The Quaker Committee for Christian and Interfaith Relations (QCCIR) helps Quakers in Britain in their work with other religious faiths, spiritual and human values groups in pursuit of common goals. It does this by reflecting on Quaker insights and values, and by helping Friends enter imaginatively into the life and witness of other faith groups to create bonds of friendship and mutual understanding.
The committee considers issues and opportunities which may arise from Britain Yearly Meeting's involvement in ecumenical or interfaith work. It also works together with individuals, meetings, other churches and faith groups on ecumenical and interfaith issues.
Statement on the Inter Faith Network
QCCIR is a member of the Inter Faith Network (IFN) for the UK, which works to promote understanding, cooperation and good relations between different faiths. On 7 February 2024 the board of the IFN agreed they must move towards closure in two weeks unless the government fulfilled its promise to continue providing funding. QCCIR has made a statement urging the government to reconsider its funding withdrawal. Read our statement.
Ecumenical prayers and vigils for peace for Palestine and Israel
Your local churches together or interfaith group may like to take inspiration from the ecumenical prayers for peace from St James's Church, Piccadilly. The order of service is available here:
Ecumenical Prayers for Peace - Sunday 22nd October 2023 (PDF). Hosted by St James , the service was created in partnership with the Amos Trust, Christian Aid, Embrace the Middle East, Sabeel Kairos, Bloomsbury Baptist Church, The Methodist Church in Britain, Quakers in Britain and The United Reformed Church. Christian Aid has also produced resources for prayer vigils.
Prayers and statements from churches and interfaith organisations:
For this is the true ground of love and unity, not that such a man walks and does just as I do, but because I feel the same Spirit and life in him...
- Quaker faith & practice 27.13
QCCIR reports to Meeting for Sufferings. It meets three times a year and has 11 members appointed by Meeting for Sufferings, including members nominated by General Meeting for Scotland, Crynwyr Cymru/Quakers in Wales and Ireland Yearly Meeting. It also has ex-officio members from Friends World Committee for Consultation. QCCIR is establishing working groups under new Terms of Reference to which Friends may be co-opted.
QCCIR undertakes the following, it:
- 21 January 2024 Multi-faith peace event London 12 noon. Begins
in Trafalgar Square with prayers for peace from different faiths. The walk will set off from Trafalgar
Square and proceed in silent walking meditation to Parliament Square
and back, for peace, for nonviolence, for reconciliation.
organised this jointly with Plum Village Buddhist community. This will be
a solemn moment without flags, placards, or political slogans. Participants
will walk wearing or carrying a single handmade white flower – a poignant
reminder that each of us plays a role in cultivating a more peaceful world – peace in ourselves and in the world. Expected to end around 3pm. For
details see: www.plumvillage.uk/event/peacewalk
- Prayers: Everyone is invited to virtually join the Focolare Centre Prayers for Unity on Monday evenings from 6–6.30pm.
- The Bill Snelson Young Ecumenists Fund offers grants twice a year – deadlines 31 March and 31 October. The fund aims to give young adults the possibility to experience and study ecumenism abroad. How to apply – Churches Together in England (cte.org.uk)
- 18–25 January 2024. Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Resources are now available from Churches Together in Britain and Ireland Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2024 (ctbi.org.uk). They have been prepared by an ecumenical team from Burkina Faso and are centred on the parable of the Good Samaritan. What does it mean to love out neighbour in the middle of a security crisis?
- Friday 1 March 2024 is World Day of Prayer.
The theme for 2024 is
'I beg you…bear with one another in love', for which materials have been written by an ecumenical group of Palestinian Christian women. World Day of Prayer aims to demonstrate that prayer and action are inseparable, and that both have immeasurable influence in the world. Friends are active on our national World Day of Prayer committees including as a current President. Further information about Palestine, the World Day of Prayer resources and how to be involved in your local area are available on the World Day of Prayer website https://www.wwdp.org.uk/2024-theme-and-country-palestine
- 15–17 March 2024 Working Together in Faith. QCCIR conference, organised jointly with Woodbrooke learning. Details and booking at https://woodbrooke.org.uk/qccir2024
- 6–7 February 2024 at High Leigh, Hertfordshire. Churches Together in England Training Course. This course is for anyone active ecumenically on a regional basis – whatever their title. For example, Area Meetings may appoint a voluntary coordinator or Denominational Ecumenical Officer. Both Friends experienced in such a role and those new to it could enjoy and benefit from the training. Details of the role, the course and the link to book a place can be found on the CTE website. https://cte.org.uk/working-together/national/ecumenical-officers/training/overview-the-training-process/
- From the week of prayer for world peace. These prayers and contemplative practices, mostly with music, are from eight different faith and spiritual traditions. They will be available online for a year, until October 2024. World Peace — Interfaith Contemplative Practices (interfaithalignment.org)
'Becoming an anti-racist faith community' was held on 23 January 2023. This webinar welcomed speakers from other churches and faiths to tell us of their work for Racial Justice. It also heard from two Quakers engaged in this work.
There are lots of faith opportunities for you or your meeting to engage with:
- Become involved with your local Churches Together or other interchurch groups in your area.
- Make contact with local faith communities or interfaith groups.
- Contact QCCIR for advice on how to become more involved locally or for a workshop at your local meeting on interchurch or interfaith concerns.
- Area Meetings may appoint a Denominational Ecumenical Officer to meet with other church representatives at county level in the Churches Together in England structure.
Find out more
- Explore our resources for Quakers engaged in Christian and Interfaith relations.
- Invite a committee member to visit your meeting to talk about your interfaith or inter-church work (see bottom of page for contact details).
- PDF versions of the CIRcular newsletter, about ecumenical and interfaith work, are available (up to 2019 when last issue published).
- Join the QCCIR cluster group mailing list to receive occasional emails
Why people of faith are mobilising around loss and damage:
Header image: Faith and beliefs at COP26. Photo: Michael Preston 2021
Taking my seat again: four years being Churches Together in England's 'Empty Chair' President
7 September 2023 by Hannah Brock Womack
Having come to the end of her four-year term as Fourth President, Hannah Brock Womack shares her experience of being rejected from taking up the role for being married to woman.