Ecumenism

What does that mean ?

Ecumenism is the means by which the different Christian denominations join and work together in areas of mutual agreement towards a common purpose. It is not another denomination.

An Ecumenical Partnership is therefore seen as the visible, working expression of Ecumenism.

Back in the early 1970's, Christians with differing denominational backgrounds lived within the Rise Park area, but the only church in the vicinity was a Methodist Church which had been built as the estate developed in the late 60's.

This posed the following two problems:

1) Should only Methodists worship at the Church ?

2) Should Christians of other denominations go out of the area to worship in other churches of their particular persuasion ?

The answers the Christians on Rise Park gave to both these questions was NO. They wanted a church in which they could continue to meet together, whilst embracing the traditions of all their denominations.

Under the guidance of a sponsoring body, with members from several denominations and funded by both the Methodist Church and Church of England, the Church on Rise Park became an "Ecumenical Project" and even in its infancy drew members from many different denominations.

Today, almost 40 years on, the Church still has a membership drawn from many denominations. As well as Anglican and Methodist there are members with their roots in Baptist, U.R.C., Presbyterian, Brethren, Pentecostal, Dutch Reformed and the Church of South India traditions all bringing their own Christian experience into the fellowship.

The fellowship is both multi denominational and multi cultural, drawing members from all ethnic communities within the area. Once again this aspect broadens and challenges the experience of the fellowship.

The Church on Rise Park is now one of the oldest Ecumenical Partnerships in England and members of the fellowship now consider themselves "Christians" first and foremost, without the usual hang ups of denominational barriers.

As such, the Church on Rise Park and its sister church at Bestwood Park, are working examples of what the Christian church should be. All Christians working together for a common purpose, to proclaim Christ's Kingdom in the area they live work and serve.