Churches Together in England
Churches Together in England (CTE) is an ecumenical organisation and the national instrument for the Christian church in England. It coordinates the work of the different Churches. It is registered at Companies House with number 05354231.
Churches Together in England works through a network of Intermediate Bodies, each covering an English county or metropolitan area, and Co-ordinating Groups which bring together the Churches' officers in various areas of work.
- the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby
- the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Vincent Nichols
- the Free Churches' Moderator, Hugh Osgood
- the President for the Orthodox Churches, Archbishop Angaelos of London
- Revd Canon Billy Kennedy, and
- Pastor Agu Irukwu (Pentecostal President).
The Moderator of the Forum of Churches Together in England for the three-year period 2015 to 2018 is Ruth Gee (chair of the Darlington Methodist District with Hilary Topp (a Quaker, working for Student Christian Movement) as Deputy Moderator.
The chief executive and general secretary of Churches Together in England is Revd Dr Paul Goodliff.
The member churches of CTE are listed at www.cte.org.uk/MemberChurches
Bodies in Association
In addition to the actual member churches or member denominations (see above), there are a number of Bodies in Association with Churches Together in England. These are Christian organizations which, by their nature, are ecumenical but which are self-governing and are listed at www.cte.org.uk/BIAs
Intermediate or County Bodies
The Churches and their leaders meet together throughout England in county and large metropolitan areas. County bodies are sometimes called 'Intermediate Bodies' as they exist between the national and the local.
Most county bodies have a person appointed by the network of regional church leaders. These people are known as 'County Ecumenical officers', or CEO's for short. Many have 'development' or 'mission' in their job titles while others are called co-ordinators or facilitators. Each county body is autonomous, though in practice they often work with each other and with Churches Together in England. The full list can be viewed at www.cte.org.uk/IBs
History of Churches Together in England
Churches Together in England is part of the ecumenical structure introduced in 1990 when the British Council of Churches was replaced by the Council of Churches in Britain and Ireland (later renamed Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) and four national bodies:
- Churches Together in England
- Irish Council of Churches
- Action of Churches Together in Scotland, and
- Cytun (for Wales).
The British Council of Churches had itself been formed in 1942.
A National Free Church Council had come into being during the 1890s. A Federal Council of the Evangelical Free Churches was formed in 1916 as a more authoritative and representative body. These two merged in 1939 as the Free Church Federal Council.
A significant landmark was the 1910 World Missionary Conference held in Edinburgh.
A summary of the origins and history of the British Council of Churches and its predecessors can be found in the document The Story of the BCC - follow the pilgrim road by Colin Davey and Alan Dawkins.
- The Free Churches' Moderator is elected by the member-denominations of the "Free Churches' Group" ("FCG"; website: http://www.freechurches.org.uk). The Free Churches' Moderator was formerly called "Moderator of the Free Church Federal Council". The Free Church Federal Council (Incorporated) continues in being and it remains the body formally responsible for the work of the "Free Churches Group".
- Osgood is leader of Churches in Communities International (website: http://www.cicinternational.org). His personal website is http://www.hughosgood.com He co-chairs the UK Charismatic and Pentecostal Leaders' Conference and chairs the Board of the National Day of Prayer and Worship. He is Founding Minister of the Cornerstone Christian Centre, Bromley, Kent (website: http://www.cornerstonecc.org.uk) which began circa 1980 as a house group meeting in the home of Hugh Osgood and his wife. Hugh Osgood was appointed Free Churches' Moderator on 17 September 2014.
- Billy Kennedy is nominated on behalf of the Society of Friends (Quakers), the Lutheran and German-speaking churches, and the new churches. Billy Kennedy and his wife Caroline are leaders of the "Pioneer" network of churches and ministries (website: http://www.pioneer.org.uk). "Pioneer" was founded in the mid-1980s by Gerald Coates. Billy Kennedy is senior leader at New Community Church, Southampton (website: http://www.newcommunity.org.uk). Billy and Caroline Kennedy have led "Pioneer" since February 2009. Billy Kennedy became a CTE President during September 2014
- Agu Irukwu is of the Redeemed Christian Church of God
- This document can be seen or downloaded on the History page of the Churches Together in England website. The reference is http://www.churches-together.net/Groups/2344696/Home/About/History_of_CTE/History_of_CTE.aspx