How we reached this point: the Ecumenical Vision Statement for Northstowe
From the early days of Northstowe, God has been calling together people from across Christian traditions and those new to faith, who have been putting down roots in Northstowe and developing into an ecumenical worshipping community. This community has adopted the Churches Together Basis for Unity as its model for joint working.
The initial worshiping community, known as Pathfinder Church Northstowe, was formed under Anglican governance and funding, with strong ecumenical support. It had a vision of:
“developing a worshipping community so that it might become a sustainable and viable church with responsibly for mission in the area of Northstowe, establishing an organic Christian community for the people who live there, making disciples of Jesus and serving the local community.”
From the initial Northstowe Bishop’s Mission Order 1/11/2019
In response to what God was doing, and the size of the opportunity in Northstowe, there was a desire to enlarge this ecumenical vision to become a network of worshipping and missional communities, organically developing as Christian community for the people who live there, making disciples of Jesus and serving the local community.
In a celebration of receptive ecumenism, and building on the joint working already in place, Pathfinder Church Northstowe sought the support of the denominations involved in Churches Together in Cambridgeshire. The following Shared Commitment has been agreed by the Council of Pathfinder Church Northstowe, the Diocese of Ely (Church of England), the Eastern Synod of the United Reformed Church, the Eastern Baptist Association, the Cambridgeshire Area Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends and the Eastern Baptist Association.
Together, we have committed to share in prayer for Northstowe, and provide practical support in setting up the right structures for the next stages:
- We commit ourselves to sharing together in the ministry of Christ to the world, and within this context to explore together the meaning and possibilities of unity for worship, evangelism, mission and service.
- We commit ourselves to assessing the resources of church and community in terms of people, money and buildings, and to deploying them in the best way in relation to the aspirations and needs of local people
- We commit ourselves to maintaining and developing relationships with our parent bodies and with Churches Together in Cambridgeshire (previously Cambridgeshire Ecumenical Council).