Ecumenical

Community

Church

We are a people-focused Community Church within a reformed tradition. We are progressive but Gospel-led Christians.  The ECC+C is categorised as  'Free' Church but in full acknowledgement of its inextricable link with the first Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church via the Apostolic Succession.

The ECC+C oversees a number of pastoral and prayerful ministries around England. We believe God reveals Himself to us via Christ's love and not through man-made dogma. We aim to care for the spiritual and emotional  wellbeing of people at their point of need.

We are not 'Parish' Priests in a traditional sense as we manage a number of dedicated and specific chaplaincies and ministries. We also concern ourselves both practically and prayerfully with the health of our planet and every living creature within it.

If you would like to speak to a representative from our church, please call us on 01590 624731.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to the ECC+C

 

As one of the less well known corners of the Reformed Catholic world, we play an important role in helping to provide people who are unchurched (or those who feel disenfranchised from Organised Religion) with a fresh path to Christianity. For years we have aimed to continue the work of the Apostles by transforming lives through the Gospel by how we communicate with people - and not what we preach to them. We share with every single church in the world, a  universal 'Catholic' history and bring together Reformed Catholics, Lutherans and other Protestant (Open and Free) traditions. We are committed towards meeting the pastoral and spiritual needs of our local communites to the best of our abilities.

 

A light to Lighten the Gentiles

by Rt Revd Roger Gurling

Hymn 914 Christ has no body now on Earth but ours.


God chooses to work through and in people, and as a direct consequence we are able to discern the hand of God more clearly in our dealings with our fellow humans than in any other way, for that reason I am more concerned about how we conduct our lives outside the church building than our chosen method of worship.


The church was for many years almost totally clergy centred but today we are challenged to present Christ as relevant to every day life. For many centuries Christianity was the dominant faith in Asia, stretching from the western boundary of Syria to China and Japan, mainly via the Jacobite, Nestorian and Orthodox churches, with the rise of Islam many of the dioceses of these churches were persecuted and were suppressed and ceased to function, although many of their rituals were absorbed into the Islamic services.


The main reason for this was because they were not deeply enough rooted in the local communities, and so when the church officers fled from the repressive treatment the local residents changed their allegiance.


Each of us are called to use our God given talents as guided by the Holy Spirit, being aware, hopefully, of our limitations to perform the tasks allocated to us by God, without necessarily waiting for clerical or liturgical endorsement.


Some years ago I said that I could foresee a time when house churches would proliferate and I still think this is a worthwhile method of ministering, small groups are better equipped to deal with the detailed implementation of ministry than large assemblies.


I have often said that it is vital that we take our faith with us when we leave the church building at the end of the service rather leave it behind with our hymn book and hassock. The Sunday service is the start of the weeks work, it is a time when we assemble to support and encourage each other as we review the past weeks effort, admit the mistakes and faults, and we all have them, and then prepare for the week ahead with all the challenges that will come with it.


If we face the future with a smile and rest assured that Jesus is as relevant to everyday life now as he was when he was a carpenter in Nazareth then we will succeed and the world will be a better place for it. Our role is to serve for it is in giving that we receive just at as it is in dying that we are born to eternal life

A Diversity of Gifts

by Rt Revd Roger Gurling


Many years ago I was working for the Post Office and I recall one particular morning when a friend  arrived for work on his cycle, as he reached the door of the building he dismounted and said with a note of triumph “I’ve done it”, done what I asked, saved 20 seconds on the journey he replied, congratulations I said, what are you going to do with them now you’ve got them .


We all achieve things from time to time and the same question is still valid, now I have no idea how many addresses have been given over the years on the diversity if gifts but they all emanate from the same source.


Paul writing to the church at Corinth said “ there are varieties of gifts but the same spirit” and all though we may not all be able to break records on a cycle journey or on a running track we can all do something special occasionally and quite take pride in the achievement but the real issue is that if we are to make a real difference in the general run of day to day life we are going to need the support of the Holy Spirit because all work done by is (or should be) God’s work.


It is true to say that the only body Jesus has on Earth to do his father’s will is ours, but do we and will we let him use it?, I turn to a hymn by Patrick   Appleford  to expound my meaning,


Christ has no body now on Earth but ours, no hands but ours, no feet but ours, ours are the eyes through is to look out Christ’s compassion to the world. Ours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good. Ours are the hands with which he is to bless men now.
We know what our job is, it is to make it is world a better place, something nearer to what God intended it to be.


