Ecumenical and Interfaith Committee

Convenors: Janet Ward and Cathy Wattebot

We identify current issues, promote and inform discussion and prepare reports and publications. We encourage Catholic women to attend ecumenical and interfaith events. These have been well attended in the Archdiocese of Birmingham. Through the Dicoesan Links, we hope more events will take place elsewhere once the COVID-19 restrictions allow.

One focus recently has been on Receptive Ecumenism - which emphasises receptivity, learning from and listening to those from other Christian denominations. We have been closely involved in a post-doctoral research project on Receptive Ecumenism, as the NBCW Trust part-funded the research post at the Centre of Catholic Studies in Durham University.

One publication resulting from this research, Receiving the Gifts, is a toolkit for exploring Receptive Ecumenism in a number of ways, and is now being republished by the NBCW both in hard copy and as a web document. Unfortunately COVID-19 meant that it has not been possible for workshops to be held.

Another focus for the Ecumenical and Interfaith Committee has been the question of shared Eucharist, which is often a concern among Interfaith couples. We are also soon to publish a leaflet Who can receive communion with us? giving guidance to lay people on when Chrisitians from other churches may receive Communion in a Catholic church.

Committee membership currently includes representation from:

Andante, Association of Interchurch Families, Diocesan Commissions, Ecumenical Forum of European Christian Women, World Day of Prayer.

We also have informal links with Churches Together in England and Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, and belong to two interfaith Networks; Women's Interfaith Network and Women of Faith Network - Religions for Peace.