That they all may be one: Insights into English ecumenism

This report explores ecumenism in England. It focuses on Churches Together in England, identifying its strengths and the challenges it faces.

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About Theos Think Tank

Theos – clear thinking on religion and society

Theos is the UK’s leading religion and society think tank. With our ideas and content reaching media outlets with a combined circulation of 160 million in the past 5 years, we are shaping the hearts and minds of opinion formers about the role of faith in contemporary society by means of high quality research, events and media commentary. We provide a credible, informed and gracious Christian voice in our mainstream public conversations.

The Economist calls us “an organisation that commands attention”, and Julian Baggini, the influential atheist philosopher, has said “Theos provides rare proof that theology can be interesting and relevant even – perhaps especially – for those who do not believe.”

Why we exist

Religion has emerged as one of the key public issues of the 21st century, both nationally and globally. Our increasingly religiously-diverse society demands that we grapple with religion as a significant force in public life. Unfortunately, much of the debate about the role and place of religion has been unnecessarily emotive and illinformed.

We exist to change that.

We reject the notion of any possible ‘neutral’ perspective on these issues. We also reject the idea that religion is a purely private matter or that it is possible to divide public and private values for anyone. We seek, rather, to recognise and analyse the ethical ideas and commitments that underlie public life and to engage in open and honest public debate, bringing the tradition of Christian social and political thought to bear on current issues. We believe that the mainstream Christian tradition has much to offer for a flourishing society.

What we do

Theos conducts research, publishes reports, and holds debates, seminars and lectures on the intersection of religion, politics and society in the contemporary world. We also provide regular comment for print and broadcast media and briefing and analysis to parliamentarians and policy makers. To date, Theos has produced over 50 research reports focusing on the big issues impacting British society, including welfare (The Future of Welfare: A Theos Collection), law (“Speaking Up” – Defending and Delivering Access to Justice Today), economics (Just Money: How Catholic Social Teaching can Redeem Capitalism), multiculturalism (Making Multiculturalism Work), voting reform (Counting on Reform), as well as on a range of other religious, legal, political and social issues.

In addition to our independently-driven work, Theos provides research, analysis and advice to individuals and organisations across the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. Our staff and consultants have strong public affairs experience, an excellent research track record and a high level of theological literacy. We are practised in research, analysis, debate, and media relations.

Where we sit

We are committed to the traditional creeds of the Christian faith and draw on social and political thought from a wide range of theological traditions. We also work with many non-Christian and non-religious individuals and organisations

Theos sits under the charitable number of the British and Foreign Bible Society and has several BFBS members of staff on its Board of Managament. It retains complete editorial independence from any organisation or denomination in its research agenda.

Theos was launched with the support of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, but it is independent of any particular denomination. It is an ecumenical Christian organisation, committed to the belief that religion in general and Christianity in particular has much to offer for the common good of society as a whole. We are not aligned with any point on the party political spectrum, believing that Christian social and political thought cuts across these distinctions.