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Churches to share common ground at Swanwick

 The broadest and most representative gathering of Christians in England takes place next weekend (18-20 July) Over three hundred delegates from national churches, country ecumenical bodies and local groups will be meeting at Swanwick for the seventh Forum of Churches Together in England (CTE). They will be led by the CTE Presidents - Archbishop Rowan Williams, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Free Churches Moderator Revd David Coffey, and Revd Esme Beswick, General Secretary of the Joint Council for Anglo-Caribbean Churches. This will be the first Forum for Dr Rowan Williams, who signed a Personal Covenant with the other Presidents of CTE soon after he came into office as Archbishop of Canterbury. The theme of the Forum is 'Contributing to a Common Life'. Issues to be investigated include the future of Anglican-Methodist relations following the recent decisions of Methodist Conference and General Synod, inter faith relations, the Churches' capacity to speak on public affairs, and engaging with people outside the churches. General Secretary of Churches Together in England, Revd Bill Snelson, said: "What makes the Forum so interesting and exciting is that it is a microcosm of the diversity of the life of the Churches in England ; a rich variety of ages, backgrounds, traditions and responsibilities. It really is an expression of our common life together - and one where hopefully every contribution, insight and emphasis is valued."