The Irish School of Ecumenics works closely with Church Fora throughout Northern Ireland. Church Fora are focused on how churches can cooperate on addressing social and community needs, reconciliation issues and community life. They grew from tentative inter-church work originating in the 1980’s and began to emerge in the late 1990’s and opening years of the new century. The first formal Church Forum to come into existence was Armagh in 1996.
Many of the Church Fora emerged in locations where The Irish School of Ecumenics delivered modules of its ‘Education for Reconciliation’ programme. There are different models of Fora – some are clergy only, some are led by laity and clergy, and some are led by laity with clergy supporting from the sidelines. One of the strengths of the Church Fora is that they take seriously the context in which they find themselves including the ‘brokenness’ of relationships in communities. The Fora are models of Christians doing ‘relational’ theology, finding a unity around social action projects and social ethics.
In January 2007 ISE appointed Eileen Gallagher as Support Officer for Church Fora and other interchurch groups. CONNECT, a representative body of Church Fora was established in spring 2007 and meets twice yearly. A bi-annual Church Fora Newsletter is published.
Download PDF copies of the Church Fora Newsletter
Note these files require the free adobe pdf reader, you probually have this on your computer, but if you need it you can download it here.