many churches, one purpose
There are many different Christian churches and denominations, but all have the same basic calling – to worship God, to share the good news about Jesus Christ and to work for the good of all people.
So they often need to work together, as well as co-ordinate the work they each do separately. When they do, they are acting as Churches Together.
But being Churches Together means more than that. It means commitment by each church and denomination to deepen its fellowship with the others and, without losing what makes each interestingly different, to work with them towards a greater visible unity.
To help the churches live as Churches Together, a number of small organisations have been created to ease their way. There is one in almost every town or community to help them to work together locally. There are others in the regions and for each of the four nations of Wales, Scotland, Ireland and England. And there is Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.
Many areas of work are best tackled for Britain and Ireland as a whole (see our work), rather than in the separate nations. It is also important for those involved in similar activities in different parts of Britain and Ireland to keep in touch even when working separately. Churches Together in Britain and Ireland is the instrument that facilitates that process.
Supported and facilitated by a skilled and committed staff team, it networks specialists across the churches, arranges regular meetings of church representatives and links the churches to a wide range of inter-church organisations. As the successor to the former Council of Churches for Britain and Ireland, and before that the British Council of Churches, it has a long history.
No Longer Strangers – Pilgrims!
Nid Dieitriaid Mwyach – Pererinion!
Luchd-Turuis – Conhla!
In 1987, at a meeting in Swanwick, the churches adopted a declaration on
It acknowledged that the churches are of different traditions and theologies, but were nonetheless committing themselves to a journey towards full visible unity.
“Churches Together” was the result of this process which replaced the British Council of Churches with bodies that included a broader spread of churches, especially the Roman Catholic Church.
Churches Together places the emphasis upon the Churches in pilgrimage together towards full visible unity rather than ecumenical institutions acting and speaking on behalf of the churches.
Churches Together is therefore an ‘instrument’ by which the churches journey towards full visible unity.
The Inter Church Process that culminated in the Swanwick Declaration created Churches Together bodies in England, Scotland and Wales which were primarily concerned with local and regional ecumenism.
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland was set up to take forward the churches’ ecumenical agenda on a strategic Four Nations basis.
It works closely with Action for Churches Together in Scotland, CYTUN (Churches Together in Wales), Churches Together in England and the Irish Council of Churches.
CTBI is therefore an expression of the churches’ commitment to work ecumenically across the Four Nations and beyond.