The basis of unity

Daily Reading for October 3 • George Kennedy Allen Bell, Bishop of Chichester, and Ecumenist, 1958, and John Raleigh Mott, Evangelist and Ecumenical Pioneer, 1955

Love, not doctrine, nor order, is to supply the bands which draw Christians together. . . . Let us begin wherever people of a co-operative spirit are to be found: and not spend our effort on organization at the centre. Indeed, at the present stage a few like-minded people of the Church of England, of the Roman Catholics and the Nonconformists, keeping in personal touch with one another, and with their respective churches, are probably organization enough. Far more important is the encouragement and extension of local Christian fellowship, local united meetings, local united councils and united study, and the coming together in faith, hope and charity, in towns and villages, as friends.

Next, it is desirable that the movement of Christian collaboration should be predominantly lay. It is in the civil order, and in the actualities of daily life, that the Christian’s decisions are made. It is, therefore, in the meeting all over England of groups of Christian lay men, of different Churches, for mutual support and mutual help in Christian witness and action, that one of the most fruitful kinds of collaboration will be found.

From “The Basis of Christian Co-operation,” a speech given by George Kennedy Allen Bell in October 1941; quoted “George Bell, 1883-1958: A Bishop to Remember,” a study course marking the 50th anniversary of his death found at

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