Churches Together in the Merseyside Region serves as the umbrella body for the main denominations in the Merseyside Region. It began life in 1985 as MARCEA - the Merseyside And Region Churches Ecumenical Assembly - but changed its name and way of working in 2003.
Merseyside had been badly affected by sectarianism for generations. Following a lot of quiet work in the background, the Church Leaders issued a Call to Partnership to their churches at Pentecost 1985. They practised what they preached and the 'Mersey Miracle' was acknowledged. Not all the tensions have been resolved, but there is now a general understanding that it is 'Better Together'.
When MARCEA was set up, it was modelled on a Parliamentary debating chamber. Ecumenical issues were debated and Departments followed through the shared concerns.
As the social and religious context changed, so the more simply structured Churches Together in the Merseyside Region was born, with the tag line "Doing things ecumenically rather than doing ecumenical things."
MARCEA was the fruit of the vision and determination of the Church Leaders at that time. Churches Together in the Merseyside Region reflects the fact that the energy for partnership has now shifted to local and neighbourhood level. Some major Merseyside-wide events are still well-supported, but working together is increasingly focused in shared congregations, local groups of churches and partnerships for mission and social justice.
Our Lord's prayer "May they be one that the world may believe" is the key to the life of Churches Together in the Merseyside Region. Christian Unity is not for its own sake but to enable more effective mission. And by engaging in mission, churches discover a greater sense of their unity in Christ.
Churches Together in the Merseyside Region engages in the life of the many communities which make up Merseyside as a critical friend. It seeks to support what is good and wholesome whilst at the same time offering a vision of a life together that is even better.
Churches Together in the Merseyside Region is a registered charity no. 519061