WHAT IS AN LEP ?
A Local Ecumenical Partnership is an arrangement where two or more Christian denominations are working together under a formal agreement. These formal agreements are ‘sponsored’ by an Intermediate Body which has responsibility for supporting, encouraging and monitoring them.
Lewes United Reformed Church and the Mid Sussex Circuit of the Methodist Church formed Christ Church as an LEP in 1999, with Churches Together in Sussex as the sponsoring body.
Christ Church is a Single Congregation Partnership, where ministry is shared on an alternating basis between the two denominations (currently URC) and members of the congregation are members of both denominations. The buildings are in a formal Sharing Agreement and there is a common purse and a Church Council which manages the life of the LEP.
Christ Church is a member of the Central Sussex United Area, which carries out the functions of a Methodist Circuit and a URC District (the initial grouping level of the churches’ organisational hierarchies). We came together in September 2007 to enable us to pool resources and support each other in our work. It consists of churches which are Methodist, URC or a combination of both and some which are also linked with the Anglican and Baptist denominations, and covers an area boundaried by Eastbourne, Crowborough, Haywards Heath and Newhaven.