Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The Free Churches Group

The Methodist Church of Great Britain is a member of the Free Churches Group, which comprises twenty-two denominations, some of whom are also in membership with Churches Together in England

Since the 1880s there have been bodies established to enable the 'Free Churches' to have a common voice and public presence. The Declaratory Statement of Faith and Practice from 1917 continues to serve as the basis for membership. In 1940 the Free Church Federal Council was created, bringing together a number of predecessor bodies.
The Free Churches Group and Churches Together in England work within a Joint Operating Agreement, whereby financial and personnel resources are shared to a very large extent.  Though the two organisations have very different backgrounds in the current climate of inter-church relationships it is hard to see the join between the two. There are some denominations who belong to the FCG but not to CTE.

If you are interested in finding out more, they have just launched a revamped website:
As of Wednesday 13th October 2010 the Free Churches Group has a dedicated website address that takes you to the Free Church pages of the CTE WebsiteYou will note that, although these pages are within the CTE site, they are formatted differently. The banner heading is clear and all the tabs lead to pages for the Free Churches. All these pages can also be accessed from within the CTE pages, using the appropriate tabs. CTE pages can be accessed from the Free Churches home page using the top-left link.

The Moderator of the FCG is one of the Churches Together in England's four presidents, representing all the Free Churches, including the Methodist Church. 

At its Annual General Meeting held on 28th September the Free Churches Group elected its Moderator for the period 2011 - 2015.  He is Revd Michael Heaney, who serves as the General Secretary of the Congregational Federation.  A service of Induction is to be held in the Spring of 2011. Michael will succeed Commissioner Betty Matear (Salvation Army) in the role of Moderator, serving also as a President of Churches Together in England, alongside Archbishops Rowan Williams and Vincent Nichols.
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