Image of European Parliament plenary session in Strasbourg Image of European Parliament plenary session in Strasbourg  (ANSA)

Meeting of European Churches underway in Estonia

The Conference of European Churches opens its 2023 General Assembly, with the theme “Under God’s Blessing – Shaping the Future.”

By Joseph Tulloch

The General Assembly of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) is underway in Tallinn, Estonia.

The theme for the meeting, which will run from Wednesday 14th June to Tuesday 20th, is “Under God’s Blessing – Shaping the Future.”

The CEC brings together 113 Protestant, Orthodox, Anglican and Old Catholic churches from across Europe. The Catholic Church is not a member.

The meeting

The CEC’s General Assembly – which takes places once every five years – brings churches together to make decisions on the body’s future.

“The CEC Assembly will be a significant moment of prayer, fellowship and reflection for the life and witness of the churches in Europe. The theme will bind us together in an ecumenical spirit to offer churches’ contributions toward Europe’s future,” the President of the CEC, Rev. Christian Krieger, said in a press release

The Assembly will also elect new board members to steer the body’s work over the next five years.


The first of the four keynote speakers at the conference will be Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, a Belarusian political activist who has been living in exile since she ran against President Alexander Lukashenko in national elections. She will address the Assembly on the theme "What can Churches offer in European society". 

Next up is the German Sociologist Dr Hartmun Rosa, who speak on “What is the sociological context of Europe.” He will be followed by Dr Rowan Williams, the ex-Archbishop of Canterbury, whose topic will be “How do we work theologically with our role in European society”.

Finally, His All Holiness Bartholemew, the Ecumenical Patriarch, will ask “What are our ecumenical tasks in future Europe?”.


The Conference of European Churches was founded in 1959 to promote friendship and co-operation between the various churches of Europe in the context of the Cold War.

Today, it works to promote Christian unity, as well as peace and reconciliation, especially through dialogue with European institutions in Brussels and Strasbourg.

Although the Catholic Church is not a member, it does collaborate with the CEC, holding, for example, a number of joint European Ecumenical Assemblies together with the CEC over the years.

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14 June 2023, 12:14