Webinar: Prophet of God’s Oikoumene - a celebration of the life of Philip Potter

This webinar will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth (on 19 August 1921) of Philip Potter, World Council of Churches general secretary from 1972 to 1984, and a pivotal figure in the ecumenical movement from the very beginnings of the WCC at its 1st Assembly in Amsterdam in 1948 when he was the spokesperson for youth.

Philip Potter

23 August 2021
14:00 CEST

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Panellists at the webinar will include those who worked with Philip Potter at the WCC, and others who have been inspired by his life and work.

Before becoming WCC general secretary in 1973, Philip Potter worked in the WCC youth department from 1954 to 1960, and as director of the WCC’s Commission on World Mission and Evangelism from 1967 to 1972.

The webinar will explore the continuing legacy of Philip Potter for the ecumenical movement, in areas such as youth, mission, the struggle against racism, as well as his commitment to help foster a dialogue of cultures.


Rev. Dr Michael Jagessar
Mission Secretary of the Council for World Mission (CWM) for the Caribbean and Europe Regions
Author of Full Life for All: The Work and Theology of Philip A. Potter; co-editor, At Home with God and in the World. A Philip Potter Reader

Rev. Dr Annegreth Schilling
Researcher in ecumenical and intercultural theology, pastor of the Evangelical Church in Hesse and Nassau (EKHN) in Frankfurt am Main.
Co-editor, Globalising of Churches: the World Council of Churches and the “Third World” in the 1960s and 1970s

Dr Boudewijn Sjollema
First director of the WCC's Programme to Combat Racism
Author, Never Bow to Racism: A Personal Account of the Ecumenical Struggle

Rev. Dr Konrad Raiser
WCC general secretary, 1993–2003
WCC deputy general secretary, 1973–1982

Dianet de la C. Martínez Valdés
Student at the Ecumenical Institute Bossey (2019 – 2020)
Regional Secretary and Programme Director of the World Student Christian Federation (WSCF) Latin America
Member of the WCC “ECHOS” Commission on Youth

Chaired by: Rev. Kirsty Borthwick, PhD student, University of Cambridge. Student at the Ecumenical Institute Bossey (2020-21)