County Ecumenical Officers (CEOs) are appointed ecumenically to support and encourage local ecumenism (churches working together) across a particular county, metropolitan area or large city.
A unique feature of church life in England, paralleled nowhere else in the world, has been the development of this network of Intermediate Bodies. These umbrella ecumenical bodies encourage and support churches of different traditions as they seek to work, worship and witness together.
Find all the CEOs across England via the map towards the bottom of this page.
Find out more:
- Read more about unity at a county level
- Access resources for Counties/Intermediate Bodies
- If you’re involved in church unity at a local, city or county level, we’d encourage you to get in touch with the CEO in your area. You can use the directory map below.
The role of County Ecumenical Officers
Each County or Intermediate Body is resourced very differently. Most of them have a County Ecumenical Officer (or CEO for short), or if not then a contact person.
CEOs exist to support and encourage local ecumenism (churches working together). They work alongside the Denominational Ecumenical Officers and the Church Leaders in their area (ie Bishop, Chair of District, Synod Moderator, Regional Minister etc). They also often connect with local Churches Together groups.
Many CEOs have ‘development’ or ‘mission’ in their job titles, while others are called co-ordinators or facilitators. CEOs are sometimes appointed full time, but more often part time, and some work in a voluntary capacity. Each county body is autonomous, though in practice they often work with each other and with Churches Together in England. From its inception, CTE has considered the expertise of Intermediate Bodies and their Ecumenical Officers as vitally important. For this reason, the CTE Enabling Group includes in its membership CEO representatives in their ten regional groupings.
In their own words
Two CEOs describe the fruit that comes from encouraging unity at a county level:
“I often describe Churches Together as a dating agency – our role is to bring together people with common interests who otherwise would not have met – Christian, from other faiths and none – and let them get on with it. We do not direct the conversation and don’t have the resources to take on much ourselves, but we do have a lot of contacts and can provide safe spaces for discussion – and an occasional nudge into action if need be! This simple networking can bear much fruit.”
Roger Mills, Missioner, Churches Together in Cornwall
“For me, all our ecumenical endeavours are a fruit of Jesus’ prayer: ‘Father may they be one so that the world will believe…’ (John 17.21). I long for the day when we will be one in full and visible unity with a mutually enriching diversity, something I believe can only be brought about by the Holy Spirit. Anything Christians of different denominations can do together will contribute towards reaching this unity. I am experiencing that our actions bear fruit when we are working together in a spirit of great love which enables the Holy Spirit to inspire us on how to build unity in our specific situations.”
Elisabeth Hachmoeller, Ecumenical Co-ordinator, Churches Together in the Merseyside Region
Support from CTE
Churches Together in England considers the support of Intermediate Bodies key to the development of local unity, and offers a range of:
Find your county officer
Access the list of counties by selecting a region of the map or using the drop-down menu