Church leaders united in response to Covid19

CTBIJoint statement from Church leaders in Britain & Ireland

In an unprecedented move, church leaders came together on Wednesday 1st April. The morning video conference included senior religious leaders from around Britain and Ireland who shared the situation in each of their jurisdictions. The initiative originated with Archbishop Justin Welby who wanted to offer an opportunity for leaders to hear and support one another in these critical days for our nations.

The afternoon video meeting of senior officers of many of the churches included discussions about on-line worship, pastoral care in hospitals, funeral arrangements in various places, along with information on furlough arrangements being considered by some churches.

The statement is supported by churches in membership of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, along with Churches Together in England, Cytun, ACTS and the Irish Council of Churches.


Holy Week Statement from British and Irish Church Leaders

God's world is in the midst of an unprecedented crisis. In the nations that make up Britain and Ireland the Covid-19 virus continues to affect people at an alarming rate, health services along with many of our institutions and organisations, both local and national, are under extreme pressure and people are getting used to living in a very different way, many in extreme isolation. As with all such crises, there is a danger that the most vulnerable in society will be most badly affected.

Christians the world over are entering an important time in the church year as we look to the events of Jesus Christ's death and resurrection. At the centre of our common faith are both the depths of despair and the heights of joy. In the Bible and in the songs and liturgies of the Church, we see Jesus entering fully into human suffering. In His rising again, that suffering is redeemed and transformed into hope and joy. After Jesus' death his disciples were afraid and all seemed lost and hopeless, but the risen Christ met them in their despair and restored hope through his victory over death. We pray that the world today might know this hope in place of despair.

In the Book of Daniel we read about God's people being taken into exile in Babylon. Daniel could not pray in the Temple in Jerusalem, but he continued to pray in exile opening his window to face Jerusalem. Though he was on his own he joined with the prayers of the people wherever they were. Now we too are separated from each other physically, but when we pray in our homes we join in with this ancient tradition of our home as a place of prayer. Wherever we are, whenever we pray, when we speak and think of Christ, there he is in the midst of us. We join our prayers with all those who pray in our own churches and communities and around the world.

As church leaders from across the many and varied churches of these Islands we urge all people to join us in prayer this Holy Week and Easter; to pray for those who suffer, those who face untimely death and all those who care for them; to celebrate our common faith at a difficult time; to help and support our neighbours in need; and to observe all the safeguards in place to slow the spread of disease.

Our Prayer

Loving God, in Jesus Christ, who died and rose again for our salvation, cast out the darkness of our anxiety, fear and mourning, enfold us in your love and give us joy and hope this Easter. Amen.

 

Further information can be obtained by contacting Bob Fyffe (CTBI) at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on 07940660099

Contacts within the nations include Aled Edwards (Cytun) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Paul Goodliff (CTE) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Nicola Brady (ICC) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. John McPake (Scottish rep) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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  • What is Action of Churches Together in Scotland?

    Formed in 1990 as Scotland's national ecumenical instrument, Action of Churches Together in Scotland (ACTS) brings together nine denominations in Scotland who share a desire for:

    • Greater oneness between churches, as Jesus prayed, "that they all may be one" (John 17.21).
    • A growth of understanding and common life between churches.
    • Unified action in proclaiming and responding to the gospel in the whole of life.In its work ACTS seeks to enable the Scottish churches in their common life. It encourages and resources encounters between them in which each participant learns from the other, where difference is explored and respected and where division is healed.
  • Who we are: Member Churches

    There are nine member churches of ACTS. They are listed below:

    Church of Scotland

    Congregational Federation

    Methodist Church in Scotland

    Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

    Roman Catholic Church

    Salvation Army

    Scottish Episcopal Church

    United Free Church of Scotland

    United Reformed Church

    Each of our member churches is also a member of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland. Five of our member churches are present in the three nations of Scotland, England and Wales and therefore bring to ACTS not only the perspective of being churches in Scotland but also in the wider United Kingdom.

    ACTS welcomes opportunities to work with churches which are not in membership of the organisation.

