There are (as of September 2015) twenty four Church congregations from six different denominational or independent groups in Runcorn. Churches Together in Runcorn (CTR) gathers all those churches together into one association for the sake of advancing the Kingdom of God.
CTR is the continuation of the Runcorn Council of Churches formed in the 1970s as part of the ecumenical movement seeking to promote the working together of churches from different denominations. At the time Runcorn was a growing New Town and there were many questions to be resolved about churches in the new estates being built then. The ecumenical sponsors from the major denominations agreed together to designate Runcorn an area of ecumenical experiment where traditional denominational boundaries and restrictions would be removed in favour of developing a co-ordinated plan for the presence of the Church in the town.
At the time church leaders began meeting together every Friday morning to pray and once a month met at Foxhill Conference Centre in Frodsham for a morning of sharing. A gathering of representatives of churches met together three times a year to plan activities and discuss issues.
Subsequently the name was changed to Churches Together in Runcorn. For over a decade - some have been going much longer than that - there have been regular joint services held at varying locations around the town, notably in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Good Friday, Pentecost and Advent Sunday. As well as Christmas Carols in the town centre, in recent years the group has organised a mission (Runcorn Life), a joint Alpha Course and started a monthly town-wide prayer meeting, as well as carrying out an audit of the social action work initiated by churches across the town. This was presented to Halton Borough Council at Runcorn Town Hall in 2015.
The most ambitious inter-church project has been the establishing of Foodbanks in seven locations across the town - a real effort of combined action between all the churches in the town. Currently the CTR committee continue to meet three times a year, with a steering group meeting monthly to take action on the initiatives agreed by the main committee. Rev John Beaney is the chairman of both committees.
John Beaney, Chairman of CTR