Archdiocese of Birmingham Commission for Promoting Christian Unity

The Commission is dedicated to promoting unity between Christians. The lay and clerical members of the Ecumenical Commission represent designated areas of the Archdiocese.

Our aims are to foster the cause of Christian unity across the Archdiocese, and to deepen our relationships with other Christian communities. We aim to enable and encourage ecumenical practice within parishes by sharing good practice; acting as a source of advice and support; and developing ecumenical leaders.

Why we support Ecumenism

The call to seek Christian unity comes from Jesus himself. He prayed the world may be one, “as I am one with The Father” (John 17:21).

Ecumenism (from the Greek word Oikoumene: meaning the whole inhabited world) is not complicated; it is simply witnessing, in unison, with other Christian communities to the salvation of Jesus Christ. Christian unity is not a distant prize at the end of our journey of faith; it is a gift from God that we receive on the journey itself when Christians travel in harmony. All we believe, all we practice, all we love about our faith, has an ecumenical element; instead of doing “ecumenical things” to promote unity, we should seek to do all things ecumenically.

If you  wish to know more about the role of the Commission, and/or offer support, please contact Deacon David Fairbotham, Diocesan Ecumenical Officer, [email protected] or 07948379545, or contact one of the other Commissioners named below who will be delighted to help.

The ways we promote Christian unity

Seek and encourage opportunities for shared prayer for unity

Develop and champion a vision for ecumenism with the four priorities of the Diocesan Vision, Unfolding God's Plan

Act as a source of advice and support to Archbishop Bernard Longley

Be a catalyst and empowerer of all involved in ecumenism

Provide advice, guidance, and inspiration

Develop ecumenical leaders

Support diocese-wide and local projects

Develop a calendar of annual national and local ecumenical events.

February 2024: World Day of Prayer, Friday 1 March

A women led, global, ecumenical movement. This year's theme is: “I beg you, bear with one another in love”.

In the parish of Blessed Carlo Acutis in Wolverhampton two services are planned. The first is at St Benedict Biscop church, Wombourne at 2pm and the second is at St Michael's at 7pm.

Services will be taking place in locations around the globe on that day too where all Christians will be praying for the women and families of Palestine, the chosen country for 2024. 

Ann Bayley, a member of the Commission, shares an article with us:

World Day of Prayer


August 2023: A Reflection on the Good Friday Walk of Witness

One of the four themes of the Diocesan Vision is Evangelisation, encouraging others to know God’s love for them. A powerful witness to the love Jesus has for his people is made annually by thousands of Christians in the Good Friday Walk of Witness. In this public sign of Christian unity, in the heart of their communities, people from different denominations retell the crucifixion story, and attest to the sacrifice Jesus made for our salvation.

Read article in full

September 2022: Journeying Together

A Service of Thanksgiving and Dedication in celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the Chapel of Unity, Coventry Cathedral.

DOWNLOAD booklet

An address from Pope Francis on Ecumenism, May 2022

"one cannot think of journeying on the path of faith without the company of brothers and sisters from other Churches or ecclesial communities."

Read full address


Please contact us

The Commission exists to support and encourage anyone involved in this mission. If you would like to discuss anything connected with this, or an ecumenical project, please contact one of us. We will be delighted to help.

The Catholic Church in England and Wales is a member of Churches Together. This is a national ecumenical instrument supporting and encouraging churches from a wide range of traditions to work together in unity. The Ecumenical Commission operates within this framework. We work with a wide range of contacts in all the major Church communities.

Commission Members and contact details

Chair: Deacon Nick St. John

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 07450 294036


Secretary: Deacon David Fairbotham

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 07948 379545


Birmingham Churches Together

Deacon Peter Middleton

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 07752 229704


Deacon David Fairbotham 

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 07948 379545


Black Country Churches Engaged

Ann Bayley 

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 01902 421567


Coventry and Warwickshire

Janet Wiltshire

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 07794 249097


Janet Ward 

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 07802 413887


Chapel of Unity, Coventry Cathedral: contact Janet Ward, above.


Churches together in Oxfordshire

Deacon Nick St John 

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 07450 294036


Churches Linked Across Staffordshire and the Potteries (CLASP)

Barbara Davies 

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 07401 201272


Churches Together in Worcestershire 

Dr Christine Dodd

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 07596 557368


Other Members 

Fr Kevin Kavanagh

Email: [email protected] 

Phone: 01675 463939


Write to the Ecumenical Commission

Deacon David Fairbotham, Diocesan Ecumenical Officer,

St Dunstan’s Church, 6 Kingsfield Rd, King's Heath, Birmingham B14 7JN.

Or email: [email protected]