UK ecumenical organisations

The ecumenical scene differs in England, Scotland and Wales and as a consequence, the URC interacts with a variety of umbrella bodies.

  • Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI), spans all three nations (and the Republic of Ireland). CTBI produces the material each year for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, as well as annual Lent resources.
  • The Free Churches Group, is an umbrella body for the free churches in England and Wales. This group has a particular focus on chaplaincy work in prisons, healthcare and education.

The URC is a partner member to HOPE, which acts as a catalyst to encourage churches to work together in missional projects, specifically at a local level.

In England

The URC belongs to Churches Together in England (CTE), which has a very wide membership, encompassing 47 different denominations and church groupings. Although still a work in progress, the CTE document, ‘A new Framework for Local Unity in Mission’ is now the broadly accepted resource paper for ecumenical working in England. It provides a realistic and up-to-date picture of the state of ecumenism in England. The document helpfully encourages a more creative and lighter touch approach to ecumenical ways of working. The CTE website is a helpful source of ecumenical resource material

In Scotland

The URC is a member of Action for Churches Together in Scotland (ACTS) which has nine member denominations. In 2010 a partnership was established with the Episcopal Church and the Methodist Church (EMU). The URC has a natural and active relationship with the Church of Scotland as a fellow Reformed Church. The URC Ecumenical and Interfaith Officer for Scotland is a shared Assembly and Synod post. It is currently vacant.

In Wales

The URC belongs to Churches Together in Wales (CYTUN), which has made formal partnership arrangements with the Commission of the Covenanted Churches in Wales. This latter body brings together the URC, Methodist Church, Covenanted Baptists, the Presbyterian Church of Wales and the Church in Wales. CYTUN organise a very helpful residential ecumenical course to help introduce new ministers to Wales. The URC Ecumenical Officer for Wales is a shared Assembly and Synod post. The Revd Sally Massey Thomas can be reached on: ecumenical@urcwales.org.uk