QF – 50th Anniversary

13 February 0202

Re-imagining Ecumenism

Queen’s 50th Anniversary as an Ecumenical Theological Institution

“Enlarge the site of your tent, and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; do not hold back; lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.” (Isaiah 54.2)

In 1970 Queen’s College and Handsworth College, with the Church of England and the Methodist Church, took the bold decision to form an ecumenical theological college, confident in the hope of a new union between the churches, and of the united Queen’s College being the forerunner of a new institutions for learning and formation for a new united Church. 50 years later the churches continue to talk about covenanting.

Queen’s has much to celebrate for 50 years of pioneering ecumenical life. We want in 2020 to look back with thanks but we also want to look forward, asking what ecumenism and unity means for the next 50 years, seeking to be as bold and creative as our forebears were half a century ago. Since our world and our churches are a very different from 1970, we want to learn from the past and re-imagine ecumenism for the future.

We take inspiration from the prophet Isaiah’s vision of hope for an exiled people and ask how our hope and vision for unity might be enlarged, how our ecclesial tent, our habitations can be stretched and lengthened, so that we may hear afresh God’s call and command to unity.

During the year a series of events will take place at Queen’s to bring people together to think and pray, to celebrate and lament, to dream and to act:

  • The next event will take place at 6.30 p.m. on Monday May 4th at Queen’s when David Chapman a Methodist historian will reflect on 50 years of covenanting talks between the Church of England and the Methodist Church, helping us to ask what can we learn and what next.
  • Watch this space for more information about an event in June when Professor David Ford will speak on John 17 and the unity which is in Christ.
  • On Friday 10th and Saturday 11th July 2020, the Centre for Black Theology will host a 2-day conference that will bring together for the first time, scholars of Black British gospel music and Black Pentecostalism worldwide.
  • On Monday 12th October, the Centre for Black Theology will host the annual Sam Sharpe lecture.

Events already taken place

  • On Wednesday 26th February Church leaders from Pakistan, South and North India, and Bangladesh shared their experience of uniting and being united, and posed the question to the churches in Britain: why do you not follow our lead?

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