A Flexible Framework for Local Unity in Mission is an easy-to-use framework which helps local churches to collaborate with confidence and flexibility – guiding them step-by-step to develop the right agreement for their venture.

Who is it for?

Our framework and toolkit are for anyone with a vision for working with other churches on a new or existing venture – sharing insights, resources, creativity, and prayer.
When working together, sooner or later an informal understanding will benefit from a clearer expression of your commitments. A Flexible Framework for Local Unity in Mission exists to help you in that process.

Why is it useful?

A Flexible Framework has been created to help you develop the right agreement for your venture, such as a holiday club, mission event, messy church, homeless shelter or community café. Pitch it right and the organising will go smoothly. You will be in a good position to recall, review, renew, change direction if need be, or end well.
A Flexible Framework will help your group to unpack these key questions together:

  • What are the churches involved called to do together and for what purpose?
  • How will they relate with one another as they work together?
  • What is the context or locality in which they are called?
  • What sort of agreement and authorisation are needed to do this work? 

How will the Framework and toolkit help us locally?

Our toolkit guides you step by step, helping you decide which type of agreement will work best for your local group. It points to the key questions to ask and the practical steps to follow. A Flexible Framework and its toolkit will help your group to collaborate with confidence, prudence and flexibility. 

Where can we access the resources?

Download the toolkit here, and find further resources at the bottom of this page, including:

  • A practical toolkit for your local group to work through
  • Further information on A Flexible Framework and how it can help you
  • A PowerPoint to explain the basics to others  

How can we share our local story?

We at CTE would love to hear your story of how you are working together locally – please contact FlexibleFrameworkStories[@]cte.org.uk to share your story.
We would also love to hear your experience of creating Working and Partnership Agreements. Please send us examples of agreements created for local situations, so that we can use them to improve this toolkit.

Where can we go for further information?

First explore our CTE website. In addition, it could be that you will find the website of your Church and of other denominations useful.
Most areas of England are served by bodies which work for Christian unity at the level between the local and the national (Intermediate Bodies). They cover a wide area, often a county. They usually have an ecumenically appointed person who can help with advice and local contacts. These tend to be called County Ecumenical Officers (CEOs), though their precise titles differ.
In addition, CEOs work with Denominational Ecumenical Officers (DEOs) appointed by some Churches to help and advise their people. They, too, are an excellent source of help. If there is no DEO, your Church Leader may be able to help.

If you are still stuck, email FlexibleFrameworkHelp[@]cte.org.uk and the team supporting A Flexible Framework will do its best to help.


We suggest that you read the documents in the following order, as the first two will help you with the full text and you need the full text to use the toolkit.