Tyndale And Today’s Ecumenism

Chas Raws

Since his appointment in 2001 as Ecumenical Adviser to the Tyndale Society, Chas Raws has brooded on the way forward in this context without setting anything in motion as yet. A stimulating meeting with our Chairman generated some promising ideas and, although these will require quite a long lead time before coming to fruition, it seemed worth keeping members in touch with developments even at the pre-planning stage.

Our ecumenical mission is based on the fact that the Society has members from a wide range of churches, embracing conservative evangelicals, black majority churches, Quakers and Roman Catholics.

Nationally, this suggests two ways forward. First, it seems a good idea to apply for recognition as a “Body in Association” with Churches Together in England which is a focus for ecumenical relations. Bodies in Association include organizations as diverse as Bible Society, the Focolare Movement and L’Arche Community. Second, it would be interesting to organize a theological round table at which young theologians from some of the traditions represented in our membership could set out and debate the influence of Tyndale’s translation and theology on their church and on them personally. Chas has several names in mind and a date in 2003 would seem a possibility.

Regionally, it would be a great advantage to develop more clusters like the Gloucester/West Cotswold grouping. While recognizing that such growing points depend on the enthusiasm of one or two local members and cannot be wished into being from the centre, it seems worth trying a regional day conference, again in 2003, in the hope that this might lead to a regular or occasional gathering. Since Chas lives in the North West of England, he is minded to contact members in that region to see whether they would be likely to support such a venture, whether it would be best to hold it on a Saturday or during the week and whether Manchester, Merseyside, Preston or further north would attract the most support. A thriving “Churches Together” at the venue would be a great advantage as another purpose of such a day would be to attract new members by providing an attractive programme and speaker(s).

If you have any comments on these proposals or suggestions for other initiatives, please get in touch with Chas Raws e-mail: Postal address: 38 The Mount, Heswall, Wirral CH60 4RA, England.

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