In the gospels you will read details of all the principle miracles of Jesus and you will notice they are mainly about everyday life, Jesus cared desperately about people and we are slowly starting to realise the significance of this, The day of “pie in the sky when you die is over”, eternity starts now and our mortal lives are a very definite part of our work as members of the family of God.


I know and you know we can each do a little by our own efforts to help others and spread the gospel, but when we team up a spirit of community becomes a powerful force and Christian harmony demonstrates what life is really about and what it is intended to be.


Here then is the challenge, Accept and use the abilities which God gave you for his work in a way that will be to the greatest advantage to his people, but be warned, with the spirit of God comes real power and such power can be dangerous when misused.


Used wisely and with care it will benefit the world beyond our wildest dreams, misuse it and it will rebound like a thunderbolt doing considerable damage in the process. We need the guidance of the Holy Spirit when using it, once I quote Patrick Appleford , Lord to every one supplying different gifts for all to use, give us strength on you relying all our selfishness to lose; may we each in our vocation with your spirit be instilled, by your humble incarnation Christ in us your church rebuild.


 To such a prayer (in hymn form) there can only be one reply

         Amen      So Be It

Does baptism determine your denomination for life?

Holy Baptism is an outward sign of an inner faith and welcomes a person into the Universal Christian family, ensuring the salvation of their soul.
It is not an initiation ceremony designed to claim souls through a forced membership within the denomination of whoever officiated over the baptism; and for some 500 years, it has mainly been the Church of England who have baptised the majority of the English people. Church membership should be a joyous and freely made decision to share communion with other like-minds - not a forced obligation. The ECC+C has baptised many people into the global Christian family over the years.

We believe that it is high time the Church of England released its grip on our British Constitution and the Rights of people to find God in their own way. Some Non-Conformist churches consider the Church of England 'Christening' service of a baby to be different and therefore invalid to that of being baptised as per scripture; as a 'born-again' Christian.  These churches re-baptise adults through whole-body submersion.

We believe people don't need a second baptism but we wholly understand that some people need to go through this (symbolic) action of total submersion to feel closer to living as Christ taught. Frankly, where is the harm? We believe it doesn't matter who baptised you as long as you were, or want to be, baptised - and joyfully take your place within the Christian family.

 

To Serve The Mother Church

Every Christian has a duty to serve God, given in Baptism and made firm through Confirmation, and regularly strengthened by personal prayer, discernment of scripture, and celebrating the Eucharist. All Christians are called to follow Christ; to come together week by week for worship; and to extend the kingdom of God in current generations and beyond.

Different Christians are called to live out their vocations in different ways. Some are called to ordained ministry, as deacons, priests, or bishops, exercising the mission through ministries of Word and Sacrament. Other Christians are called to live out their vocation as laypersons, bearing witness to Christ in their daily lives. Some Christians are called to deepen their baptismal vows by living a religious vocation with additional vows. Religious may be ordained or lay. The ECC and its communities and ministries belonging to the Mother Church welcome all of these ways of living the Christian vocation.

 

 

 

 

Our Lady of Lourdes 

ECC+C Pilgrimage 2010

 
 

 

 

 

 

Below the story of Bernadette is a photographic journey around Lourdes I made which started on the 6th of August, the feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. If you have been yourself already I really hope these pictures rekindle the feeling you would have sensed, of the joy of being a Christian and the overwhelming sense of warmth and love it blesses you with. If you have never been before, please consider it as something you could do as a pilgrim or volunteer. I don't mean that to sound patronising, I just want as many people as possible to experience the many spiritual gifts there. I have never witnessed such peace and love amongst so many strangers from differing countries and cultures. In the aftermath of the bomb scare at Lourdes on the day of the Assumption, just days after I left (of all the days to attempt to hurt the Mother of God), it is more urgent to stand and be counted in the face of Christian oppression and anti-Catholic actions which can only be described as absolute evil. It horrifies me that any person(s) would want to violate anywhere this loving, spiritual and Godly, even if they doubt the reality of what was witnessed by a young girl during her difficult but blessed life. NMD

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