Image by Austin ampersand Zak via FlickrThe Methodist Church in Britain has a network of District Ecumenical Officers (DEOs). They work alongside of other denominational ecumenical officers, and the County Ecumenical Officers, to support churches developing ecumenical work.
Their work varies from place to place and person to person but one role they have everywhere is to help with the technical toolbox for ecumenical work, such as constitutions and Sharing Agreements. Each tradition has its own rules and so it can be helpful to have someone on the ground who knows what they are! But the DEO role is much wider, they are there to support churches and to encourage new developments.
Most Districts have at least one DEO. As Districts usually cover more than one county, some of them appoint a DEO for each County.
It is worth contacting your DEO if you are thinking about:
- starting a Local Ecumenical Partnership
- forming a Sharing Agreement, for shared premises
- starting a Churches Together Group
- contemplating collaborative work with other traditions, where you want to explore the possibilities.