Churches Together in Britain and Ireland

Many areas of work are best tackled for Britain and Ireland as a whole, rather than in the separate nations. It is 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.

There are a variety of ecumenical instruments in Britain and Ireland.  Many towns and communities have Churches Together Groups, which help local churches work together.  There are also regional churches together groups (called intermediate bodies in England).  Also, for each of the four nations of Wales, Scotland, Ireland and England there are ecumenical instruments that address the ecumenical situation in their own nation. Churches Together in Britain and Ireland links the four nations.  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.

Churches Together Groups in the four nations and CTBI were created as the result of a thorough consultation undertaken by the churches in the mid 1980s. The story is fascinating and is told in an account by Colin Davey and Martin Reardon called Not Strangers but Pilgrims.  They were formally created by the Swanwick Declaration in 1989.

Supported and facilitated by a skilled and committed staff team, CTBI networks specialists across the churches, arranges regular meetings of church representatives and links the churches to a wide range of inter-church organisations. Recently, it has set up a social network, called Churches Together Connect, and provides other web-based services for local groups.

Many issues facing the church benefit from a unified approach. Churches Together in Britain and Ireland works with member churches to co-ordinate responses, share resources and learn from each other's experiences. There are eight main work areas:

(1) Church and Public Issues

(2) Theology and Unity

(3) Mission

(4) China Desk

(5) Inter Religious

(6) International Students

(7) Racial Justice

(8) Action on Asylum and Refugees

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