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Categories of LEP | 'Appointments in LEPs' paper | Forming a single congregation LEP | Single Congregation LEP Charity Registration | Safeguarding - check list for an LEP | Constitutional Guidelines for LEPs | Expectation of Reformed Elements re URC in LEP | Sponsoring Bodies | Reviewing LEPs | Sharing Buildings | Sharing buildings on an informal basis | Local Covenants | Books and Literature about LEPs

Local Ecumenical Partnerships


What is an LEP?


LEPs come in a variety of forms, but each is a situation where more than one Christian denomination is working together under a formal agreement. These formal agreements are 'sponsored' by a County or City ecumenical body ('Intermediate Body') which has responsibility for supporting, encouraging and monitoring them.


In the list of LEPs, you will find local churches which share their congregational life, share buildings and covenant with each other within chaplaincies and other situations. To find LEPs in your locality, click here and enter your own postcode. (The list of Intermediate Bodies is here.) 


I want to start an LEP

Begin here and then go on to the next section:




Why Local Ecumenical Partnership? (PDF version here) is a basic, user-friendly, introduction to LEPs.



Together in Ministry (PDF version here) is another brief leaflet for those considering or starting ministry in Local Ecumenical Partnerships.



Much more detail is in Constitutional Guidelines (see below) but one of the first things you must do is write an Ecumenical Vision Statement to state your aim. Click the link and the agenda which pops up will help you.


I need some information!




Travelling Together is an amazingly comprehensive and informative handbook by Elizabeth Welch and Flora Winfield (PDF version here). The links enable you to download the complete book and you can buy a printed version here.



Intermediate Bodies are responsible for reviewing LEPs. Click the link for all the help and advice you need -- and more! In particular, you may find the Art of Review collection helpful.



A comprehensive overview of LEPs, explaining what they are, the different kinds, how they are formed etc can be found in the not-imaginatively-titled document Constitutional Guidelines. This is a very helpful, practical document containing most of the overall information you might ever need. It has been approved by CTE's Member Churches. All new and revised Single Congregation LEP consititutions need to be based on the new Model Governing Document which can be found at the bottom of this page.




Finance in LEPs can be a minefield! A Harmony of Church Finance (pdf or Word) attempts to chart a safe way through the maze.




If your LEP has a shared building, then this page is the gateway to more documents, friendly and technical.


Finally, there is a miscellancy of documentation about LEPs in general, most of which have arisen out of questions raised by LEPs themselves.


Constitutions and Charity Registration




Whether or not an LEP plans to become a registered charity, all new and revised constitutions for Single Congregation LEPs must use the new, standard, Model Governing Document. Keep reading to find the link!



Many churches operate as unregistered charities as permitted by the Exception Order. The current Exception Order 2007 makes it clear that this includes partnerships of those churches, including LEPs. However, those with an annual income over £100,000 are now required to register. This has led to a new Model Governing Document for Single Congregation LEPs which should be used for all new or revised constitutions, whether or not they need charity registration now.



The Model Governing Document and other resources are available at the bottom of the page here. This needs to be completed and approved by the partner Churches (not just by the congregations involved). After that has been done, those LEPs which need to apply to the Charity Commission for registration can do so on-line through their website.


Paper is fine but I want a person!




In the first instance, contact the Ecumenical Officer in the Synod, Diocesan, District or Association (etc) of your own denomination. If you don't know who s/he is, your County Ecumenical Officer will be able to put  you in touch -- and will also be able to help.



You can also be in touch with the National Ecumenical Officers of the Churches and Churches Together in England's Field Officers for the North & Midlands or South of England.








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