The gathering – the Sixth World Conference on Faith and Order – will mark the anniversary of the world’s first Ecumenical Council, the Council of Nicaea of 325, a key moment in the history of Christian faith.
In a WCC video interview, the Rev. Prof. Dr Sandra Beardsall, moderator of the Nicaea 2025 steering group of the WCC’s Commission on Faith and Order, reflects on the significance of the Council of Nicaea and the inspiration it provides for the World Conference.
“Nicaea was the very first Council that brought together Christians from all around the world to meet together, to make decisions,” says Beardsall in the interview with Dr Stephen Brown, editor of the WCC’s journal, The Ecumenical Review.
At Nicaea at 325, Christians who only recently had been persecuted in the Roman Empire were able to gather under the patronage of the Emperor to affirm their faith, and witness to the society around them.
Their deliberations led to the Nicene Creed, a statement of faith that would “bind all Christians to each other,” says Beardsall, from the United Church of Canada.
“They succeeded for the most part in forming a community that was able to work out, was able to overcome, a lot of social, cultural, and theological differences,” she adds. “And I think there are so many broken places in the world today that need that kind of energy and experience.”
Organized by the WCC’s Commission on Faith and Order, the World Conference will take place from 24 to 28 October 2025 at the Logos Papal Center of the Coptic Orthodox Church at Wadi El Natrun, near Alexandria, Egypt.
It will be the centrepiece of the WCC’s activities to mark Nicaea and will be the sixth such gathering since the First World Conference on Faith and Order in Lausanne in 1927.
“Each of these conferences was seeking to response to the issues for the churches in their own time,” says Beardsall.
“So this Sixth World Conference will try to confront the issues that face us today with some of those same questions about our faith and how we live our lives as churches and how we can better call one another to Christian unity.”