Engaging with NRMs


New Religious Movement (NRM) is the name used for groups, movements or gatherings which claim to have, or appear to have, a religious character, and which fall outside the major historic world religions. We use the name NRM in line with academics who study religions and who use this term to describe such groups. Some of these groups are sometimes called by other people 'cults' or 'sects'.

The Church of England has a policy on relations with New Religious Movements

The point of contact for enquiries about New Religious Movements is:

Dr Anne Richards
National Adviser: mission theology, alternative spiritualities and new religious movements
Mission and Public Affairs Division
Archbishops' Council of the Church of England
Church House
Great Smith Street


Resources available on the right-hand side include:

  • Basic information about NRMs and about particular groups, including other cult-watching groups
  • Suggestions on what to do if a friend or family member joins an NRM
  • Guidance on lending or hiring a church or church hall to an unknown group
  • Advice about NRM-related advertising in church newsletters and magazines

Information is also available on New Age, health and healing issues in relation to NRMs, practices and therapies and alternative spiritualities.

Other places to go for help:

To get information

The Church of England has a partnership with INFORM at the London School of Economics. INFORM staff can give information on a wide variety of groups and movements and can put enquirers in contact with parents' networks, counsellors or other sources of specialist advice.


London School of Economics
Houghton Street
Tel: 0207 955 7654
Email: inform@lse.ac.uk
Web: www.inform.ac

Another useful website for information is the Centre for the Study of New Religions at www.cesnur.org

To get local pastoral care and advice

Each Church of England diocese should have an appointed adviser on New Religious Movements. Send an email to anne.richards@churchofengland.org if you want to get in touch with your local adviser

Relationships with other Christians

The Council for Christian Unity on this website has a number of resources on the Church of England's relationships with other churches, including: