The Conference of European Churches is an ecumenical fellowship of Churches in Europe which confess the Lord Jesus Christ as God and Saviour according to the Scriptures and therefore seek to fulfil their common calling to the glory of the one God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
The CEC Assembly is composed of the delegates appointed by the member churches and of the members of the Central Committee. Representatives of associated organisations and other church and ecumenical bodies attend Assemblies in advisory capacaties.
The beginning of CEC
The movement which led to the creation of the Conference of European Churches dates back to the period of the cold war. The fragmented and divided Europe of the 1940s and 1950s needed to surmount political divisions to devote itself anew to the peoples torn apart by the Second World War.
At this time a small group of church leaders in East and West Europe began to consider together the possibility of bringing into conversation churches in European countries separated by different political, economic and social systems.
Their aim was to enable the churches of Europe to become instruments of peace and understanding.
Exploratory and preparatory meetings took place in 1953 and 1957.
In January 1959 representatives of more than 40 churches met in Nyborg Strand, Denmark for the first Assembly of CEC. A second Assembly was held in 1960 and a third in 1962, both in Nyborg.
"The Ecumenical Forum of European Christian Women" was represented by Martina Heinrichs, former Co President, who gave a presentation of women's rights in the churches in Europe - in the aftermath of the Ecumenical Decade of Churches in Solidarity with Women, an item which was followed up by Fulata Moyo from the World Council of Churches. Martina talked also about the diversity of women in the ecumenical European movement, about feminist theology and - last but not least - about the Forum's project "Pop Up Monastery".