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framework brighterA New Framework for Local Unity in Mission

An exciting, significant, practical, ecumenical document

As part of CTE's remit to support and encourage local ecumenism, a working group of some of the National Ecumenical Officers have been working with the General Secretary. They have explored issues around local unity in mission, including the changing nature of Local Ecumenical Partnerships and the new ecumenical contexts in England.

We have now come to the end of a consultation process. (Information here.) The responses of Member Churches and Intermediate Bodies were presented to the March 2017 Enabling Group meeting which accepted the following resolutions:

  1. We instruct the staff of CTE, in consultation with the Working Party and other appropriate colleagues, to prepare and publish guidance for Member Churches on the implementation of A New Framework for Local Unity in Mission. That should include further consideration of the nature of oversight and the provision of some working examples. The Board is asked to oversee this process, to authorise the circulation of the document when it is ready, and to report back to the next meeting. UPDATE:  On 15 February 2018, the Board approved 'A guide to understanding...' which can be downloaded below.

  2. We request the Board to consider the need for the following pieces of work:

    1. Furthering the support of existing LEPs, including a theological reflection which clarifies their identity and provides a satisfactory basis for all partner denominations to relate to them.

    2. Initiating a review of ecumenical hospitality, with a view to commending a strengthened process as an important component of the ecumenical future.

    3. Drawing to the attention of denominations the need for properly resourced Denominational Ecumenical Officers at Intermediate level in the light of the adoption of A New Framework for Local Unity in Mission, and consider the ways in which they can be best supported and resourced.

    4. Reflecting further on the consequences for Intermediate Bodies of the introduction of A New Framework for Local Unity in Mission, and to amend CTE’s advice accordingly.

    5. Considering the initiation at an appropriate time (in the light of Theos’ current work) of a review of the visions of unity in mission, holiness and worship which exist amongst CTE’s members and to report back to the next meeting with recommendations about a process.

    6. Reflecting further on the purpose and utility of keeping a Register of Ecumenical Agreements, in consultation with the National Ecumenical Officers, and implementing a system once agreement has been reached about its scope.

CTE's General Secretary, David Cornick, suggests that A New Framework for Local Unity in Mission 'may well prove to be one of the most significant practical ecumenical documents of our time'. He adds: 'The future is exciting. God has not finished with us yet!'

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