Commission on Church and School (ICCS) is a working group, created
in 1958 as a result of the initiative of individual representatives
of various European churches. The aim was to provide a frame-work
for co-operation in monitoring and developing the place of Religious
Education in European schools.
In the beginning it was no more
than a conference organising committee, that organised a conference
every three years. This three year cycle is still the basis of the
work, but the range of activities has broadened substantially over
the last two decades.
ICCS is now active in the field
of church and school and focuses on topics such as religious education,
multicultural and multi-religious learning, norms and values education,
ecumenical learning, education in Europe and the position of religion
in the European education policy.
with other organisations
As ICCS works
in the field of Church and School, it is not surprising, that from
the outset the importance of links with organisations and other
agencies was recognised. These links now exist with 'secular' as
well as Christian or church organised institutions. From the beginning
ICCS had good connections with the education department of the World
Council of Churches and with the Conference of European
Churches (CEC). Consequently, the first two conferences, in 1958
and 1962, were organised in Bossey (Switzerland).
ICCS is an associated member of
the Conference of European Churches with special relations to the
Church and Society Commission (CSC).
As the work of ICCS
touches the whole area of school education and moral education,
it goes without saying that links were made with the work of the
Council of Europe. ICCS had personal contacts with people, working
at the department of Education, Culture and Sport since 1964. This
contact received official status when the participants of the conference
of 1979 were received on the 5th of July at the headquarters of
the Council in Strasbourg.
Since 1986 ICCS, as a Non-Governmental
Organisation (NGO), has had consultative status at the Council of
Europe, and participates in the education group of the NGO Liaison
Committee of the Council.
ICCS is also a member of CoGREE
the Co-ordinating Group for RE in Europe
For the details of the ICCS board
- click here. In each country one or two representatives from the
above mentioned first or second group are elected as correspondents
. The task of these correspondents is to promote the idea of European
co-operation in the area of church/school relationships in their
own country. The correspondents are asked to maintain close links
with other correspondents and with board members. Promoting the
communication and exchange of ideas is a difficult, but very important
task of the ICCS cor-respondents.
Once in three years the correspondents
meet at the correspondents' meeting, held after the triennial conference.
Then new members of the board can be elected, if necessary. The
correspondents are also responsible for the composition of their
national delegation to the conference. The board is elected by the
correspondents. Eight seats on the board are related to specific
countries or regions: Great Britain and Ireland, Benelux, Scandinavia,
France, Germany, Southern, Eastern and Middle Europe. The board
has the possibility to co-opt two extra members.