What's the point of ecumenism?


Ecumenism. Even the word itself is probably putting some of you off right now. A tiresome bit of churchy jargon that has no relevance for your church or spiritual life, right? But working for unity across churches and denominations is for some a genuine passion, an urgent priority, even a lifetime’s ministry. Earlier this year, a group of Catholic and Anglican bishops spent several days in discussion, joint services, pilgrimages and worship together. As these kind of ecumenical events always do, it ended with lots of warm words, a fairly vague joint communique, and promises to do it again in a few years. But did it actually change anything on the ground? Are denominations as separate as Catholicism and Anglicanism actually serious about trying to reunite? Should it be taken more seriously by ordinary churchgoers and ministers, or is it just cups of tea and endless talking shops?

Guests this week:
• Christopher Landau, Anglican priest and director of ReSource, a charity promoting Charismatic renewal
• Jan Nowotnik, national ecumenical officer for the Catholic Church in England and Wales
• Paul Murray, professor of systematic theology at Durham University
• Shermara Fletcher-Hoyte, principal officer for Pentecostal, Charismatic and Multi-cultural Relations at Christians Together in England

Released on 8 Apr 2024

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