Regional Groups

The CPCE consists of 94 member churches. Many churches have combined in regional groups to strengthen collaboration between the churches and in so doing enrich the life of the churches.

The General Assembly gratefully notes the commitment of the churches in the regional groups of the CPCE, the South East Central Europe Group and the North West Europe Group. It also acknowledges the work of the Conference of the Churches on the Rhine and confirms the CCR intention to bring its fellowship as a commitment into the CPCE. It is delighted at the reports of the collaboration of the CPCE churches on the Rio de la Plata and encourages them to strengthen their co-operation, and if possible also include other Protestant churches of the South American continent.
The General Assembly also gratefully notes the proposals for founding new regional groups and asks the churches concerned to develop their initiatives further, taking note of the framework established above.

North West Group

The meetings within the framework of the “Leuenberg North West Group” go back to an initiative of the late Rhineland Praeses Peter Beier. In 1990 the initial core of the group was formed by the United Protestant Church in Belgium, the Evangelical Church of the Rhineland and the three Reformation churches from the Netherlands. Later, other German churches joined, as well as churches from Luxembourg and Alsace, so that today ten churches from four countries belong to the North West Group.

Since 1991 there have been annual conferences at various places in Europe: Brussels, Hofgeismar, Düsseldorf, Kloster Frenswegen in Nordhorn, Utrecht, Mülheim, Stapelage, Luxembourg, Antwerp, Strasbourg, Bielefeld and Kassel. Primarily the leading clergy of the churches and members of the church governments take part. The topics are always chosen with a view to their topicality for the member churches, e.g. “Church and Israel”, “Evangelising – Protestant Perspectives for the Churches in Europe” or “The Shape and Shaping of Protestant Churches in a Changing Europe”. Alongside the themes mentioned, which served as preparation for the General Assemblies in Belfast and Budapest, important concerns for the North West Group are cultivating Euregio work, care of migrants and asylum-seekers, and an intensive exchange over the situation of member churches.

The North West Group has given particular support to a Protestant European Synod.

Member Churches

Evangelical Church of Westphalia

Church of Lippe

Evangelical Reformed Church

Evangelical Church of the Rhineland

Evangelical Church of Kurhessen-Landeck

United Methodist Church in Germany

United Protestant Church of Belgium

Protestant Church in the Netherlands

Reformed Protestant Church of Alsace-Lorraine

Protestant Church of Luxembourg

Reformed Church of Luxembourg

Remonstrante Broederschap

Contact Person

Marcus Wetter
Ev. Kirche i. Rheinland
Böckler Str 7
40476 Düsseldorf, Deutschland
E-Mail: marcus.wetter@ekir-lka.de

Contact Person

Raphael Quandt
Ev.-Luth.Kirche in Bayern

Katharina von Bora Str. 11-13
80333 München
Mail: raphael.quandt@elkb.de

South East Europe Group

In 1975 Bishop Hanselmann wanted to give an indication that the Leuenberg Church Fellowship was not just remaining a document but was taking shape as a living community of churches. With the signing of the Agreement by Bavaria he called to life a regional group which made possible exchanges between churches over the Iron Curtain. As well as holding important theological discussions, which have been recorded in the publications of the Leuenberg Church Fellowship, the meeting of the regional group on neutral ground in Gallneukirchen in Austria was for many representatives of the churches in the East one of the few possibilities of keeping in contact with their Western brothers and sisters

Though for a long time predominantly bishops and church leaders came to the regional group in Gallneukirchen, now many young theologians, men and women, are delegated to this body, and of course they bring to it the concerns and situations of their churches. At present the focus of work is on a study of changes to worship in the member churches. Alongside this there is still room for topical themes: in this year “Dealing with the past under totalitarian regimes”.

With 28 member churches from Switzerland to Russia and from Poland to Italy and Bulgaria, the South East Europe Regional Group is not only the oldest but also the largest regional group of the CPCE.

Conference of the Churches on the Rhine

Twelve years before the signing of the Leuenberg Agreement an alliance of churches had formed along the Rhine which practised an ecumenism within Protestantism. After the Second World War this alliance, the Conference of Churches on the Rhine (CCR), made it its task to play its part in the new peaceful Europe which was taking shape. The Rhine, for many decades and centuries a line of demarcation, was to become the symbol of solidarity and reconciliation in Europe.

For its first meeting in 1961 the CCR came together on the Liebefrauenberg in Switzerland. Initially no sequel to the meeting was envisaged. But the conversations and encounters with the sister churches of neighbouring countries proved so stimulating and fruitful that such meetings were also planned for the future. From the very beginning that work of the churches along the Rhine which crosses frontiers lay at the centre of interest. In time three forms of collaboration became established. First, the CCR organizes annual conferences on topical European themes. Secondly, over and above the thematic work, these conferences offer the possibility of encounter and reciprocal exchanges between the churches and so lay the foundation for common projects which cross frontiers. Thirdly, as early as the end of the 1970s the CCR took the initiative in establishing an Ecumenical Secretariat in the European institutions in Strasbourg which in the course of time developed into today’s Strasbourg office of the Conference of European Churches’ Church and Society Commission.

As all the member churches of the CCR are likewise signatory churches of the Leuenberg Agreement, in recent years the idea has taken shape of also incorporating the CCR institutionally into the CPCE as a regional group. At the CCR conference in May 2008 this process was completed with the signing of an agreement to become a regional group.