  • Who we are: ACTS Officebearers

    The principal officebearer of ACTS is the Convener of the Trustee Body and Members' Meeting. This post is held for two years, in turn, by a member of: the Church of Scotland, the Roman Catholic Church, Scottish Episcopal Church and a representative elected by the other member churches. The current Convener is Miss Carole Hope, from the Church of Scotland, who took up post in June 2019.

    In addition to the Convener there is a Vice Convener, who also serves for a two year period. Currently the Vice Convener is Mr Paul Goldfinch from theScottish Episcopal Church.

  • Who we are: ACTS Staff

    The ACTS staff work out of the office which is situated in Stirling. Contact details are given here,

    Rev Ian Boa is the Interim General Secretary.

    Mrs Shona Paterson is a Programme Officer.

  • How we work: Being Churches Together

    Core to all our activity in ACTS is the principle of being Churches Together.

    This is summarised in the Lund Principle adopted by the churches at the third world conference on Faith and Order (August 1952), which states that:

    'the churches should act together in all matters....except those in which deep difference of conviction compel them to act separately'.

    Local, national and international ecumenical bodies therefore are not intended to become 'superchurches' but places where churches from the wide diversity of Christian experience, meet, engage, reflect and share in common action. This model of 'being churches together', is found throughout all ACTS structures.

  • How we work: ACTS Members' Meeting

    The ACTS Member Churches meet three times a year at the Members' Meeting. One of these meetings incorporates the Annual General Meeting of the Company.

    Convener: Mgr Philip Kerr

    Vice-Convener: Rev Dr Grant Barclay

    Each Member Church has one Voting Representative at the Meeting. The number of delegates from each Member Church is allocated according to the membership of each Member Church.
    The Church of Scotland and Roman Catholic Church each have four representatives at the Members' Meeting, the Scottish Episcopal Church has three and the other Members have two representatives each.
    The Trustees of ACTS also attend the Members' Meeting and the Convener of the Trustee body is also Convener of the Members' Meeting.
    The Convenership is held for two years and rotates between the Church of Scotland, Roman Catholic, Scottish Episcopal Church and other member churches.

    The purpose of this meeting is

    • To be a meeting place for the Members so that they may engage with the furtherance of God's mission and to work towards realising the unity of the Church Universal, which form the charitable purposes of ACTS.
    • To provide an opportunity for the Members to worship together.
    • To provide a mechanism for inter-church counsel, education and action.
    • To provide an opportunity for Full Members to promote, participate in, implement and engage with actions, projects, programmes and initiatives in the fulfilment of ACTS charitable purposes.
    • To engage with the Trustees in discussion leading to the setting of ACTS strategy and policy.
    • To receive reports on the implementation of ACTS strategy and policy.
    • To receive regular reports from the Trustees concerning finance, personnel, governance and day to day management of the company.
    • To engage with wider ecumenical fora in Britain and Ireland, Europe and the World.
  • How we work: ACTS Trustee Body

    There are currently seven trustees, one each from the Church of Scotland, Roman Catholic Church and Scottish Episcopal Church (the appointing members) and three others representing the other six Member Churches of ACTS (the electing members).

    There is also a Treasurer and the trustee body may co-opt a further three people to be Trustee body if desired. The Convener and Vice Convenership of the Trustee body are selected by the appointing and electing members on a rotational basis.

  • How we work: ACTS Policies

    In consultation with the Members, the ACTS Trustees have formulated a number of policies for the organisation. These are reviewed on a regular basis. Copies of the policies are available to download below. For any further enquiries concerning the policies please contact the General Secretary.

    Please find below the ACTS Policies as agreed by the ACTS Trustees at their May 2014 meeting:

  • How we work: Programme & Partner Groups

    These are working groups formed for a specified purpose.

  • How we work: British & Irish Links

    ACTS is one of the four national ecumenical instruments which, along with Churches Together in England (CTE), Cytun (Churches Together in Wales) and the Irish Council of Churches, comprise Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI).

  • How we work: Beyond Britain & Ireland

    ACTS is also in membership of the World Council of Churches and the Conference of European Churches.

     

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Contact ACTS

Action of Churches Together in Scotland

Jubilee House

Forthside Way

Stirling

Scotland


FK8 1QZ

(t) 07527433460

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