Historical Background

We are a part of the International Church of God – with the General Headquarters in Cleveland Tennessee, U.S.A – now established in 168 countries around the world. In 1953, the New Testament Church of God (NTCG) emerged in the United Kingdom, and has grown to 128 branches and missions with some 30,000 members and adherents. The Church is recognised as one of the UK’s largest Black Majority Church organisations. The National Headquarters is based at Northampton, England.

Our Church is strategically positioned and located in an easy-to-reach urban area of Wood Green, North London; the history of which is divided into three eras: (1) the Carter Era, (2) the Brown Era, and (3) the Burrell Era. This trilogy of distinguished periods encapsulates the growth and development of the Church from its inception in 1977 to present. The following is a brief synopsis of our achievements over the years:

The Period of Foundation (1977 – 1991), The Carter Era 

The New Testament Church of God (NTCG) started in Wood Green by its founder pastor the late Reverend Isaac N. Carter, a great man of God with a  deep sense of vision, integrity and wisdom, which he exemplified throughout his tenure of service.  He had a no-compromise attitude and honesty to stand for righteousness, and an undeterred passion to acquire an appropriate place of worship.

Recognising the financial constraint of the local congregation, Pastor Carter proposed to Bishop O. A. Lyseight, the then National Overseer, that the Tottenham NTCG and the Hornsey branches be amalgamated in order to facilitate the acquisition of the current church building, which was bought for £75,000.  Consequently, both churches combined on 6 December 1977 to constitute what is now known as NTCG Cathedral of Praise. The Haringay NTCG branch, under the leadership of Reverend Guy Ricketts, merged with the ‘Wood Green Church’ on 31 March 1991, and Reverend Ricketts became the Assistant Pastor for the ensuing thirteen years before he retired on 17 January 2004. Pastor Carter was also the Overseer of the Wood Green district. After fourteen years unstinting service to the ‘Wood Green Church’ and others on the district, he retired in 1991.

The period of Transition  (1991 – 2002), The Brown Era

Bishop Eric A. Brown succeeded Reverend Isaac Carter in 1991, as Senior Pastor for the ensuing eleven years. His aim was that the Church should have a sense of relevance beyond its walls, impacting the local community and beyond. The vision was to encourage spiritual and personal development, maximise potential and release talents. During his tenure, the Church experienced substantial numerical and financial growth and became well established in the community. It is during this era that the suffix ‘Cathedral of Praise’ (COP) was added. As the congregation expanded, a number of ministries were initiated to meet the needs of the Church and its wider community. A three-bedroom parsonage and an adjacent flat to the church were purchased. In 2002, Bishop Eric Brown was promoted as Administrative Bishop for England and Wales.

The Period of Transformation (2003 – Present), The Burrell Era 

Emerging from the tranquillity of the beautiful military country town of Aldershot, Hampshire, Bishop Barrington O. Burrell accepted the challenges of the inner city and succeeded Bishop Eric Brown on 5 January 2003, as Senior Pastor of Cathedral of Praise. He brought a fresh approach to church-life and the ministry as a whole; advocating that ‘only two things should occur at church: that which glorifies God, and edifies the body of Christ.’ Bishop Burrell’s leadership qualities and resilience, characterised by his dedication and determination to focus on the Great Commission, motivated him to set out his clear vision of ‘Reaching people, Changing lives, and Advancing the Kingdom of God.’ This is based on a spirit of excellence, courage, discipline and godly principles.

Bishop Burrell asserted, ‘We want the word ‘EXCELLENT’ to be prominently written over everything we do for Christ. To this end, we have a distinctive approach to church-life and the ministry as a whole, focusing on proclaiming God’s word, demonstrating God’s power, and empowering God’s people. Our strategic thinking and planning include in-depth Bible study, meaningful fellowship, holistic support, effective training, mobilised laity, turning members into ministers and missionaries, proving mentoring opportunities, and engaging in appropriate community initiatives, with the Kingdom mindset’.

Cathedral of Praise has developed to become a beacon of hope in the community, with significant financial and spiritual growth. Today, with over thirty years of outstanding Pentecostal witness in its locality, COP delivers a relevant message, and continues to progress as a healthy growing movement in a diverse multicultural society.

Renovation and Modernisation

Our historic red-brick building, originally named St. James at Bowes, was built between 1901 and 1909 for the Congregational, United Reform Church. In 2005 – 8, the Church undertook a major programme of refurbishment – with support from the English Heritage – to ensure we are better equipped to meet our vision and objectives. 
Hence, this prestigeous (19th century) grade II listed building was completely renovated and modernised, at a cost of over £2.2m; providing a well equipped state-of-the-arts facilities, with a new roof and comfortable pews. The biblical context for the renovation of the building is based on King Solomon’s restoration of the Lord’s house; ‘Behold, I am building a temple for the name of the Lord my God…and the temple which I build will be great, for our God is greater than all gods’ (2 Chronicles 2:4 – 5). One of our objectives is to make the Church a safer environment for all.

New measures have been implemented as an essential venture for the maintenance of the building, and to provide our members and guests advance protection, information, instruction, supervision and training in accordance with the Health and Safety at Work Act, and the Disability Discrimination Act, which affect the users of our building, and for which we are responsible. Most importantly, we are gradually developing strategies to equip the current church fellowship to respond better to the Great Commission of Christ, and to represent the diverse demographic groups in our cosmopolitan community.



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Service Times


10 am - Adult Bible Study

11 am - Divine Worship

12 noon - Power-source Children's Church

6.30 pm - Celebration and Ministry


7.30 pm - Prayer Meeting


7.30 pm - Men's Ministries (fortnightly)

7. 45 pm - Worship Ministries Rehearsal


10.30 am - Fasting and Prayer

7.30 pm - School of Ministry


7.30 pm - Bible Study


6.30 pm - Youth Activities

7.45 pm - Cathedral Choir Rehearsal

8.00 pm - Community Project


10.00 am - Purpose Women's Conference (Monthly)


Solemnisation of Marriages and Babies' Dedication by Appointment Only. For further details, please contact the administration office.