Enabling Group Autumn 2022

The Salvation Army's National Ecumenical Officer Jonathan Roberts reports on the 'members meeting' and AGM this October.

Churches Together in England held its second Enabling Group of 2022 on 6 and 7 October. Around seventy delegates from our Member Churches, National and County Ecumenical Officers and Bodies in Association came together in person to hear about CTE’s key areas of work and to attend the AGM.

The Convenor, Rowena Loverance, welcomed Enabling Group (EG) members and congratulated the Calvary Church of God in Christ on its 70th anniversary and the Congregational Federation and the United Reformed Church on their 50th anniversaries.

After opening devotions by Lurliene Miller (Deputy Convenor) and a prayer by David Whyte (Wesleyan Holiness Church) the business session got underway. The EG accepted Transforming Lives for Good as a new Body in Association. It also accepted the Report from the Trustees and Mike Royal’s General Secretary’s Report before appointing Anton Müller (Regional Rep North West) as Moderator of the CTE Forum 2025.

In the AGM that followed, James Laing presented the Report and Accounts to 31 December 2021 and the Treasurer’s Report, both of which were accepted. Two trustees were reappointed – David Lavender (Methodist Church), Moses Owusu-Sekyere (Apostolic Pastoral Congress); and two were appointed for the first time – Lisa Adjei (Baptist Union of Great Britain) and Alexander Fostiropoulos (Oecumenical Patriarchate). Knox Cropper was reappointed as the independent examiner.

Lurliene welcomed CTE Pentecostal and Charismatic President, Bishop Tedroy Powell (Church of God of Prophecy UK), to the ‘Living Together Well with Disagreement’ session. Two speakers gave their perspectives on the issue of the Fourth Presidency – Mike Binks (Church of Scotland Presbytery of England) and Richard Bradbury (Ground Level) – before Akpo Onduku (Redeemed Christian Church of God) spoke about handling disagreement. The three then answered questions from the floor before table discussions took place.

To conclude the first day, Alan Kennedy (Congregational Federation), Lindsey Brown (URC) and Clevere Fenty (Calvary Church of God in Christ) gave insights into their denominations and Clevere led night prayer.

Lindsey Brown led morning prayer on the second day before Ben Aldous (CTE Principal Officer for Mission and Evangelism) invited members who had attended the WCC General Assembly to give their reflections: Nicola Brady (General Secretary of CTBI), Leão Neto (Methodist Church), Philip Cooper (Moravian Church) and Annika Mathews (Church of England).

Tedroy Powell was joined by Helen Cameron (Free Churches President), Stephen Fowler (Elim Pentecostal Church) and Jan Nowotnik (Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales) for a session considering the role of the CTE presidents.

As this was the last EG before the retirement of Jenny Bond (CTE Principal Officer for Intermediate Ecumenism, Governance Support and Resources), Grace Keal (Regional Rep South East) and David Lavender (one of the longest-serving CTE Trustees) brought warm words of farewell and thanks. Jenny responded before leading the closing devotions, helping members to reflect prayerfully on the past 24 hours at the Enabling Group.

Find out more about the CTE Enabling Group.