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This is an archived website containing material relating to Dr Rowan Williams’ time as Archbishop of Canterbury, which ended on 31st December 2012

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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 Nikæan ClubThe 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". The Club has over 350 members.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is the President of the Club. The 'Guestmaster' is his Chaplain and Ecumenical Officer 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:

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.

Recent items relating to the Nikæan Club and the Nikæan Ecumenical Trust are shown below:

October 2012

Revd Canon Malcolm Bradshaw's Sermon at the annual Eucharist of the Nikaean Club
18 October 2012
A sermon preached by the Revd Canon Malcolm Bradshaw, senior Anglican Chaplain, Athens, at the annual…

September 2012

Rosemary Spencer's speech at Nikaean Club Farewell Dinner
27 September 2012
The full text of Rosemary Spencer's speech at Nikaean Club Farewell Dinner is below:

Dame Mary Tanner's speech at Nikaean Club Farewell Dinner
27 September 2012
The full text of Dame Mary Tanner's speech at the Nikaean Club Farewell Dinner is below:

June 2012

Nikaean Club dinner in honour of Cardinal Koch
11 June 2012
A gathering of the Nikaean Club was held at Lambeth Palace in honour of Cardinal Koch’s visit from…

July 2008

The Archbishop's address at a Dinner given by the Nikæan Club
29 July 2008
The dinner was attended by all the ecumenical participants present at the Conference on 29 July. The…

April 2008

Archbishop at BibleLands conference - 'more dramatic and more costly' change for Christians in the Middle East
16 April 2008
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, hosted and addressed a conference at Lambeth Palace…

June 2004

Visit of His Holiness Karekin II to the Archbishop of Canterbury
9 June 2004
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, will host a five-day visit from His Holiness Karekin…