Gathering together locally
In a town or city suburb, congregations often group together to strengthen their witness to the local community. Such groups are where many congregations express their ecumenical relationships. They should not be just another church organisation for those who 'are keen on that sort of thing' but should be where the local congregations meet to share a common life, witness and mission. A key question is: 'What decisions could the churches be making together instead of separately?'
Many such groups are long-standing and many call themselves 'Churches Together groups'. Some have a Covenant relationship to which local church leaders commit themselves publicly. Some are very active in united prayer and worship and social action, like Street Pastors or Foodbanks, while others might focus on the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and/or Lenten study groups. All ecumenical groupings, however formal or informal, whatever they choose to call themselves, are supported by Intermediate Bodies.
There are 2,500 'Churches Together' groups in England, in all sizes of village, town, city and region. It would be impossible to try to keep a list here, so please search the web for a local group. Some local groups of Churches Together have taken up the offer of a micro website with www.ctbi.org.uk. These are listed: http://www.churchestogether.org/
If you can't find a local group using a web search, try contacting the County Ecumenical Officer.
Our colleagues at Churches Together in Britain and Ireland have a new list of local and regional groups, which may include your area.
New unity networks for mission have been coming together over recent years, and the Evangelical Alliance works closely with them. Visit We Gather.