canterbury decided that he was to be reinstated as the Bishop’s action was ‘seriously flawed’ and his penalty was ‘inappropriate’ and ‘disproportionate’.

This controversy has propelled Richard into public repute or notoriety depending upon your point of view. It has also established him as a leader amongst evangelical Anglicans at a time of considerable unrest about the liberal sentiments of Episcopal leadership.

In September he is ministering in Sydney for ten days. The diocesan Department of Ministry Training and Development is flying him out to speak at their annual three-day conference. This is part of our Diocesan Ministry Development Programme for Assistant ministers, which is designed to train curates in their first three years after theological college.

Richard will also be speaking at the Cathedral. He will be preaching for us on Sunday 10th and 17th of September. The two morning sermons will be evangelistic in nature and the two evening sermons to The Bible Talks will be encouragements to evangelism.

On Friday 15th he will speak at our first Cathedral Ministry Intensive. This is aimed to encourage those employed in the proclamation of God’s Word to press on in the task. Richard will speak on the art of proclamation under the heading “Parental Guidance Needed”. He will also speak on enduring protest under the title “Survival Training”.

On Saturday 16th Richard will speak at our first Cathedral Spring Convention. Following the pattern of the very successful Cathedral Easter Convention held on Good Friday, we are starting an annual Spring Convention. Richard will speak on “Contending for the Faith”.

Make sure that you take the opportunity to invite your friends and colleagues to hear this fine gospel minister teach us God’s word.