Member Churches

Reformed Church in Aargau

Evangelical Church of Baden

Evangelical Reformed Church of Basel Land

Evangelical Reformed Church of Basel Stadt

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Alsace and Lorraine

Evangelical Reformed Church in Alsace and Lorraine

Evangelical Church in Hesse und Nassau

Evangelical Church in the Principality of Liechtenstein

Evangelical Church of the Helvetic Confession in Austria

Evangelical Church of Palatine

Evangelical Church of the Rhineland

Evangelical Reformed Church of Schaffhausen

Evangelical Reformed Church of St. Gallen

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Württemberg

Contact Person

Christian Albecker
Mail: president@uepal.fr

Contact Person

Charlotte Kuffer
Mail: charlotte.kuffer@bluewin.ch

Conférence des Eglises protestantes des Pays latins d’Europe

« 1950 – Le Conseil Oecuménique vient de se constituer officiellement à l’Assemblée d’Amsterdam. Le souci de la solidarité entre Eglises l’amène à se préoccuper de la situation précaire des protestants en Italie, et des entraves à la liberté religieuse, dont souffrent les Eglises Protestantes en Espagne et au Portugal, alors même que vient d’être adoptée par l’ONU la Déclaration Universelle des Droits de l’Homme. Co-président du Conseil Œcuménique, le pasteur M. Boegner convoque à Paris le 1er février 1950 une conférence pour évaluer les besoins et coordonner les efforts.

Ainsi naquit la CEPPLE. Quelques mois plus tard, en septembre 1950, à l’initiative du Département d’Entraide des Eglises du COE, se tient à Torre-Pellice … la première Conférence des Eglises Protestantes des Pays latins d’Europe. Grandeur et misère des Eglises minoritaires, tel est le thème de l’assemblée, que développe le pasteur Visser’t Hooft, Secrétaire Général du COE.

Les années passent. Le sentiment se répand que, dans leur fragilité, les Eglises dites minoritaires sont porteuses pour d’autres d’une parole d’avenir. Ce qu’exprimera la troisième Assemblée Générale qui se réunit à Leysin (Suisse) en octobre 1963 : Notre situation minoritaire, si nous l’entendons comme une vocation et non comme une réalité sociologique, peut aider l’Eglise d’aujourd’hui à se comprendre comme minorité … Un second point est à l’ordre du jour de cette assemblée de Leysin : la question des migrations. C’est le professeur André Philip, un économiste protestant, adepte du christianisme social, qui intervient sur ce thème. Le problème n’est pas nouveau, souligne-t-il, mais il se posera avec acuité dans les vingt prochaines années. L’émigration ne sera plus principalement intra-européenne, mais elle viendra d’Afrique. D’où l’invitation pressante aux Eglises à travailler cette question, et la décision de l’assemblée de l’inscrire dans son programme pour l’avenir.

En septembre 1968, Le Chambon-sur Lignon-accueille la seconde assemblée de la CEPPLE (121 participants, les travaux durent une semaine). Exposé du Professeur H. d’Espine, de la Faculté de Théologie de Genève : La situation du protestantisme dans les pays latins implique une vocation spécifique qu’il définit par quatre éléments : l’évangélisation, la lutte pour la liberté religieuse, un ministère prophétique, une responsabilité à l’égard de régions extra-européennes (Afrique, Amérique latine). Trois conditions pour répondre à cette vocation : un renouveau spirituel, une solidarité (spirituelle et matérielle), une plus grande unité.

1975 – La révolution des œillets vient de renverser l’année précédente au Portugal le régime fondé par Salazar. Lisbonne est en pleine effervescence, lorsque s’y réunit la conférence des Facultés de théologie des pays latins, un des plus anciens et des plus durables réseaux de la CEPPLE.

A l’origine, la CEPPLE fut une réponse concrète à une situation historique donnée. Peu à peu s’est tissé un réseau de relations et d’échanges … Les liens noués, au travers de l’Eglise Réformée de France (EPUdF), avec l’Eglise évangélique de Rhénanie (EKIR)… Une histoire s’est tissée entre nos Eglises latines et ces Eglises du Nord, ainsi qu’avec plusieurs Eglises de l’Est, affrontées dans des contextes différents à des défis comparables. »

Depuis, les activités de la CEPPLE se formalisent autour de 3 pôles : les échanges catéchétiques, la formation théologique et le rôle des Eglises du sud face à la migration. Un colloque sur une bénédiction des couples de même sexe s’est tenu en 2012. En septembre 2014, la dernière Assemblée Générale de la CEPPLE s’est tenue à Malaga ; le Professeur Ermanno Genre y a cédé la présidence au pasteur Alfredo Abad, Secrétaire de la Commission permanente de Eglise Evangélique Espagnole. La Conférence des Eglises Protestantes des pays latins y est devenue le 4è groupe régional de la CEPE.

 

Member Churches

l’Eglise Protestante Unie de Belgique

Eglise Evangélique Espagnole

Eglise Episcopale Réformée Espagnole

Eglise Protestante Unie de France

Union des Eglises Protestantes d’Alsace et de Lorraine (jusqu’en décembre 2015)

Union Nationale des Eglises Protestantes Réformées Evangéliques de France

Fédération des Eglises Evangéliques Baptistes de France

Eglise Vaudoise d’Italie

Eglise Méthodiste d’Italie

Union chrétienne Evangélique Baptiste d’Italie

Eglise Evangélique Presbytérienne du Portugal

Eglise Evangélique Méthodiste du Portugal

Eglise Catholique Apostolique Evangélique Lusitanienne

Eglise Evangélique Réformée du canton de Vaud

Eglise Protestante de Genève

Eglise Réformée Evangélique de Neuchâtel

Union Synodale Berne-Jura

Eglise Evangélique réformée du canton de Fribourg

Eglise Réformée Evangélique du canton du Valais

Eglise  Evangélique Réformée du canton des Grisons