A New Framework for Local Unity
Here, Revd Dr David Cornick, General Secretary of Churches Together in England, introduces A New Framework for Local Unity:
The landscape of Christian England has been transformed over the past twenty years as England has changed. Waves of immigration which began way back in the early part of the twentieth century have intensified. Christians from all continents are now our neighbours. The world church is no longer a plane journey away – its on our High Streets. Pentecostal churches which were once wary of ‘liberal’ mainstream churches are now open to conversation and dialogue as together we seek to serve our communities in the name of Jesus. The charismatic renewal of the 1960s and 70s resulted in the formation of many new churches and networks. As they have grow to maturity, they too are looking for partnership in mssion.
There is a variety of Christian expression and experience in England which is unparalleled. The implication of that is co-operation in mission (which is where ecumenical encounter often begins) is no longer a game restricted to a handful of players – Catholics, Anglicans and a smattering of historic Free Churches. The methods of ecumenical engagement which we inherited from the past are too restrictive to cope with the fluidity and complexity of contemporary church life. There is a pressing need for a ‘new framework’.
CTE set up a working party two years ago to look at this. They have consulted widely amongst member churches, and have produced a report which may well prove to be one of the most significant practical ecumenical documents of our time. The future is exciting. God has not finished with us yet!
It has been sent to the churches for consideration, and they have been asked to respond by February 2017 when we will assess the responses and discern the way ahead.
You can read the document at www.cte.org.uk/NewFramework