Ecumenical activity in the Diocese reflects a will to work together with other denominations to speak with one voice on current issues, and develop theological and spiritual knowledge of each other’s traditions.
Many congregations enjoy excellent relations with their Church of Scotland or Roman Catholic neighbours as well as with those of the smaller denominations especially the United Reformed Church and the Methodist Church (with whom the Scottish Episcopal Church came together in closer association in 2010 under the terms of the EMU Partnership Agreement). An important aim is to make a Christian presence felt through good relations with the City and Town councils.
Edinburgh Churches Together is one of a number of ecumenical groupings across Scotland. Anne Pankhurst is currently Convener of this organisation which groups eight member denominations from the City of Edinburgh. Activities include participating in the annual civic Carol Service in St. Andrew’s Square, the City Council’s faith group initiatives, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, the Women’s World Day of Prayer.
There are a number of very active Local Ecumenical partnerships, each with its own way of bringing denominations together. Local ecumenical activity includes working for Christian Aid Week, sharing Remembrance Day services and working together in supporting charities. One such local partnership is Murrayfield Churches Together. Another is the Together Group formed by St John’s Princes Street, St Cuthbert’s and the linked St Andrew’s and St George’s West Churches in central Edinburgh.
The Diocese is represented on the Provincial Inter-church Relations Committee, which has been instrumental in promoting links with Lutheran churches in Scandinavia and Germany.
The Diocese plays a part in the Ecumenical Parish of Livingston, where the Rev Eileen Thompson is the Scottish Episcopal member of the ministerial team. It also has a role in Action of Churches Together in Scotland the sponsoring body for ecumenical activity and co-operation in Scotland. There are several diocesan representatives on the various ACTS committees.