- Ichthus Christian Fellowship
Ichthus Christian Fellowship is a
Christianchurch movement based in London, United Kingdom. It is part of the British New Church Movement(BNCM), [Andrew Walker, "Restoring the Kingdom" (Guildford: Eagle, 1998) 47] and has links with other BNCM leaders and movements, especially Gerald Coatesof Pioneer Network. [Brian Hewitt, "Doing a New Thing?" (London: Hodder, 1995, ISBN 978-0340630136) 112]
History and Vision
Ichthus Christian Fellowship was founded in
Londonin 1974 by Roger Forster. [Brian Hewitt, "Doing a New Thing?" (London: Hodder, 1995) 106] By 1982 the Forest Hill congregation had grown to around 400 people,William K Kay, "Apostolic Networks in Britain" (Milton Keynes: Pater Noster, 2007, ISBN 978-1556354809) 114] and two new congregations were planted. In 1990 Ichthus had 43 congregations;William K Kay, "Apostolic Networks in Britain" (Milton Keynes: Pater Noster, 2007) 114] in 1992, Ichthus had 47 congregations, and was split into three areas. After some rationalisation the number of congregations dropped to 27. [William K Kay, "Apostolic Networks in Britain" (Milton Keynes: Pater Noster, 2007) 118] In 2002 a further major change involved a number of churches disaffiliating and forming a separate group known as [http://www.transformnetwork.org.uk/ Transform Network] ; still others became independent. Ichthus congregations meet across London, in Essexand Kent.
As well as this approximately 130 other churches and movements across the UK and
Europeare linked with Ichthus Christian Fellowship. In comparison to other BNCM streams, the Ichthus link relationship is reasonably loose, denoting shared theology, vision and values, rather than an attempt to create a larger identity (like Newfrontiersor Pioneer). This reflects Ichthus' relational theology. Ichthus theology is also non-Calvinist, and shares much with Open Theism; believes in the practice of spiritual warfareand is very positive about women's ministry with several of their congregations led by women. [Brian Hewitt, "Doing a New Thing?" (London: Hodder, 1995) 119] Ichthus identifies Anabaptism as the Christian tradition that has been most influential in its development. [Ronald Sider, "Bread of Life: Stories of Radical Mission" (London: Triangle, 1994, ISBN 978-0281049028) 26]
For many years the notable Christian musician
Graham Kendrickwas a member of Ichthus, and it was here that March for Jesus, the world-wide movement of street proclamation, began. [March for Jesus website: [http://www.gmfj.org/pages/how_it_started.htm How it started] ]
Each year Ichthus hosts several conferences, one or two specifically for its
leadershipand the rest open to the public. The main gathering point of the year is a summer Bible Camp known as "Revive," which is an opportunity for those sympathetic with Ichthus theology and distinctives to come together.
Ichthus also hosts a "Bible School", running on the first Saturday of each month from September to April, open to all. [ [http://www.ichthus.org.uk/Group/Group.aspx?ID=25651 Bible School] on Ichthus website]
Ichthus followers aim to spread
evangelismand their churches on other continents as well as developing the current congregations.
They claim four core values at the heart of their belief:
*Openness to the
An Ichthus church consists of 3 levels; Cell, Congregation, and Celebration.
;Cell:Cells are smaller groups meeting weekly in order to pray for the local
neighbourhoodand to promote the religion on a local level (for example via door to door).
;Congregation:The Congregation meets on Sunday mornings and is a much larger group (made up of cells). The Congregation also works on projects in the community (as volunteers).
;Celebration:Celebrations are held on Sunday evenings and involve the whole church in
* [http://www.ichthus.org.uk ichthus.org.uk] Official site
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