Will Conference of European Churches rescind commitment to women?

The Conference of European Churches (CEC) is about to meet for its 14th Assembly in Budapest.  This Assembly is a culmination of 4 years of reflection and consideration of a new future for CEC.  The CEC is a significant body in the way in which the churches relate to the European Institutions.  It is of concern therefore that the proposed new constitution for the CEC fails to maintain the current commitment to ensuring women’s voices are present.

An open letter from Anthea Sully, from the Methodist Church in Britain and Rev Carla Maurer, representative of the Ecumenical Forum of European Christian Women (EFECW) states,”The proposed new constitution fails to ensure there is a balance of men and women at future CEC Assemblies or on the Central Committee.  These are enshrined in the current constitution and are a long established practice for CEC.”

The letter also draws attention to the removal of an observer place for the EFECW at future CEC Assemblies, ” Historically CEC was concerned that the voices of women were not being heard and therefore supported the EFECW financially and by ensuring representation on its significant bodies.”

The ecumenical movement has often been a place whereby those who had little voice in their own churches were able to be heard, especially in promoting peace, social justice and human rights.  Let us hope the delegates arriving in Budapest will take the decisions that will allow this to continue.

The Assembly can be followed at    here