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A Flexible Framework for Local Unity in Mission

New Toolkit helps local churches collaborate with confidence.

Churches Together in England has just launched the new Toolkit for A Flexible Framework for Local Unity in Mission.

This Toolkit provides an easy-to use framework helping local churches to collaborate with confidence and flexibility, developing the right agreement for their joint venture – such as a holiday club, mission event, messy church, homeless shelter or community café.

The Toolkit guides readers step by step, explaining a variety of different agreements you could use, and helping you decide which will work best for your group. Guiding you through the key questions to ask and the practical steps to follow, 'A Flexible Framework' will help your group to collaborate with confidence, prudence and flexibility.

The content was produced by the Baptist, Church of England, Methodist and United Reformed Church (URC) National Ecumenical Officers, working with a volunteer group of County Ecumenical Officers and CTE staff. The toolkit document was designed by the URC Communications Department.

A Flexible Framework for Local Unity in Mission was a response to a desire to focus on mission and not become mired in structures. It offers a lighter touch way of ecumenical working. At the launch of its first version, David Cornick, then CTE General Secretary, suggested that this framework “may well prove to be one of the most significant practical ecumenical documents of our time”.

The new toolkit speaks to areas of possible co-operation such as holiday clubs, mission events, messy church, homeless shelters, community cafés, outreach to new housing projects – to name just a few examples. The focus is how to work as churches together on such projects without necessarily setting up a new charity or spending valuable resource on writing complicated constitutions. Similarly, if a congregation wants to join with another church, the toolkit offers an alternative to setting up a Local Ecumenical Partnership, pointing to the much easier Formal Declaration of Ecumenical Welcome and Commitment.