Local Ecumenism

Ministers’ Fraternals, Interchurch Councils etc in Victoria

In 2008, it was reported that the Local Ecumenism Commission had been in recess for 12 months. It was reported that many Interchurch Councils have moved into interfaith activities and many have run out of things to do. Some have moved into covenanting as a key focus.

In 2007, the Chairperson of the Local Ecumenism Commission (Jean Hillier) reported to the VCC Executive that ‘with much regret I have to inform you that the Local Ecumenism Commission decided at the May meeting to go into recess for a period of 12 months. The decision was not taken lightly, having been discussed by the participants since the latter half of 2007. ‘For the past three years we have struggled to recruit new members to serve on the Commission. Those that did agree to do so did not in the event attend meetings regularly or remain members for very long. Business being minimal, meetings were reduced from monthly to two-monthly. A survey carried out about four years ago of affiliated Inter-Church Councils throughout Victoria found that most were thriving and working effectively, both in suburban areas and in the country. Lay people from the various denominations worked with great dedication but on the whole were not enthusiastic about attending extra meetings beyond their own areas. This was a rather disappointing result, though it was noted that some ICCs supported the continuation of the Annual Meeting.
The Commission has found it difficult to come up with innovative programs, and reliance on ICCs for feedback is usually minimal. Thus it would seem that the Commission has run its course for the time being’.