Conference of European Churches

The Conference of European Churches is an ecumenical fellowship of churches in Europe which confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour according to the scriptures and therefore seek to fulfil together their common calling to the glory of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The movement which led to the creation of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) dates back to the period of the cold war. The fragmented and divided Europe of the 1940s and 1950s needed to surmount political divisions, to devote itself anew to the peoples torn apart by the second world war. A small group of church leaders in East and West Europe began to consider together the possibility of bringing into conversation churches in European countries separated by different political, economic and social systems. Their aim was to enable the churches of Europe to become instruments of peace and understanding. Exploratory and preparatory meetings took place in 1953 and 1957. In 1959 representatives of more than 40 churches met in Nyborg Strand, Denmark, for the first assembly of CEC. At that time the organization was a loose association of churches, but with the adoption of a constitution at the 1964 assembly, a significant step was taken towards forming a regional conference of churches. This assembly was held on board a ship in the Baltic Sea, in order to overcome visa problems and ensure that all churches enjoyed representation. CEC has consistently tried to promote international understanding, insisting that no "iron curtain" exist among the churches. CEC has also tried to build bridges between minority and majority churches, between the generations, between women and men, and between Christians of different confessions. The assemblies of CEC have been important moments for the European churches in their efforts to witness together:

Nyborg (Denmark)

1959

European Christianity in Today's Secularized World

Nyborg (Denmark)

1960

The Service of the Church in a Changing World

Nyborg (Denmark)

1962

The Church in Europe and the Crisis of Modern Man

At sea

1964

Living Together as Continents and Generations

Pörtschach (Austria)

1967

To Serve and Reconcile - the Task of the European Churches Today

Nyborg (Denmark)

1971

Service of God, Service of Men

Engelberg (Switzerland)

1974

Act on the Message - Unity in Christ and Peace in the World

Chania, Crete (Greece)

1979

Alive to the World in the Power of the Holy Spirit

Stirling (Scotland)

1986

Glory to God and Peace on Earth

Prague (Czech Republic)

1992

God Unites - in Christ a New Creation

Graz (Austria)

1997

Reconciliation, Gift of God and Source of New Life

Trondheim (Norway)

2003

Jesus Christ Heals and Reconciles: Our Witness in Europe

Lyon (France)

2009

Called to One Hope in Christ

The themes of these assemblies present a mirror reflection of the will of the churches in Europe to be agents of service and reconciliation, and to respond to the challenges of an increasingly secularized society. Following the political changes in 1989, the European Ecumenical Commission on Church and Society, a body of the churches in Western Europe, and CEC were integrated in 1999 to form the CEC Church and Society Commission. Cooperation between CEC and the Council of European Bishops' Conferences (Catholic Church) has resulted in the European Ecumenical Assemblies: "Peace with Justice" in Basel in 1989; "Reconciliation, Gift of God and Source of New Life" in Graz in 1997; and "The Light of Christ Shines Upon All - Hope for Renewal and Unity in Europe" in Sibiu, Romania, in 2007.

Besides the Commission on Church and Society, which focuses on the European integration process and on peace and human rights, CEC has a Commission on Churches in Dialogue, working on unity and mission. The Churches' Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME), which is based in Brussels, works on migration and integration, refugees and asylum, and against racism and discrimination in Europe. CCME and CEC are formally cooperating in these areas since 1999 and are in the process of  the integration of CCME and CEC. Another important area of work is relations with Islam in Europe, carried on jointly with the Council of European Bishops' Conferences. CEC has some 120 member churches in 38 countries. It has also 43 associated organizations, the majority of which are national councils of churches. CEC has offices in Geneva, Brussels and Strasbourg.

Periodical: Monitor (CEC News, in English, French, and German)

Member of:

Associate member of:

Members:

(Within the WCC membership)

Organizations:

Churches:

Other members:

Armenian Apostolic Church (Holy See of Etchmiadzin)

Orthodox Autocephalous Church of Albania

Old-Catholic Church in Austria

Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Austria

Evangelical Church of the Helvetic Confession in Austria

Methodist Church in Austria

United Protestant Church of Belgium

Baptist Union of Bulgaria

Methodist Church in Bulgaria

Pentecostal Assemblies of Bulgaria

Baptist Union of Croatia

Church of God in Croatia

Evangelical (Pentecostal) Church in Croatia

Evangelical Church in the Republic of Croatia

Reformed Christian Church in Croatia

Church of Cyprus

Baptist Union in the Czech Republic

Czechoslovak Hussite Church

Evangelical Church of Czech Brethren

Church of the Brethren (Congregational)

Evangelical Methodist Church (Czech Republic)

Moravian Church in the Czech Republic

Orthodox Church in the Czech Lands and the Slovak Republic

Silesian Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in the Czech Republic

Old Catholic Church in the Czech Republic

Baptist Union of Denmark

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Denmark

Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church

Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad (Canada)

Estonian Methodist Church

Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland

Orthodox Church in Finland

Church of the Augsburg Confession of Alsace and Lorraine

Evangelical Lutheran Church of France

Malagasy Protestant Church in France

Reformed Church of Alsace and Lorraine

Reformed Church of France

Federation of Evangelical Baptist Churches of France

Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists of Georgia

Evangelical Church in Germany

Union of Evangelical Free Churches in Germany (Baptists)

United Methodist Church in Germany

Catholic Diocese of the Old-Catholics in Germany

Lithuanian Evangelical Lutheran Church in Germany

Baptist Union of Great Britain

Church in Wales

Church of England

Church of Scotland

Congregational Federation of the United Kingdom

Council of African and Caribbean Churches U.K.

