AN ECUMENICAL network of Christian organisations has been launched in an attempt to equip churches and their leaders to work towards transforming communities through reconciliation.
The network Reconcilers Together was launched last month, and will include a fully funded training programme for 20 Christian leaders, to equip them to deal with issues of conflict in their churches or communities.
A spokeswoman for the new organisation, Rebecca Brierley, said on Tuesday: “Reconcilers Together is a new ecumenical partnership between eight peace-building centres across the UK and Ireland. What started as an idea among a few of the centres became a passion to see reconciliation embedded in churches across the UK and Ireland.”
The organisations that have come together are: Corrymeela, a community in Northern Ireland; St Michael’s House, at Coventry Cathedral; the Rose Castle Foundation, in Cumbria; Bridge Builders Ministries, a mediation service; St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace, in London; the Blackley Centre, a Baptist church in Yorkshire; the Scottish charity Place for Hope; and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Reconciliation Ministry.
The training programme, “Journey of Hope”, will run from January to June next year. Mrs Brierley said: “We are aiming to take 20 leaders on a pilgrimage, or journey, to see what Christian reconciliation looks like in various contexts.
“We are looking for churches that have a vision for reconciliation in their church or in their wider community to put forward a nomination of someone who is a champion of reconciliation.”
Ms Brierley said that Reconcilers Together seeks to “inspire and equip churches to turn them into reconciliation hubs”; and that it hopes “that churches will be able to identify a particular conflict that they want to transform, whether that is within the church, between family members, or in the wider community”. They are hoping for “participants who will see conflict as something to embrace and see opportunity in, rather than something to run away from.”
Those interested in applying for the fully funded scheme, or wishing to nominate someone from their church, are invited to fill in an application form on the website of Reconcilers Together: https://www.reconcilerstogether.co.uk/. Applications are open until the beginning of November.