Chapter 9 » 9.15

Local meetings and ecumenical relationships

Local meetings are seeking to develop their religious life in relationship with members of other Christian churches, and with adherents of other faiths and of none. Any local meeting may find itself at some point along a wide spectrum of possible relationships designed to offer increasing degrees of commitment between churches. These range from local councils of churches, through Churches Together in a particular locality, to local ecumenical projects which may involve joint church membership (see 9.18), shared buildings, mutual recognition of ministers or all three.

Interchurch activity, especially in England, is often assisted by a sponsoring body – a formal association of appropriate church representatives which encourages, assists and oversees ecumenical activity within the boundaries of a city or county. A sponsoring body is enabling, not directive, in nature. Meetings need periodically to review their participation in sponsoring bodies, noting that all the churches have difficulty in matching up their geographical boundaries denominationally and ecumenically.

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