Inspired by ‘Renewal and Reform’ in the Church of England, the project sought to see whether ecumenism enhances mission and, if so, how this happens best. The project investigated the cooperation in mission of Church of England parishes in towns across the country with non-Anglican churches.
The two-phase project involved both quantitative and qualitative research and sought to answer the following key questions:
- How likely are Church of England parishes to be sharing in missional activities with other churches?
- To what extent does such cooperation tend to focus on particular aspects of mission?
- What helps ‘missional ecumenism’ to be valued as effective by those involved?
The project found that:
- Much missional activity by Anglican parishes in urban settings is routinely undertaken in partnership with other churches
- Such ‘missional ecumenism’ includes a mix of activities relating to the first four ‘Marks of Mission’, many of them relating to evangelism and discipleship
- Partnership flourishes where there is a common calling to serve the local community, concern for good use of resources, attention to growing relationships and commitment to sharing in prayer and worship.
We would be delighted for you to read the report and use it to encourage missional ecumenism in your communities.
You can download the full report and a short summary of its findings here:
The Bishop of Chichester, the Rt Revd Dr Martin Warner, Chair of the Council of Christian Unity, commends the report saying:
“We are all aware that many of our parishes and other worshipping communities work collaboratively and constructively in mission with churches of other denominations. There has, however, been little reliable evidence as to how widespread this is, or as to what helps such collaboration to be constructive and creative – for we know too that this isn’t always the case. […]
For the first time, we have some careful, objective analysis of information about the phenomenon the report calls ‘missional ecumenism’: partnership between churches whose primary focus is outward mission rather than internal relationships.”
You can read further reflections on the report from key ecumenical leaders below: