Press Release 14/40
8 December 2014
In five days of meetings, public events, and celebrations the Conference of European Churches marked a turning point in its history.
The governing bodies of the Church and Society Commission met on 2 and 3 December in Leuven, Belgium to legally finalise its merger with the Conference of European Churches under Belgian law. The group also tended to other business matters including a review of its programmatic work by executive staff, its finances, and plans for continuing the mission and mandate of CSC in this time of transition.
With the merger complete and the Geneva offices set to close at the end of 2014, CEC turned to celebratory, forward-looking events in Brussels. Members of the governing board and invited guests gathered for a stimulating colloquium on the challenges and future under a new CEC structure. Archbishop Anders Wjryd, Church of Sweden, World Council of Churches president for Europe, H. E. Metropolitan Joseph, Romanian Orthodox Church, and the Most Rev. Dr. Joris Vercammen, Old Catholic Church in the Netherlands offered meaningful reflections on the place of the church in European society.
An evening public debate featured an address by former president of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and responses from H. E. Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, CEC Vice-President, the Rev. Zoltán Tarr, Reformed Church in Hungary, Katharina von Schnurbein, European Political Strategy Centre, European Commission, and the Rev. Dr. Donald Watts, Presbyterian Church in Ireland.
CEC was delighted to host at these events many friends and supporters from ecumenical networks, organisations in partnership, and the European institutions.
The CEC Governing Board meetings followed in Leuven on 5 and 6 December. This Governing Board meeting, the fourth since the 2013 Budapest Assembly, was marked by serious commitment to CEC governance, management, and finances. Members discussed, among other issues, denominational membership and contributions, financial statements, and approved a complete set of standing orders.
Programmatic work also received significant agenda time, with presentations from executive staff on upcoming initiatives on economic and environmental justice, employment and social issues, human rights and religious freedom, education and bioethics, and ecclesiology and theological dialogue among the churches. The board also heard a presentation on the work of the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME).
The board approved a statement on the humanitarian crisis in the Middle East and a proposal to work with CCME on statelessness in Europe. These statements will be made available in separate news releases in the coming days.
For more information on these events or the work of CEC please contact
Conference of European Churches
Church and Society Commission aisbl
Rue Joseph II, 174
Tel. +32 2 234 68 42
Fax +32 2 231 14 13
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
The Conference of European Churches (CEC) is a fellowship of some 114 Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican and Old Catholic Churches from all countries of Europe, plus 40 national council of churches and organisations in partnership. CEC was founded in 1959. It has offices in Geneva, Brussels and Strasbourg.