Norfolk and Waveney Churches Together agrees a new commitment to Christian unity

After 33 years of ecumenical effort across the county, church leaders have agreed a new declaration of commitment for Christian unity.

The County Ecumenical Officer for Churches Together in Norfolk and Waveney (NWCT), Dr Ian Watson, reports…

The seven denominations that make up NWCT have agreed to a new Church leaders’ declaration of commitment for Christian unity.   The essence of the declaration is captured in the memorable maxim:

“Together in Christ, Bound by Love, Serving as One”

The Church leaders agreed to the declaration at their last meeting held on 23 May, which was hosted in Poringland by Rt Rev Peter Collins, the Catholic Bishop of East Anglia.  The declaration replaces the previous church leaders’ personal covenant that was originally made in 1991.  

Although the 1991 covenant has been a blessing and served the county well over the last three decades, all the original signatories have now moved on.  The current Church leaders wanted to update it to reflect the ecumenical progress made over the years, as well as to express their own commitment to and desire for Christian unity. This commitment comes from the joy in the partnership of trust and cooperation that continues to grow and flourish between them. In the declaration, the Church leaders say:

“We believe we are called by God to share our life more deeply, and to offer to the world a united witness and a shared service. We believe that we have been led by the Holy Spirit to make this public commitment.”

Rev Lythan Nevard, Moderator for the Eastern Synod United Reformed Church (URC), says of the new public declaration: “I am delighted by this new commitment to Christian unity in Norfolk and Waveney. Our common love of Jesus Christ and desire to serve the communities of Norfolk and Waveney in his name, enables us to appreciate and explore the diverse treasures of each denomination, so that we are indeed Together in Christ, Bound by Love, Serving as One.”

The Anglican Bishop of Norwich, Rt Rev Graham Usher, says that the public declaration is important because: “Christ calls us to be one and, in a world with many divisions, the witness of Christians praying, serving and witnessing together is a sign of great hope. My prayer, as we seek to live out aspects of our common life together through this commitment to unity, is that we will drink from the deep wells of each denomination’s tradition and hear more clearly Jesus’ invitation to ‘Come, follow me’.”

The Church leaders of NWCT will invite all Christians in Norfolk and Waveney to support them in the declaration to which they will publicly commit themselves in November this year.

Read the Church leaders’ 2024 declaration (pdf).   

Find out more about Churches Together in Norfolk and Waveney.

A longer version of this piece first appeared on Network Norfolk.

Photo credit: At the ordination of Bishop Peter Collins during which he greeted other local church leaders. Courtesy of