Welcome for new Churches Together in England general secretary

Quakers in Britain welcome the appointment by Churches Together in England of a new General Secretary. Bishop Mike Royal will take up the position in March 2022 when Rev Dr Paul Goodliff retires.

Quakers have worked with Mike Royal on the CTE's Racial Justice Working Group and look forward to a continuing positive relationship. We value Bishop Mike's experience of local ecumenical work, focusing on the service which unites the churches rather than interpretations of theology.

As a church which especially recognises and values the continuing inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Quakers in Britain warmly welcome the appointment of CTE's first General Secretary from the Pentecostal tradition.

In his acceptance remarks Bishop Mike referred to the challenges and difficulties of this vital ecumenical journey. Quakers see an important challenge in CTE's ecumenical journey at present is living with the impacts of the 2019 decision not to accept a Quaker, Hannah Brock Womack, as a President of the organisation because member churches were unwilling to accept a President in a same-sex marriage.

The Fourth Presidency Group - of which Quakers are one member - is currently therefore represented instead by an 'empty chair' Presidency, which represents the lack of agreement within the churches in England regarding human sexuality. Quakers look forward to working with Bishop Mike in grappling with how CTE member churches live out our commitment to journeying together, even with our diversity of approaches.

Quakers will be writing to Bishop Mike to congratulate him and look forward to working together.