In pursuance of one key element of Cytûn’s mission statement, “helping the churches to arrive at a common mind and make decisions together” and in a similar way to some others of Britain and Ireland’s national ecumenical instruments, the Cytûn Trustees invited Wales’ Church leaders to come together for a conversation about the future direction of Cytûn : Churches Together in Wales.

Such a meeting had not happened for fourteen years and there had inevitably been many changes in denominational personnel during that time. It was hugely encouraging that many of Cytûn’s Category A member churches were represented at the meeting as well as the Chairs of other ecumenical trans-denominational bodies, the Free Church Council of Wales, Cyngor Ysgolion Sul and Commission of Covenanted Churches. Category A members who had presented their apologies included the Salvation Army, Assemblies of God, Church of Pentecost UK, Indian Orthodox Church and Church of God. It should be acknowledged that this means that no Pentecostal or ethnic minority voices were present, to the huge regret of the staff of Cytûn.

The provocation for the discussion was a lecture delivered by Cytûn Chief Executive, Siôn Brynach, in August 2023 entitled “Scaling the second mountain : the future for ecumenism in Wales?“. In that lecture the key communication questions were the ones highlighted – who, what, why, when, where and how – with the lecture highlighting in particular the pivotal importance of the first three of those questions – who, what and why.

Speaking, Cytûn Chief Executive, Siôn Brynach said:

“This was an encouraging and positive meeting with an overwhelming feeling of it being a time to focus once more on ecumenical matters and a feeling of a new season being at hand. However, this could mean that as churches we need to make brave decisions as to whether all Wales’ ecumenical instruments should continue, or whether energy and resources should be focused on one. There was a strong consensus that personal connections were key, and that an ‘ecumenism of the heart’ (the text of the Unity Statement of the 11th Assembly of the World Council of Churches) was a pivotal element in building areas of cooperation and moving towards visible unity. I am most grateful to everyone who participated in this meeting, and in particular to Rev Dr Susan Durber who led the opening Bible Study, which set the reflective tone for the remainder of the meeting.

“This report closes with another set of questions for the Cytûn Trustees to address so as to determine the future direction of this important charity, and I hope too that we can establish a pattern of an annual meeting between Cytûn’s Trustees and Wales’ church leaders. The next such meeting is scheduled for 17 October 2024, and the format of that meeting will be determined very soon by the Cytûn trustees.”