Twelve Apostles in London
Twelve Apostles in London … This certainly deserves a mention in our New Apostolic history. Apostles from the northern and eastern part of Germany and Switzerland undertook a study trip to London, more precisely to Albury, to trace our origins.
It was District Apostle Markus Fehlbaum from Switzerland who had the idea of taking the Apostles and Bishops from his District Apostle Area to the place where the New Apostolic Church had its origins. When District Apostle Rüdiger Krause—who also heads the Church in the United Kingdom—head about it, he decided to join the group with his Apostles and Bishops. So for the midweek service in our London-Central congregation twelve Apostles were seated next to the altar. This was not only an unusual picture, but it also highlighted the profound symbolism of the beginnings in Albury, where the number twelve played a decisive role. District Apostle Krause based his sermon on Luke 9: 62. Visibly moved he said, “Let us work for the Lord, follow Him, and proclaim the gospel until His return.”
Back to the roots
Albury is still worth a visit today. It is a quaint village in the borough of Guildford in Surrey, about an hour’s drive south-west of London. Life is very British and breathes history. It is embedded into an area of stunning beauty, with historic properties, and a keen sense of style and society—something that has been preserved to this day. Nearly two hundred years ago, a group of devout clergymen and laymen gathered to pray and discuss the Scriptures, from which the Catholic Apostolic Church evolved later. Henry Drummond, the later Apostle, hosted these so-called Albury Conferences at his manor house. Drummond, a wealthy banker, opened his home, Albury Park, giving these conferences a dignified venue and lending them distinction. His tombstone is in the Old Parish Church, which dates back to the Anglo-Saxon Norman period, and is located in the immediate vicinity of his house.
Located at the end of the village street is the Apostles’ Chapel: big, magnificent, and venerable. Both the chapel and the magnificent Council Room remain closed to the public. All the visitors could do was to pose for a group photo at the entrance gate. Instead, the Apostles and Bishops devoted more time to the graves and memorials of the English Apostles at the cemetery of the new village church of Albury, St Peter and St Paul. They were greeted by the resident minister, Reverend Andrew Pearson. District Apostle Markus Fehlbaum said a fervent prayer at the tomb of Apostle John Bate Cardale. He stressed the importance of peace and reconciliation among Christians.
Gordon Square London
On Friday morning, the two District Apostles Fehlbaum and Krause called a meeting of the Apostles and Bishops to discuss matters of faith. In particular, to talk about offers by the Church for the younger generation and to discuss concepts for training.
Afterwards the group visited the big and venerable church at Gordon Square. It once belonged to the Catholic Apostolic Church and was its most important centre. For a time it was used as a worship centre for students of a nearby university. In the imposing building, which dates back to 1850, the tour guide and historian Shepherd Manfred Henke from Lübeck (Germany) provided the group with important and relevant information about the past.
A rich heritage
The situation was completely different 170 years ago, but the wealth of the common history is still of significance today. Learning from history also means preparing oneself in the present for the future. And this is the heritage that the Apostles of the Catholic Apostolic Church have left us.