Mission-shaped and Ecumenical flower head sq

In March 2010 Churches Together in England (CTE) organised a consultation between an equal number of missioners and ecumenists. We were prompted partly by the commonly held perception that local ecumenical structures hinder rather than help pioneering mission,[i] but also by the deeply held belief that mission and unity are inseparably inter-related theological realities in Scripture.[ii] This report seeks to draw out the main themes of an animated and rich conversation, and for that reason plays fast and loose with the actual chronology of the consultation.
The conversation was stimulated by two papers, the first from Graham Cray on ‘Mission in a post-denominational culture’, the second from Loveday Alexander on ‘Patterns of church and mission in the Acts of the Apostles.’

Participants were:

Ian Chisnall                            Steve Hollinghurst                Mary Cotes
+Graham Cray                        Jenny Bond                         John Read
Erica Dunmow                        Charlie Kosla                        Jim Currin
Moira Astin                             Robin Dixon                         Graham Kent
Ian Bunce                              Rod Allon-Smith                   Loveday Alexander
Rachel Jordan                        Dione Gravesande                Roger Paul
David Cornick

Recommended reading included:
[i] Recommendation 9 of the Church of England’s report Mission-shaped church notes ‘Local ecumenical co-operation is critical to the Church’s mission. Churches need a light touch process that enables local mission experiments and partnerships between Christians of different denominations.  A new category of “locally negotiated ecumenical partnerships” (or equivalent terminology) should be created.  The introduction of formal ecumenical arrangements should be delayed until the mission initiative has become established.’
[ii] Paul Avis Re-shaping ecumenical theology: the church made whole? (London, Continuum 2010) pp 32-38

Roger Paul's report of the conference
Jim Currin, 14/04/2014
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