The Nikaean Club and Nikaean Ecumenical Trust
The Nikæan Club owes its origin to the celebration in London in 1925 to mark the sixteenth centenary of the First Ecumenical Council of the Christian Church held in Nicæa in 325.
The Club was founded under the auspices of Archbishop Randall Davidson to commemorate that centenary. It objectives are to "further relations with non-Anglican Christian churches, to assist students from such churches and to offer hospitality on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury to representatives of such churches".
There are over 350 members of the Nikæan Club. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the President, and his Chaplain and Ecumenical Officer is the 'Guestmaster' whose function is to offer advice with regard to hospitality. Under the Constitution, the management of the Club's affairs is in the hands of an Executive Committee composed of a Chairman, Honorary Treasurer, Secretary and six elected members, plus the Guestmaster.
The Club and its members assist students from non-Anglican churches through the Nikæan Ecumenical Trust, a registered charity.
During its eighty two years of existence, the Club has had the privilege of entertaining a very wide variety of distinguished guests from Britain and overseas. Each year a programme of events is circulated to members, who are entitled to apply for tickets and, depending on availability, bring guests. The two largest events of the year are the AGM that also hosts an Evensong and Reception and the Annual Dinner. Other events are the Pre York Synod dinner and the annual Eucharist and Reception
Membership of the Club is open to Anglicans in communion with the See of Canterbury and interested in the ecumenical movement. Additionally the Executive Committee may invite members of foreign churches in communion with the See of Canterbury who are resident in the United Kingdom to become members. Application forms for membership of the Nikaean Club are available from the Secretary at Lambeth Palace and names should be proposed and seconded by members of the Club and shall be considered and voted upon by members of the Executive Committee.
The Nikaean Ecumenical Trust
In the early 1990’s, members of the Nikæan Club founded a charitable trust to help finance study trips made by members of overseas Christian churches to this country. They were conscious at that time of a lack of funding within the Church of England for this important field of ecumenical work, a lack which still exists today.
Founded in 1992 and relaunched in 2002, the Nikæan Ecumenical Trust aims to advance the Christian religion by fostering good ecumenical relations between all Christian churches, particularly between the Church of England and Christian churches overseas. The Trust is still closely associated with the Nikæan Club and shares its vision. The Trust’s current Chair is the Right Revd Dr Geoffrey Rowell.
In practical terms, the Trust pursues its objectives by awarding grants to clergy and laity from overseas churches (mainly, but not exclusively, the Orthodox Churches) to enable them to spend time in this country furthering their theological, pastoral or vocational training in a setting where there are active links with the Church of England. This might mean, for example, a term at an Anglican theological college or a few weeks in a Church of England placement. Grants are also made available towards a package of funding for a longer course of theological study in this country, although candidates are not expected to become permanent residents in the UK. Typically, grants are in the range of £500- £2000. Enquiries should be made to the Honorary Secretary, Mrs Margery Roberts (email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
In almost every case, the interaction between the candidate and the host college or worshipping community is beneficial to all concerned and friendships are made which will go on supporting ecumenical relations for years to come.