Lutheran Council of Great Britain

British Methodist Church

Presbyterian Church of Wales

Salvation Army – UK Territory/Ireland

Scottish Episcopal Church

Shiloh United Church of Christ Apostolic Worldwide (UK)

United Reformed Church

Church of Greece

Greek Evangelical Church

Baptist Union of Hungary

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary

Evangelical Methodist Church in Hungary

Reformed Church in Hungary

Evangelical Lutheran Church of Iceland

Church of Ireland

Methodist Church in Ireland

Presbyterian Church in Ireland

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Italy

Evangelical Methodist Church of Italy

Waldensian Church (Italy)

Baptist Union of Italy

Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia

Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad (Germany)

Evangelical Church in the Principality of Liechtenstein

Evangelical Lutheran Church of Lithuania

Alliance of Protestant Churches of Luxemburg

Mennonite Church in the Netherlands

Protestant Church in the Netherlands

Old-Catholic Church of the Netherlands

Remonstrant Brotherhood (Netherlands)

Church of Norway

Polish Autocephalous Orthodox Church

Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Poland

Evangelical Reformed Church in Poland

United Methodist Church in Poland

Polish Catholic Church in Poland

Baptist Union of Poland

Old-Catholic Mariavite Church in Poland

Methodist Church of Portugal

Presbyterian Church in Portugal

Lusitanian Catholic Apostolic Evangelical Church (Portugal)

Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Romania

Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Romania

Romanian Orthodox Church

Reformed Church in Romania – Oradea District

Reformed Church in Romania – Transylvania District

Euro-Asiatic Federation of the Unions of Evangelical Christians-Baptists

Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia

Russian Orthodox Church

Evangelical Methodist Church in Serbia & Montenegro

Reformed Christian Church in Serbia & Montenegro

Slovakian Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Serbia & Montenegro

Serbian Orthodox Church

Evangelical Methodist Church in FYRO – Macedonia

Evangelical Free Church in the Slovak Republic

Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in Slovakia

Orthodox Church in the Czech Lands and Slovak Republic

Reformed Christian Church in Slovakia

Evangelical Church of the Augsburg Confession in the Republic of Slovenia

Spanish Reformed Episcopal Church

Spanish Evangelical Church

United Methodist Church of Sweden Annual Conference

Baptist Union of Sweden

Church of Sweden

Mission Covenant Church of Sweden

Old-Catholic Church of Switzerland

Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches

United Methodist Church in Switzerland

Trans-Carpathian Reformed Church (Ukraine)

Ecumenical Patriarchate

European Continental Province of the Moravian Church

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia and Other States

Salvation Army International – Headquarters Europe Zone

United Methodist Church – Central and Southern Europe Area

United Methodist Church – Nordic and Baltic Area

 

Associate members:

(Within the WCC membership)

Organizations:

Churches:

Other associate members:

Action of Churches Together in Scotland

Christian Council of Sweden

Church Mission Society (UK)

Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe

Churches Together in Britain and Ireland

Churches Together in England

Spanish Committee on Cooperation between the Churches

Conference of European University Chaplains

Portuguese Council of Christian Churches

CYTUN, Churches Together in Wales

Ecumenical Association of Academies and Lay Centres in Europe

Ecumenical Association of Churches in Romania

Ecumenical Council of Churches in Slovakia

Ecumenical Council of Finland

Ecumenical Forum of European Christian Women

Ecumenical Institute for the Nordic Region

Ecumenical Youth Council in Europe

Estonian Council of Churches

Eurodiaconia – European Federation for Diaconia

European Forum for Christian Men

European Alliance of YMCA’s

European Baptist Federation

European Contact Group on Urban Industrial Mission

Protestant Working Group on Adult Education in Europe

French Protestant Federation

Federation of Protestant Churches in Italy

Gustav Adolf Foundation (Germany)

Inter-European Commission on Church and School

International Association for Christian Education

International Prison Chaplains’ Association

Irish Council of Churches

Church and Peace (Germany)

Conference of European Pastors’ Associations

Ecumenical Council of Churches in Hungary

Christian Council of Norway

Council of Churches in the Netherlands

Society for Ecumenical Studies and Inter-Orthodox Relations

The European YWCAs

Union of Evangelical Free Churches (Germany)

World Christian Student Federation – Europe

 

Observer member:

Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

  • Friends World Committee for Consultation Europe and Middle East Section
  • Britain Yearly Meeting
Last updated:11/01/10