The WCC is the broadest and most inclusive, modern, ecumenical movement and brings together churches, denominations and fellowships from more than 120 countries. Member churches represent more than 580 million Christians and include most of the world's Orthodox churches, Anglican, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist and Reformed churches, as well as many United and Independent churches. The assembly convenes every eight years and provides member churches with a unique space to reflect, speak, act, worship and work together.
The Clewer Initiative has been formally working with the WCC since March 2020 on a pilot project to challenge issues on modern slavery, particularly as it affects children. Early stages of the pilot have involved developing relationships with the Christian Councils in Ghana and Tanzania and with The Federation of Evangelical Churches in Italy and discerning an effective and sustainable work programme. We were able to present our joint learnings at the Assembly. In addition, our director was able to be involved in an Ecumenical Conversation on migration: conversations provide an opportunity to draw on the insights of WCC networks, member churches, and partners, and discuss emerging ecumenical and global concerns.
The migration Ecumenical Conversation, taking place over four days, explored Human Mobility, Displacement and the Public Role and Witness of the Church. It considered the tensions and intersections between human rights and Christian faith; and the Church’s pastoral, prophetic and public role. It also thought about the changing and extremely diverse profiles of people on the move, the challenges migration raises, and the many ways migrants transform ecclesial life, mission, and praxis. Finally, it discussed why it is necessary for churches to be strong witnesses and advocates in the public sphere as well as addressing current, emerging, and future migration challenges.
Bishop Alastair Redfern, Caroline Virgo, Revd Janice Price and Francesca Geach (The Clewer Initiative), Joyce Larko Steiner (Christian Council of Ghana) and Esther Muhagachi (Christian Council of Tanzania) presented a workshop on their mutually developing work targeting child modern slavery.