Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC)

The Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches (FIEC) is a network of over 500 independent, evangelical churches mainly in the United Kingdom, committed to a robust statement of evangelical faith. Through FIEC, these churches express their unity and their commitment to reach the nation with the gospel. For many years, FIEC has held a range of conferences to encourage and inspire Christians; these have been a popular way of bringing people together for worship, inspiration and mutual encouragement.

History

The FIEC was formed in 1922 under the name A Fellowship of Undenominational and Unattached Churches and Missions, but was later renamed The Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches. The Fellowship brought together many independent churches and mission halls, which had been somewhat isolated.

The FIEC is in the Independent/Congregationalist tradition, which traces its roots back to separatists, such as Robert Browne in the time of Elizabeth I and James I of England. For example Westminster Chapel, a leading church in the Independent/Congregationalist tradition, joined the FIEC when the Congregational Union merged with the English Presbyterian Church to form the United Reformed Church denomination (URC). A number of Baptist churches are also represented in the FIEC.

Training

Prepared for Service, a two-year part-time training course, has been running in Reading since 1994. The course focuses on Bible Overview, Systematic Theology, Text to Message, Church History and Applied Theology. It is suitable for trainee pastors, church apprentices, pastoral workers and others who desire to be better equipped to serve the Lord in their local church. The Lord has led a number of men into pastoral leadership through the ministry of Prepared for Service.

Learn2Lead is a church-based leadership training course which is being extensively used in our congregations. It is suitable for those already serving as elders, deacons, youth leaders, children’s workers or those aspiring to serve the local church in any kind of leadership capacity. Developed by FIEC, this excellent resource is now available from The Good Book Company.

The Pastors’ Association is committed to upholding biblical standards in church and ministry. It supports serving pastors, encourages training for young men entering the pastoral ministry and acts as a link for pastors seeking a church and for churches seeking a pastor. It runs regular conferences relevant to church leadership.

Relations with other churches

FIEC is the largest corporate partner of Affinity, which was previously called the British Evangelical Council.

They also believe that Ecumenism in the form of Churches Together is not a positive move, citing various reasons including the liberal stance of other churches. However some member churches are themselves affiliated to Churches Together.

Allegations of engagement in ecumenism by a missionary to Poland of Carey Baptist Church have also been made in articles in the July 2009 and January 2010 issues of the Bible League Quarterly, a journal once edited by the Fellowship’s own founder, Rev E. J. Poole-Connor. This is regarded as controversial as it is alleged to be a violation of the Fellowship’s own statement in 1996 opposing ecumenism. The FIEC has since defended Carey’s position, but continues to examine the allegations, which were first raised in November 2008.

Website: http://www.fiec.org.uk/



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