Photo: Anna-Julia Pekkanen
Press Release No: 15/42
15 October 2015
The Conference of European Churches is pleased to announce the appointment of Fr Heikki Huttunen, Orthodox Church of Finland, to the position of General Secretary.
Fr Huttunen comes to the role with a wealth of ecumenical experience and a lifelong commitment to youth in the Church, at one time serving Syndesmos, the international youth organisation of the Orthodox Church.
He served the Finnish Ecumenical Council as General Secretary from 2006 to 2015. Earlier contributions to ecumenism included time with the World Council of Churches as director of the youth sub-unit from 1985 to 1989. Following his work with the WCC, he served as a parish priest in a new, multicultural community in Espoo near Helsinki. He was a member of the WCC Central Committee 2006-2013 and has represented his church at the last four WCC General Assemblies.
“I am delighted at Fr Heikki Huttunen’s appointment,” remarked CEC President Christopher Hill. “He will come to CEC at a time when all Europe—not just the EU—is on a political and social balance of greatest delicacy and some danger. He will play an important part in helping CEC be a bridge-builder in this continent, the traditional role of the Conference of European Churches. It is very good to have a General Secretary from the Nordic region and from the Orthodox tradition.” In welcoming Fr Heikki the President also expressed his gratitude to CEC General Secretary Rev. Dr Guy Liagre for his transitional ministry and especially his achievement in moving CEC to Brussels successfully.
“The task of the Conference of European Churches is to continue its service to the churches as a privileged tool of the Ecumenical movement. CEC’s task is to assist and inspire churches in their mission and service amidst changing realities, and help to express the Christian viewpoint in new demanding situations.” said Fr Heikki.
Fr Huttunen holds a master of theology from the University of Helsinki, and has also studied Orthodox canon law, Finnish church legislation, and systematic theology. He is married with two children and speaks a number of European languages including Finnish, English, Swedish, French, and Russian.
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Conference of European Churches
The Conference of European Churches (CEC) is a fellowship of some 114 Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican and Old Catholic Churches from all countries of Europe, plus 40 national council of churches and organisations in partnership. CEC was founded in 1959. It has offices in Brussels and Strasbourg.