Christian Bodies Merge to Promote Ecumenism in Europe

LONDON – A new cross-Europe faith organization has been formed out of two British organizations involved in the promotion of ecumenical Christian cooperation across Europe.

Christians and the Future of Europe (CAFE) has merged with the Churches' East West European Relations Network (CEWERN) to form Faith in Europe: the Churches’ European Relations Network.

Faith in Europe is a body-in-association with Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI), which said it was “delighted” at the new formation.

According to CTBI, “The aim is to promote contact and visits from Central and Eastern Europe through encouraging informed discussion and debate through regular briefings, and publicizing and encouraging active support of believers in Central and Eastern Europe.”

Faith in Europe will also work closely with other bodies also involved in this line of ecumenical work, as well as government and non-government bodies, in cooperation with CTBI.

In particular the organization expressed its particular keenness to work for “understanding and reconciliation between the Churches of Eastern and Western Europe.”

Professor Grace Davie, a prominent sociologist of religion from the University of Exeter, was elected as Faith in Europe’s first president, with Dean John Arnold, previously of the Conference of European Churches, and the Rt Rev Stephen Sykes, Anglican Bishop of Ely and well-known theologian, as Vice Presidents.

Philip Walters, director of research from the Keston Institute, specializing in the attitude of state communism toward religion in general and Christianity in general, will assume the position of general secretary, with Canon David Thomas and research director Ken Medhurst taking on the chair.

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