The Communion of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE) is an association of Protestant churches with 107 Lutheran, Methodist, Reformed, and United churches from over 30 countries in Europe and South America. The CPCE represents around 50 million Protestants in total.
The CPCE exists thanks to the 1973 Leuenberg Agreement. It stipulates that churches are able to differ from one another as they are based on the common basis of the Gospel. This may sound simple, but it had far-reaching consequences: Lutheran pastors were now able to preach from a Reformed pulpit and French pastors could now lead a congregation in Germany.
The CPCE is a worship communion. The churches enjoy pulpit and table fellowship and recognize each other’s baptism and ordination. They share their liturgical traditions with one another and sing from the CPCE’s common European hymnal “Colours of Grace”.
The CPCE provides Protestants with a common voice. Many of the member churches are minority churches that need to fulfill their mission under conditions that can prove difficult. In a changing Europe, the CPCE strengthens and unites the voice of Protestants with respect to political institutions.
European Protestants start to reflect on the first year of pandemic
More than 80 representatives of Protestant churches met online 17–19 March 2021for a virtual conference organised by the Communion of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE), the European Region of the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) and the Protestant Church in Switzerland (PCS). Participants from more than 20 countries discussed how churches have experienced and responded to the corona pandemic so far.
On this occasion the CPCE’s Advisory Board on Ethics presented its brand new guide « Being church together in a pandemic», Reflections from a Protestant Perspective https://www.leuenberg.eu/cpce-content/uploads/2021/03/GEKE-focus-29-web.pdf which details the ethical challenges posed by the pandemic in theological, social and healthcare terms and highlights potential approaches that churches might adopt.
We plan to conduct a further, face-to-face conference in October 2021 in Rome (further details to follow in summer 2021).