Many people contact the Church of England for help and advice about new religious movements (NRMs). With more than 4000 such groups known to be operating in the UK, it is ever more likely that Christians will encounter them. NRMS also often approach churches and clergy looking for somewhere to meet or to create relationships.
People sometimes call such groups ‘cults’ or ‘sects’ and while some are entirely peaceful and friendly, others cause problems and difficulties. A very few are engaged in fraudulent and unlawful activity and some are groups using religion as a cover for other interests and agenda.
The Church of England’s adviser on new religious movements is Dr Anne Richards. She carries a range of resources to advise clergy, churches and members of the public on how, and whether, to engage with new religious groups. There is also a network of diocesan advisers on new religious movements some of whom are specialists in particular movements.
The Church of England also has a partnership with INFORM at the London School of Economics which provides information about NRMs to enquirers.
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