World Council of Churches

A worldwide fellowship of churches seeking unity, a common witness and Christian service

You are here: Home / Press centre / News / New over-arching ecumenical body mooted for Pacific churches

New over-arching ecumenical body mooted for Pacific churches

New over-arching ecumenical body mooted for Pacific churches

Methodist church on the outskirts of Suva, Fiji

27 September 2006

A consultation of leaders of World Council of Churches (WCC) member churches in the Pacific and representatives of three ecumenical bodies in the region has decided to bring the region's three major ecumenical organizations together under one common ecumenical umbrella.

At the close of a 18-21 September consultation in Fiji, the consultation affirmed the leaders' common commitment to "a paradigm shift towards a new form of ecumenical cooperation in our 'liquid continent'", opting for the "structural integration" of the Pacific Conference of Churches, the South Pacific Association of Theological Schools, and the Pacific Theological College into a new Pacific Ecumenical Council.

This integration, says the consultation statement, is essential "in order to serve God's people and revitalize the awareness of common witness in Christ for churches in the Pacific".

The proposal followed a week's reflection on the prophetic role of the church as "mediator and intercessor", and on cooperation for the good of all God's people.

"As mediator and intercessor," the consultation affirmed, "the church stands before God to present the problem of the people whom she represents; stands before the political leaders to ask them to take into account the plight of the poor, the marginalized and the oppressed; and stands before God to ask for God's justice to be put into the leaders' hearts".

Representatives of Pacific churches and the three concerned ecumenical organizations will now prepare a detailed feasibility study for a Pacific Ecumenical Council whose role it will be to govern and coordinate the future activities of the three organizations.

Full text of the statement from the 2006 Pacific church leaders consultation