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About Churches Together in Kent

A unique feature of church life in England, hardly paralleled elsewhere in the world, has been the development of a network of intermediate bodies - mostly corresponding to counties or large cities - where the churches have developed a pattern of co-operation and shared life which also gives oversight to local ecumenism in its different forms.

These intermediate bodies are an example of the development of shared episcope, the oversight of the whole people of God, reflecting the wider movement towards joint decision-making and mutual accountability.

When Churches Together in England was formed in 1990, it was agreed that the support of Local Ecumenical Partnerships and local Churches Together groups should be done not through the national organisation but through the growing Intermediate Bodies. With the number of Local Ecumenical Partnerships now over 800, and the number of Churches Together groups near 2000, it is clear that oversight is best done through county or city-wide bodies. This has been the agreed structure for over 10 years.
(taken from Churches Together in England)

Within the County of Kent, the Medway Unitary Authority, and the London Boroughs of Bexley and Bromley, Churches Together in Kent (CTK) is the organisation supported by

the South-Eastern Baptist Association
the Church of England (dioceses of Canterbury and Rochester),
the Methodist South-East District,
the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) East & West Kent Meetings,
the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark,
the London South-East Division of the Salvation Army,
and the Southern Synod of the United Reformed Church.
In addition, congregations of other traditions affiliated to local Churches Together groups include

Assemblies of God
Church of God of Prophecy *
Church of the Nazarene
Elim Pentecostal Church *
Fellowship of Churches of Christ
Ichthus *
New Frontiers
Pioneer Ministries
Salt and Light
* Full members of Churches Together in England

The task of CTK is to:
sponsor Local Ecumenical Partnerships (LEPs) between denominations;
provide information regarding inter-denominational relations;
support and resource Local Churches Together Groups, and be a link for them to the national Churches Together in England;
be the formal church link to county-wide groups (Police, Media, Regional Government, etc.)
Some specific examples of the work of CTK include:-

promoting collaboration between the different Christian traditions within our area
sponsoring and supporting many LEPs
advising on finance and legal matters
advising and helping on the appointment of ministers
conducting reviews of LEPs
enabling the winding up of LEPs that have run their course
ecumenical funding for specific appointments (e.g. Ashford)
sponsoring and supporting other areas of ecumenical collaboration, such as Councils of Churches or local Churches Together Groups)
acting as a two-way conduit of information and advice between such local collaboration and the national organisation Churches Together in England
disseminating news, advice and good practice, e.g. questions on insurance;
responding to issues of social concern
engaging with interfaith groups
engaging with rural issues (e.g. Kent Rural Plan, the closure of Post Offices, etc.)
How we currently do our work

1. Church Leaders: Church Leaders from each of the member Christian denominations meet several times a year over breakfast to discuss matters amongst themselves. The County Ecumenical Officer brings matters raised to the Enabling Group for discussion and action.

2. Enabling Group: Many denominations have appointed Ecumenical Officers who meet together about eight times a year and who are responsible for enabling and promoting ecumenical work around the county.

CTK also has an input into or oversees various mission works across the county:
Kent Workplace Mission. CTK is the umbrella organization for various chaplaincies taking place across the county: police, Critical incidents, town & shopping centres, emergency services, district councils.
BBC Religious Broadcasting Council
Kent Ecumenical Youth and Children's Officers Group
Mission Shaped Ministry Course


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