Chapter 9 » 9.09
Britain Yearly Meeting and the ecumenical movement
Formal relationships and their constitutional foundations
Britain Yearly Meeting is a member of Churches Together in Britain & Ireland (CTBI) and of three national bodies, namely ACTS: Action of Churches Together in Scotland, CTE: Churches Together in England and Cytûn: Eglywsi ynghyd yng Nghymru, Churches Together in Wales. These ‘new ecumenical instruments’, launched in 1990, have a broader membership than those of 1942–1990. Following Friends’ participation in the five-year preparatory process known as ‘Not strangers but pilgrims’, the Yearly Meeting in 1989 after a difficult exercise decided despite hesitations to apply for full membership of the then Council of Churches for Britain and Ireland (now Churches Together in Britain & Ireland) and the national bodies. Yearly Meeting in 1997 confirmed this decision. Each of the four bodies accepted London (now Britain) Yearly Meeting into membership under a clause (Clause 2b) which appears in each constitution as follows:
A church, which on principle has no credal statements in its tradition and therefore cannot formally subscribe to the statement of faith in the Basis, may nevertheless apply for and be elected to full membership provided that it satisfies those member churches which subscribe to the Basis that it manifests faith in Christ as witnessed to in the Scriptures and is committed to the aims and purposes* of the new ecumenical body, and that it will work in the spirit of the Basis.
The Basis reads:
The Council of Churches for Britain and Ireland is a fellowship of churches in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and in the Republic of Ireland which confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour according to the Scriptures and therefore seek to fulfil their common calling to the glory of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
* The Objects, aims and purposes of CCBI provide the context within which the Basis and commitment are to be understood. The relevant constitutional texts are available on request from the Recording Clerk and at www.quaker.org.uk/qfp