Who we are
Churches Together in England is the national ecumenical instrument supporting and encouraging churches from a wide range of traditions to work together in unity.
Our vision is to create the space in which fruitful collaboration and mutual understanding can grow, so that we as churches work more closely together in our great task of sharing in God’s mission and making the gospel of Christ known in our nation.
Our strapline is: One in Christ Jesus, engaged in God’s mission, empowered by the Spirit.
You can read more about CTE below. You can also hear more about who we are in this introductory video by our General Secretary, Rev Dr Paul Goodliff...
One in Christ Jesus
Nationally, Churches Together in England brings together 50 Member Churches from many diverse traditions. With churches drawn from the Anglican, Catholic, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Orthodox and Lutheran traditions, as well as Free Churches, Quakers and others, we unite one of the broadest range of churches in the whole of Europe. Together we unite around CTE’s statement of belief.
Locally, churches from a wide range of traditions are working together in many different ways, and there are an estimated 2,000 Churches Together groups across our nation. Some local congregations also share church buildings and worship together, leading to some 900 Local Ecumenical Partnerships.
County bodies draw together local Churches Together groups and other local expressions of Christian unity, working ecumenically at an intermediate level.
CTE also works alongside three National Agencies, as well as more than 50 Bodies in Association – a wide range of voluntary groups and charities whose work has an ecumenical dimension, working with Christians of many different traditions.
Engaging with God's mission
As Churches Together in England, we have a vision to reach our nation with the good news of Jesus Christ as we seek to serve Him together.
Our heart is to see the churches in England collaborating in the Missio Dei – working together more closely in the mission of God, which is our calling in every generation.
And we want to celebrate where churches are collaborating together, showing God’s love and making the gospel of Christ known in our nation.
Empowered by the Spirit
As a family of churches, we are dependent on the Holy Spirit to empower, guide and direct us as we dream and plan together, and as we continue to discover what it means to love one another deeply as brothers and sisters in Christ.
This Pilgrim Prayer was written as part of the historic Swanwick Declaration – part of the process which led to the founding of CTE in 1990.
Its words remain as true today as they did then:
Lord God, we thank you
for calling us into the company
of those who trust in Christ
and seek to obey his will.
May your Spirit guide and strengthen us
in mission and service to your world;
for we are strangers no longer
but pilgrims together on the way to your Kingdom.
More about CTE
Churches Together in England is served by a small staff team who aim to support and resource the wide range of ecumenical relationships across our nation – in person, through training, and by providing resources, information and good news stories on our website.
Demonstrating our commitment to mission, CTE has a staff member dedicated to evangelisation and mission, encouraging fruitful collaboration as we share together in God’s mission. We also have a staff member dedicated to Pentecostal, Charismatic and multi-cultural relations.
CTE staff members write, speak and present papers to aid biblical and theological reflection on a wide range of topics. We also support and encourage theological dialogues between denominations, and while we do not formally sponsor these, we do share their outcomes with the wider church family and host occasional day events.
Staff work under the direction of the Enabling Group, which brings together the representatives of our national Member Churches as well as ecumenical officers from across the regions of England. As a whole, Churches Together in England is represented by six Presidents.
CTE’s Forum is a unique gathering held every three to four years, bringing together over three hundred representatives of Member Churches, Intermediate Bodies, Bodies in Association and Co-ordinating Groups.
In the UK, Churches Together in England has partner bodies in Ireland, Scotland and Wales, as well as working alongside Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.
Internationally we relate with the Conference of European Churches and the World Council of Churches.
A leaflet about CTE and a summary of our Annual Report are both available.