Churches Together in England
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Churches Together in England (CTE) is an ecumenical organisation and the national instrument for the Christian church in England. It coordinates the work of the different Churches. It is registered at Companies House with number 05354231.
Churches Together in England works through a network of Intermediate Bodies, each covering an English county or metropolitan area, and Co-ordinating Groups which bring together the Churches' officers in various areas of work.
As of November 2016, the six Presidents of Churches Together in England were:
- the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby
- the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols
- the Free Churches' Moderator, Hugh Osgood
- the Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Thyateira and Great Britain, Gregorios (Theocharous) of Thyateira and Great Britain
- Billy Kennedy, and
- Eric Brown (Pentecostal bishop).
The Moderator of the Forum of Churches Together in England for the three-year period 2012 to 2015 was Doye Agama (a Pentecostal archbishop). Ruth Gee (chair of the Darlington Methodist District) is Moderator for 2015 to 2018 with Hilary Topp (a Quaker, working for Student Christian Movement) as Deputy Moderator.
The chief executive and general secretary of Churches Together in England is David Cornick.
in the United Kingdom
Those identified as "(FCG)" are also members of the Free Churches' Group.
- Antiochian Orthodox Church
- Apostolic Pastoral Congress
- Armenian Orthodox Church
- Assemblies of God (FCG)
- Baptist Union of Great Britain (FCG)
- Cherubim and Seraphim Council of Churches
- Church of England
- Church of God of Prophecy (FCG)
- Church of Scotland (in England)
- Churches in Communities International (FCG)
- Congregational Federation (FCG)
- Coptic Orthodox Church
- Council for Lutheran Churches
- Council of African and Caribbean Churches UK (FCG)
- Council of Oriental Orthodox Christian Churches
- Elim Pentecostal Church
- Evangelical Lutheran Church of England
- Evangelische Synode Deutscher Sprache in Großbritannien
- Free Church of England (FCG)
- Ground Level
- Ichthus Christian Fellowship
- Independent Methodist Churches (FCG)
- International Ministerial Council of Great Britain
- Joint Council for Anglo-Caribbean Churches
- Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (Indian Orthodox Church)
- Mar Thoma Church
- Methodist Church of Great Britain (FCG)
- Moravian Church (FCG)
- New Testament Assembly (FCG)
- New Testament Church of God (FCG)
- Oecumenical Patriarchate (Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain of the Greek Orthodox Church)
- Orthodox Churches of the Russian Tradition (Oecumenical Patriarchate)
- Redeemed Christian Church of God
- Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
- Roman Catholic Church
- Ruach Network of Churches
- Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate)
- Salvation Army (FCG)
- Trans-Atlantic and Pacific Alliance of Churches
- United Reformed Church (FCG)
- Wesleyan Holiness Church
- Seventh-day Adventist Church (observer)
The following members of the Free Churches' Group are not member-churches of Churches Together in England:
- Christ Apostolic Church
- Church of the Nazarene
- Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion
- Fellowship of Churches of Christ
- Free Methodist Church
- Old Baptist Union
- Presbyterian Church of Wales
- Union of Welsh Independents (Undeb yr Annibynwyr Cymraeg)
- Wesleyan Reform Union
Bodies in Association
In addition to the actual member churches or member denominations (see above), there are a number of Bodies in Association with Churches Together in England. These are Christian organizations which, by their nature, are ecumenical but which are self-governing.
Local Churches Together organisations
There are numerous local Churches Together groups in England. One such example is on the Isle of Sheppey, in Kent, which has a 'Churches Together in Sheppey' group where most of the denominations meet regularly and combine services. The ministers, priests, vicars, padres, etc. meet once a month to have a meal together, and the CTIS chooses a chairperson each year from the group's membership.
Churches Together in England is a member of The National Council for Voluntary Youth Services (NCVYS) by virtue of its local organisations' role in local communities, helping the personal and social development of young people.
History of Churches Together in England
Churches Together in England is part of the ecumenical structure introduced in 1990 when the British Council of Churches was replaced by the Council of Churches in Britain and Ireland (later renamed Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI)) and four national bodies:
- Churches Together in England
- Irish Council of Churches
- Action of Churches Together in Scotland, and
- Cytun (for Wales).
The British Council of Churches had itself been formed in 1942.
A National Free Church Council had come into being during the 1890s. A Federal Council of the Evangelical Free Churches was formed in 1916 as a more authoritative and representative body. These two merged in 1939 as the Free Church Federal Council.
A significant landmark was the 1910 World Missionary Conference held in Edinburgh.
A summary of the origins and history of the British Council of Churches and its predecessors can be found in the document The Story of the BCC - follow the pilgrim road by Colin Davey and Alan Dawkins.
- The Free Churches' Moderator is elected by the member-denominations of the "Free Churches' Group" ("FCG"; website: http://www.freechurches.org.uk). The Free Churches' Moderator was formerly called "Moderator of the Free Church Federal Council". The Free Church Federal Council (Incorporated) continues in being and it remains the body formally responsible for the work of the "Free Churches Group".
- Osgood is leader of Churches in Communities International (website: http://www.cicinternational.org). His personal website is http://www.hughosgood.com He co-chairs the UK Charismatic and Pentecostal Leaders' Conference and chairs the Board of the National Day of Prayer and Worship. He is Founding Minister of the Cornerstone Christian Centre, Bromley, Kent (website: http://www.cornerstonecc.org.uk) which began circa 1980 as a house group meeting in the home of Hugh Osgood and his wife. Hugh Osgood was appointed Free Churches' Moderator on 17 September 2014.
- The Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain is a Greek Orthodox archdiocese.
- A brief biography of Gregorios appears on orthodoxwiki
- Billy Kennedy is nominated on behalf of the Society of Friends (Quakers), the Lutheran and German-speaking churches, and the new churches. Billy Kennedy and his wife Caroline are leaders of the "Pioneer" network of churches and ministries (website: http://www.pioneer.org.uk). "Pioneer" was founded in the mid-1980s by Gerald Coates. Billy Kennedy is senior leader at New Community Church, Southampton (website: http://www.newcommunity.org.uk). Billy and Caroline Kennedy have led "Pioneer" since February 2009. Billy Kennedy became a CTE President during September 2014
- Eric Brown is of the New Testament Church of God
- "Churches Together in England" and the "Free Churches' Group" are separate organisations, though there are close links between them. The "Free Churches' Group" (website: http://www.freechurches.org.uk) was formerly called the "Free Church Federal Council". The "Free Church Federal Council (Incorporated)" continues in being, and it remains the body formally responsible for the work of the "Free Churches' Group".
- Full list of NCVYS members Archived May 12, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
- This document can be seen or downloaded on the History page of the Churches Together in England website. The reference is http://www.churches-together.net/Groups/2344696/Home/About/History_of_CTE/History_of_CTE.aspx